Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Ireland, where we stopped by the hallowed halls of the Trinity College Library in Dublin. We found a quiet corner and got down to some reading as we discussed Nicky Byrne and his song “Sunlight”. Were we basking in the light? Or did we seek some shade? Read on to find out!

Nicky Byrne – “Sunlight”

Sunlight reviews

Angus: Like a true showman, Nicky Byrne never fails to put a smile on your face throughout his performance and it is difficult to avoid willing him and Ireland to succeed. “Sunlight” itself isn’t incredibly innovative, but when you have a boyband vocalist who has sold 50 million records behind it, it doesn’t need to be. “Sunlight” serves up Celtic rock and I’m happy to chow down.

Score: 6/10

Robyn: “Sunlight” is better than anything Ireland has entered in the post-Jedward years, and it comes with the hope that Ireland won’t sabotage their chances with ill-conceived staging (e.g. oily drummers, thuggish Irish dancers, or a broken old piano). Nicky Byrne isn’t the greatest singer, but he is an experienced performer and has Westlife fans past and present to draw on for support. I really hope it’s enough for Ireland to qualify.

Score: 6/10

Bogdan: Yes, “Sunlight” is upbeat and catchy and Nicky Byrne is eye-candylicious,  but the truth of the matter is that the song is weak, predictable and cringeworthy, just like the lyrics. (By the way, do the songwriters know the meaning of “loverboy” in human trafficking terms?) To make matters worse, Nicky may be an experienced performer, but, let’s face it, he is an incompetent singer, which many viewers – and jury members! – will pick up on from the get-go.

Score: 3.5/10

Edd: There’s no other song this year that makes me feel happier than Nicky’s. An anthemic chorus, delicious harmonies and endless little touches in the production to make you smile. And yes, the lyrics are pure cheese, but that just makes me love it even more. If he can bring the party on stage, then he should really stand out from this year’s overload of dramatic ballads.

Score: 8.5/10

Forrest: If you want an example of a technically perfect pop song, look no further than “Sunlight.” The problem with technically perfect is that it’s not very interesting. There’s just enough variation in the long build towards a foreseeable key change to prevent the song from falling flat but, simultaneously, there is no wow factor. This is a respectable entry from Ireland but, at a time when Sweden is right on the heels of equaling Ireland’s record of seven victories, I can’t help but want something much better than just ‘respectable’.

Score: 5.5/10

Luis: This needs a Common Linnets-like performance to stand out. When this was first released, I thought it would grow on me, but two months after that, I still can’t see this song taking flight. Nicky is a decent performer, and the song is okayish, but that’s all. Overall, “Sunlight” is an inoffensive song with a bit of an annoying hook (I want to stop it after the fourth sun… light). The funny part is that I can’t see it staying in the semi, so Nicky better find a palatable show that is worth performing twice.

Score: 5/10

Tobias: The gorgeous hunk of this year, Nicky Byrne, is competing for Ireland. He is eye candy but sadly the song isn’t as sweet as Nicky himself. It’s a quite flat song and it’s not as strong as I first was hoping for when I heard that Nicky would compete for Ireland. I like Nicky and his music a lot, but “Sunlight” is not bringing the best out of him. I hope they go to the final at least.

Score: 3/10

Padraig: An eight win is highly unlikely, but “Sunlight” should comfortably see Ireland return to the final. The track possesses just enough oomph to stand out and Nicky’s star power and natural charisma should attract enough votes to bring them to safety. Unfortunately, it’ll almost certainly stall in the final. The lyrics are completely lacking in personality, while the song itself is pop by numbers. And while Nicky might have a twinkle in his eye and lovely shiny teeth, his vocals are far from glossy. Clever staging and arrangements should hide a multitude of sins.

Score: 6.5/10

Deban: Nicky Bryne’s entrance marks the launch of his solo career, and hopefully, Ireland’s return to the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest post-Jedward. “Sunlight” is serving rays of contemporary europop upbeat realness. Familiar yet different, “Sunlight” will draw new fans, and leave old ones with a memorable hook. Ireland knows that in order to retain their lead on the highest number of victories, they need to change their tactic. Nicky Bryne is a living testament to that.

Score: 7/10

William: Charisma, charm, likability — Nicky Byrne deserves a 10! His song, however, does not. While I appreciate that it’s radio-friendly and geared toward a mass market, it’s felt increasingly generic and middle-of-the-road since its release. I like his voice, but he really needs to sort out his backing vocalists ahead of Stockholm, as the harmonies frequently sounded off during his debut performance. The sun is shining for sure — I just hope we don’t get bored and go inside.

Score: 6/10

Steinunn: When I heard that Nicky Byrne had been chosen to represent Ireland, I totally fangirled my knickers off. He might not have been the most noticeable Westlife member in the past — or the one with the most vocal capacity — but I always thought he was the cutest (or at least my 14-year-old self thought so). When it comes to the actual song, I have mixed feelings about it. It’s not really good, but at the same time it’s not all that bad. I think it would be a perfect theme song for the TV show Geordie Shore: “Just touch who you wanna/Kiss who you gotta” is a pretty good description of the show’s content. But just like Geordie Shore is a guilty pleasure for me when it comes to tv shows, “Sunlight” sure will be one of my guilty pleasures on the dance floor in Stockholm this year.

Score: 6.5/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.

Anthony: 7.5/10

Antranig: 6.5/10

Bernardo: 5/10

Chris: 5/10

Cristian: 5/10

David: 7/10

Dayana: 7.5/10

Denise: 7/10

Diego: 6.5/10

George: 5.5/10

Gökhan: 3/10

Jason: 7/10

Josh: 6/10

Judit: 7.5/10

Kristin: 7.5/10

Liam: 5.5/10

Marek: 7.5/10

Maria: 6.5/10

Mario: 7/10

Max: 7/10

Mike: 6/10

Mikhail: 3.5/10

Patrick: 5/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Rezo: 9/10

Sami: 7/10

Sinan: 4/10

William C: 5/10

Zakaria: 2/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 9.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 6.01/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Cathal
Guest
Cathal

I’ve actually stopped caring about all the hate comments, I’ve now realized it’s all just trolling. No way a song like this could have this much genuine hate.

instagranto475
Guest
instagranto475

Angus really needs to go and recheck what Celtic music sounds like because this is the second Irish entry in a row that he’s called Celtic when both Playing With Numbers and Sunlight are about as Celtic as a Maasai tribe. Anyway imo it’s a terrible song, painfully painfully generic and we’ll be lucky to get out of the semi final with it. Playing With Numbers had soul and passion and personality and was deep and gorgeous, this is just trash. Meanwhile, the comments here are crazy!!! Cathal wtf??!!! “The homophobic ESC fandom” hellooooo??????? The contest’s fanbase is about as… Read more »

David Who
Guest
David Who

Like many of the commenters have already said here, I think Molly Sterling’s “Playing with numbers” was a much more special song than this year’s entry is from Nicky. (Sorry to disagree with Robyn there. x)
Having said that, there is a great Irish song at Eurovision this year (musically-speaking) – but for some reason it is representing Czech Republic! 😀 (Gabriela’s “I Stand” sounds very Irish to me.)

zeze
Guest
zeze

Read many great comments on Moly’s song, I just wonder why it didn’t even qualify if it is SO good? So who knows if this will qualify or not, it certainly has a mixed reaction, some really like it and some REALLY hate it. such negative reaction for a decent catchy pop tune baffles me. And I’m sorry, but it is ridiculous to say he can’t hit notes even in studio version – how can we be a judge of that, he co-wrote the song, how he sings in the studio is how he it is supposed to be. The… Read more »

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@GEF

are there songs you do like, and could Ira’s song still grow on you?

GEF
Guest
GEF

Sounds like Ronan Keating and I don’t like him. Sorry this song is extremly bland. I would have expected something better, especially from Ireland:

Alter Ego / Play / Say Yay: 9,0
Love Wave / 1944: 8,5
Ghost / Pioneer / Slow Down: 8,0
Made of Stars / What’s the pressure?: 7,5
Sing it away / Goodbye: 7,0
Help to fly / Icebreaker: 6,5
Colour of your life: 6,0
Blue and red, Ljubav je: 5,0
Dona / Moment of Silence: 4,5
Falling Star / Sun Light : 4,0
Soldiers of Love: 3,0

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Selene

Russia are the favourites, because everyone’s afraid of Russia i guess 🙂

kewl
Guest
kewl

um i dont think theres a key change

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I have him just barely qualifying out of his semi. It remains to be seen if he’ll release a music video to replace that lyric video. He has a steep uphill to climb, given that I thought Molly Sterling’s “Playing With Numbers” was a much better song.

Hugh
Guest
Hugh

Bad song that made me think this was a bad year for a long time. Turns ut this was the outlier, and the standard is good in 2016, it’s just a couple of the early ones that are bad. He can’t hit his own notes, even in the studio version; the lyrics are genuinely stupid, and while it’s got some catchiness, it lacks any sense of cool. Nicky might be a nice enough guy but this song is comfortably in my bottom 5 for the year. 2/10.

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

Playing With Numbers was a beautiful song. If you think that this is better…I just…no…

Martel
Guest
Martel

This song will be on the edge of qualifying thanks to Westlife popularity.

Quite cheesy, fantasy lyrics, mixed message (love? personal growth?…who knows)

Useful as the Baywatch intro music, but not for doing anything at Eurovision.

Both Ireland and the UK are sending very generic british-pop style songs. They do quite the same as Spain these last decades (Spain changed these last years) sending something very rooted to their culture and this is not working anymore.

You gotta be more “Euro”, more appealing to the masses, not just your public.

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Brndn

I agree, Molly’s song was phenomenal. Ireland was in my top 10 last year.

Colin
Guest
Colin

5/10 for me. It is catchy, sunny and radio-friendly, but I soon got tired of it. It is one of those standard entries obviously designed for ESC. I didn’t find an ounce of originality in the lyrics. They aren’t as stupid as those from Slovenia or Albania, but quite standard and 90% could be heard in about five songs each year. I don’t think this song will be hated on the big night, but I wonder how many will pick-up the phone and call for it as a standout. We might be looking at yet another Irish non-qualification. Or it… Read more »

Brndn
Guest
Brndn

In my humble opinion, Molly Sterling’s “Playing With Numbers” was the best entry Ireland sent since they (we) won in 1996 with Eimear Quinn’s “The Voice”. It’s just a shame that the song didn’t resonate with viewers on the night, though the fact that Germany would go on to receive 0 points in the final shows that the Eurovision audience is unpredictable and fickle as hell! Anyway Nicky Byrne’s entry is…..meh. It’s not terrible (the lyrics are cringe, the tune is alright) but I think if it does qualify it will be down to the fact that he’s a former… Read more »

Pat dublin
Guest
Pat dublin

Nicky Byrne will qualify
He is a very engaging type of guy and will appeal to a lot of people
His voice isn’t the greatest but not the worst at all
It’s a catchy uplifting song – can’t understand the bad comments

Jr esc nl
Guest
Jr esc nl

Well Said pollaski!

NL
Guest
NL

Even a common linnets performance can’t help this song

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Cathal *Low, impressed whistle* Have to say dude, I am impressed. I’ve read a LOT of sanctimonious self-righteous whinefests over the years, but you… you’ve solidified yourself as a true master of the spleen. You wanna know why Russia does better than Ireland in the ESC? Because Russia takes the contest seriously, and Ireland hasn’t for a good 10-15 years. Russia sends their best to ESC on a regular basis, and Ireland, who is probably fourth in producing globally successful musical talent (After the US, Canada, and UK), sends a bunch of no names singing lazily penned songs. They’re putting… Read more »

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

@Selene You know I would have had so much more respect for you and your gang if you’d just openly admit it…the fact your going out of your way to deny it makes it even worse. I’ve presented to you facts and you ‘ve come back with rubbish so you don’t really have a leg to stand on. At this point I’m done speaking with you and the rest of your friends so please enjoy.

Darren
Guest
Darren

@Seline please don’t be rude towards other countries to say your “thankful” is a bit strong. Don’t know what Ireland ever did to you, but judging by your use of language it seems you would completely fall apart if Ireland qualified. Please, look after your mental health, go find some hobby or something 🙂

Selene
Guest
Selene

Russia are favourites because they always perform well. It’s not rocket science.

To bring up homophobia because your country’s song sucks is pathetically childish and an insult to true victims of homophobia.

In short, Cathal, you’re a moron – and thankfully we won’t be seeing your country in the final this year.

Andrey (from Russia)
Guest
Andrey (from Russia)

@Nicky91
i also don’t know that, why Russia is no.1 at bookies

Sorry, but this song and this artist are about nothing – if to compare them to the Russian song and Sergey.

Ian
Guest
Ian

For such an upbeat song, this is incredibly boring. I don’t like anything about this. It may not be my worst of the year, but oh man is it close.
1.5/10

Darren
Guest
Darren

Well, what can I say without being bias? I do like the song, but it is by no means creative, innovative or challenging and the lyrics are borderline cringeworthy, but it is happy and upbeat and puts a smile on my face. It reminds me of Lithuanians entry in 2015 just a happy song. In my opinion “Playing with Numbers” was much better but it was savagely underrated. But Sunlight is a nice song regardless. I think this is more about the performer rather than the song, it seems RTÉ just wanted Nicky regardless because he is famous already from… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Cathal :- “Throwing punches”?? It’s an honest opinion………………sort yourself out dear!!

As I said before to you…………..what you should perhaps consider is have I EVER been wrong about Ireland? Just saying!!

Jr esc nl
Guest
Jr esc nl

Ok i shouldn’t have argued with you in the first place… I guess you’re just Living in your imaginative fairy tale world. IF People don’t like this because of that referendum Stuff, why on earth isn’t there a single comment saying so or mentioning it?

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

Wouldn’t be an Ireland page without Eugene throwing punches.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

It’s an average song at best, which will get an average placing and has a 56% chance of qualifying. It is very possible that Ireland will not qualify again this year, borderline. 5/10.

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

That’s the referendum took place after last year’s semi final numb nuts. The only reason I am reading the comments is just to have a look and a little chuckle at the clearly OTT hate comments. You see the key to using a reason out side of music (I.e homophobia) as a reason to hate a song is NOT to make so blatantly obvious!!! Now run along!!

Chance
Guest
Chance

The lyrics are rapey and insultingly terrible.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Cathal

Good lord, son. How friggin’ deep into the deck did you have to go to pull out this victim card?

Jr esc nl
Guest
Jr esc nl

Sweden is one of the Most Gay friendly countries in the world and has won two Times the last four years. Ireland doesn’t get as much hate as you say and their non qualification streak is justifiable because they haven’t had the best entries. Russia is ALWAYS a favorite and receives wat too much hate by People like you who only focus on the gay part and not on the music. Just look how the russian entries are getting booed the last few years and this will only make russian People hate gay People and esc even more. It’s also… Read more »

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

Because Ireland had a same sex marriage referendum which was passed and ever since then the hate for Ireland has been extreme (borderline offensive) whereas Russia (the most homophobic country in ESC ) is guilty of similar things yet is nr 1 in both OGAE and Bookmakers. Can’t be much of a coincidence really.

Jr esc nl
Guest
Jr esc nl

@cathal
How kan the esc fanbase be homophobic if 60? of us are Gay -_- It doesn’t make any sense. Also it isn’t such a good Song and the comments aren’t as extreme as you said. I did like playing with numbers last year though.

Holden
Guest
Holden

Catchy 7/10

Jr esc nl
Guest
Jr esc nl

@cathal
Ok. I’m done… This is by far the most retarded conclusion i’ve ever seen…

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

@Ben how is he in a bad spot?

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

7/10
My country has chosen a decent song but I don’t think he will qualify, he’s a weak singer and has a relatively bad spot in the semi.

João Teles
Guest
João Teles

Jedward were terrible, how can someone take them seriously?
to call this better than ‘Heartbeat’ & ‘Playing with Numbers’ is an offense to real music.

Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

These lyrics are about as cheesy as lyrics can possibly be. There is little emotion in this song, and the lyrics are so vague it’s almost infuriating. I don’t get what it is he is trying to describe. Are they breaking free from the past?

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

I wanted so badly to hate this song when I first saw it, as the video is a clear rip-off of last year’s winner. But the song itself is not- its a high energy uptempo beat to be sure, but it truly captures that world-famous Irish charm that has been missing from so many of Ireland’s latest entries. This should have no problem qualifying for the final- and I’d daresay it even has a good shot at making top 10. And if it heralds a return to Ireland’s 1990s form… so much the better!

RANK: 11th

fikri
Guest
fikri

this song is decent but i always find myself skipping it to other eurovision 2016 tracks in my playlist. it’s just not interesting enough unfortunately. i do want ireland to keep their record number of eurovision victories but they’re just not bringing it. 🙁

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Manne

i also don’t know that, why Russia is no.1 at bookies

Ira’s Walk On Water, i’m already thinking about the staging, i think they’ll do more about that this year, last year was a total miss with staging, Amber did sing it good, it missed that dance beat Ira’s song really has got, everytime i hear her song i want to dance to it, same with Croatia’s song and Czech Republic’s song i want to sing with it 🙂

Manne
Guest

Hasting: thats like Russias song. No orginality and feels like, aha. And i have herd it manny time. But its nr 1 anyway. Why!!!!!

Hastings
Guest
Hastings

It is catchy, but not original at all and really bland

4,5/10
35/43

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Such extreme views for such a mediocre song! It does not try to do anything amazing. It is a simplistic, repetitive song sang by a handsome guy with a fanbase that is designed to get to the final and not much more. I think they will manage it.
5/10

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

This entry is OK in every way. I would like something better next time.
Currently I rank “Sunshine” 30 of 43.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Manne

that’s basically every song, even San Marino is better than Russia

Manne
Guest

Cathal: i love you!