Sarah McTernan 22 Ireland Eurovision 2019

We’ve had rumour after rumour after rumour. And yet Ireland’s Eurovision 2019 singer is someone who (almost) managed to sidestep the speculation completely – Sarah McTernan. The 24-year-old will perform “22”, a song written by Janieck, Marcia “Misha” Sondeijker and Roulsen.

Speaking in RTÉ’s official press release, an excited McTernan described it as an “early birthday present”.

My 25th birthday is next Monday and if you’d told me last year that I’d be chosen to represent my country at Eurovision, performing the song for the first time on Dancing with the Stars this Sunday, and then flying to Tel Aviv on my birthday to record a postcard, I would have told you – you were crazy!

My Mom, Nana, family and friends are super excited for me – they’re shocked and very proud. I can’t wait to teach my biggest fan – my 2 ½ year-old daughter Mia – all the lyrics to “22”.

“22” is a sultry, string-heavy, finger-clicking track. It sees Sarah all misty-eyed as she reminisces about a sweetheart she let slip through her fingers. The song’s titular number refers to his house, “number 22”. Presumably, Sarah misses him more than the property. But you never know!

Sarah McTernan “22” (Official music video)

The track will receive its first radio play on RTÉ Radio 1 at 9.00 GMT this morning. The songstress will then call by both The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene and The Ray D’Arcy Show at 12.30 and 15.00 respectively.

Sarah will deliver her first live performance of “22” during Dancing With The Stars Ireland on Sunday 10 March. She will be the highlight of a Eurovision themed special. Fresh from his appearance at Sweden’s Melodifestivalen last week, Eurovision 1980 and 1987 winner Johnny Logan will also sing.

Who is Sarah McTernan?

Sarah is not quite a household name. Her biggest claim to fame came in 2015 when she finished third on The Voice of Ireland. Her blind audition saw all four coaches turn, including The Saturdays’ Una Healy and Westlife’s Kian Egan. However, she opted to go with former S Club 7 star Rachel Stevens.

Eurovision fans with good memories may also remember her from San Marino’s 1 in 360 selection in 2018. She entered the online element of the contest with a cover of Karlotta Sigurðardóttir’s Söngvakeppnin 2016 entry “Eye of the Storm”. However, she failed to reach the next stage of the competition which was ultimately won by the Maltese-German combination of Jessika and Jenifer Brening.

“Sarah has an amazing voice which stood out the minute I heard it and she fits perfectly with our chosen song”, says Irish Head of Delegation Michael Kealy. “I think the Eurovision audience will love her, now it’s full steam ahead preparing for her performance in Tel Aviv in May.”

The team behind “22”

The “22” songwriting trio are all Dutch. Janieck is probably the most famous of the three. His biggest hit is Lost Frequencies’ “Reality”, which he co-wrote and sang.

Marcia “Misha” Sondeijker started off on the Dutch version of The Hit and had three songs in the top ten of the UK’s Eurovision You Decide 2018 – only the top six made it to the TV broadcast.

Roulsen was part of the DJ duo RouInDoors which supported the likes of Ministry of Sound and Avicii.

Meanwhile, the “22” music video was shot in Dublin’s Dollymount strand. It was directed by Christian Tierney – the man behind Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s “Together” clip. He’s also worked with a selection of well-known Irish and international acts such as Hozier, Niall Horan and Drake.

What do you think of “22”? Was it worth the wait? Are you excited to see Sarah’s first live performance on Sunday? Let us know in the comments.

Follow all of our Ireland Eurovision 2019 news.

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Jonathan
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Jonathan

The chorus and hook melody in “22” is exactly the same as Leo Sayer’s “Moonlighting” ? The Dutch songwriters will have to put Leo’s name as co-songwriter of this song by Ireland!

Leo Sayer song Moonlighting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT0m5Xr4aXY?

ESCelebrate19
Guest
ESCelebrate19

I don’t hear it!

R
Guest

retweet that to the Irish Broadcarster!

Darren
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Darren

Surprised that this isn’t on Spotify yet.
So typical of RTE, always have to be so difficult.

Rumpelstiltskin
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Rumpelstiltskin

I love it! It’s currently my #7.

fan
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fan

Absolutely dreadful…nothing more to say.

ESCelebrate19
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ESCelebrate19

It’s not absolutely dreadful is it? Even if you don’t like the song, you can’t say the singer is dreadful? Is the sentiment in the song dreadful? Are the lyrics dreadful? Is the chorus dreadful? Are the harmonies dreadful? I doubt you can say yes to all theses questions so absolutely dreadful is a silly dramatic statement. Your comment suggests that there is nothing redeeming or positive about this song.

fan
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fan

there is nothing redeeming or positive about this song

L’oiseau
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L’oiseau

It’s a pleasant song and she obviously draws inspiration from Amy Whinehouse. The song has lot of potential, actually in my opinion, But they would have to seriously revamp it and the vocals be flawless to have a chance.

ESCelebrate19
Guest
ESCelebrate19

This song is definitely a grower the more you listen to it but obviously at ESC most voters will have only one listen so the staging needs to make it memorable. More people will like the song than not like it but will they remember it when it comes to voting ?Therefore the staging needs to be memorable so that it keeps the audience remembering the song. It will be interesting to see the live performance of the song this weekend on Irish TV.

S!sters
Guest

I have a feeling the song title may be a prediction to the entry’s finishing position in the semi too.

S!sters
Guest

I do however personally prefer it to a lot of this year’s “serious” entries so best of luck x

Olivia Mac Arthur
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Olivia Mac Arthur

Maybe I’m missing something but are you saying Ireland will end up 4 steps below last place? There’s 18 acts in semi 2

S!sters
Guest

Ha ha, wow I’m dumb. Thanks Olivia. I hope it qualifies. Let’s leave it there.

Olivia Mac Arthur
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Olivia Mac Arthur

Nah you’re good. I hope this qualifies too. Too many sad songs this year, we need a happy bop to spruce things up a bit and this one is adorable

Jonas J
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Jonas J

Great!

Jo.
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Jo.

Nice song, but it will struggle to qualify.

Leo M
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Leo M

I had a brief listen earlier and wasn’t impressed. However, just listened to it again and I do actually like it. I like that RTE have tried something different and seem to finally get what modern Eurovision is about. Easily a song you could hear on the radio and she has a really good voice too. It’s fun, cute and with the right staging, might sneak into the final

Blahhhhh
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Blahhhhh

Ok it’s safe to say it’s not Dublin 2020 but was that ever a possibility??? Whats positive is that this song is something that us irish will be able to get behind and is a hell of alot stronger than some of the other entries! Its very radio friendly, very catchy and leaves you with a lil warm feeling inside…. if there is any justice (and eith the right staging) this should quite comfortably make the saturday night final and place 11-16 which is perfectly respectable….. I’m a pleasantly surprised irish man!

Aisling
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Aisling

Good man Blahhhhh! But seriously though, I would like Eurovision to come back to Ireland soon because I wasn’t alive around the time we were doing real g. But I’d be God honest happy if we get to the final! Hon the girl in green!

Pardonezmoi
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Pardonezmoi

If it does get into the final, I doubt it will reach 11-16, there are plenty of far stronger, better composed and more contemporary songs this year, and there are still many more we haven’t heard yet.

Alon I srael
Guest
Alon I srael

my least favorite country at eurovision…Never liked an irish song and this one is no exception….

Darren
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Darren

We all know why you really don’t like Ireland at ESC 😉 don’t worry.
But we don’t care.

Alon I srael
Guest
Alon I srael

tell me so i will know too…
if i guess what you mean i must tell you that Iceland is my favorite song this year…so it’s not because of the boycott noises….

Aisling
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Aisling

I think you forgot the r lol we all know you secretly love this song Alon.

Aisling
Guest
Aisling

You must have no taste in music lad like what the hell you’ve never liked a single Irish song? What do you like? Some ould country music from the middle of nowhere that you can eat peanut butter to? God bless ye…. Oh kiddo! Youve never liked an Irish song, youve loved them! Bro we appreciate the compliment lol Simon Cowell…. Hon the girl in green hehe!

Alon I srael
Guest
Alon I srael

everyone has a country that he likes less in ESC… why you all are so offended?
it’s not politics…
everyone must like your songs???? i simply never get excited from your songs…not even your winners…
of course, you will not accept that…

honeybooboochild
Guest
honeybooboochild

‘The Voice’ from ’96 was a stunner though

Gerry
Guest
Gerry

Ahhh take off the mask benjamin netanyahu!

Alon I srael
Guest
Alon I srael

why politics?
an israeli doesn’t have the right to say his opinion??? only you have??

Gerry
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Gerry

You come to every song with an open mind! That’s what you do, and if you don’t like it fair enough! However to say you always hate Irish songs has racist undertones that can only be described as a hatred towards the country yourself! Alon I have previously seen you on other threads calling people Neo nazis and anti semites for no apparent ! So why politics ? you ask, it’s because you make it political! Don’t dare try to slander my name with such words! As the old Irish saying goes “if you’ve got nothing good to say, don’t… Read more »

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Only palestininans are suicede bombers. name one israeli one? See. so dont talk

Gerry
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Gerry

Israeli drones. Need I say anymore.

Rasmus
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Rasmus

bad taste some do to:)

Joe
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Joe

OK, so from the first time I heard it, it was reminding me of another song, but I didn’t know which one. Now I remember! That little guitar lick makes me think of How Bizarre by OMC. And that’s not a bad thing at all!

M_K
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M_K

I really can’t tell if I like this song. It’s incredibly cheap and overdone but at the same time it’s oddly mesmerising. I can’t even decide whether it’s contemporary, retro or dated. Strange entry from Ireland.

Gerry
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Gerry

Well it’s clearly so thought provoking it made you write in the comments section anyway!

M_K
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M_K

Yeah, this is the kind of clever statement you could have replied with to a “who cares about XY” troll post. My post wasn’t one. The question was “What do you think of ’22’?” and this was indeed my first impression of “22”. Maybe I will have fallen in love with it by the time of the semi finals, maybe I won’t.

Aisling
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Aisling

Hon the Gerry!

ESCelebrate19
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ESCelebrate19

Nice shift of direction for Ireland. On first listen, I liked it and each listen after it grew on me more and more. Great voice. I think the live performance will elevate the song. Well done Ireland!

brennan
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brennan

I love it. Beautiful, candid lyrics, very radio-friendly, yum. I’m worried this is going to get swamped like “Playing With Numbers” and it doesn’t seem like a qualifier to me but I am glad there’s something refreshing like this in the contest this year 🙂

Aisling
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Aisling

This is gold. Love it.

Alex
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Alex

There’s no other act/song similar to this so Ireland with the right staging has a chance to stand out.

Alex
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Alex

My favourite female act easily.
It’s simple, nice, fresh, lovely and no pretentious.
Well done Ireland (And Netherlands for writing it)

R
Guest

So Good! <3

Alex
Guest
Alex

Lovely song but it will be lost in the semifinal unless it has something to stand out.

Cathal
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Cathal

Have you not see what’s in that half of the Sr I ?

Maria
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Maria

Really nice song! Sort of reminds me of something I might’ve listened to when I was younger which I definitely love. It has a very sweet and fun sound to it and with the right staging it’ll hopefully do well <3

Gerry
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Gerry

I think the perfect staging for this song would be a cosy sofa in the middle of the stage warm yellow lighting. Sarah would be sitting in the middle of the sofa being surrounded and consoled by friends, i.e the backing singers.

I think this would be a song that every girl could relate to!

Gerry
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Gerry

Have it kinda like a sleepover! With ice cream etc make it kinda like a Bridget Jones moment!

God I should be payed for this?

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Cute, feel-good song, but I think it rather belongs to the commercial. A bit to safe. It’s gonna be repeated like a mantra, but it all depends on the staging. Though knowing, that Ireland is good at creating that cosy, homy atmosphere on stage, I wouldn’t worry that much.

JusticeForMaruv
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JusticeForMaruv

Nice, radio friendly tune. She might not win but if she charts in some other countries than Ireland, she already won. And that’s what counts.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Her voice is a gem, but I agree that the song is probably too chill and basic for a competitive environment. Eurovision can be unfair to entries like this. You may have an obvious bop and highlight it with choreography and camera cuts, or an obvious ballad and lift it up with big notes and pyro, but an entry like this one usually only can count on the charisma of the performer. Since last year Ireland benefited from charming staging, I’ll hope the same happens here, because this is a track I’ll enjoy listening to from time to time.

David Garcia
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David Garcia

As on the last 3 years, Ireland got my heart AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Super cute, charming and little song which brings me back to my teenage years, I don’t know, it has that nostalgic vibe… Beautiful Ireland, thank you once more for having such a good taste in choosing inoffensive songs that go BIG on Eurovision!! But please, work hard on your stage performance…no doubt that was the main reason for Ryan to stand out so much last year on the final!! Good luck from Spain!!!

eurovision6
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eurovision6

Too bland but could make it out of the semifinal with good staging.. since the competition is so underwhelming..

Jonas
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Jonas

It has some potential, I guess, but on first impression I’m not too enthused. Not a wow. Sorry, Ireland.

Jonas
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Jonas

P.S. Sarah does definitely have a very attractive voice, though…

mrflamboyant221
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mrflamboyant221

Ah! What a breath of fresh air. No other entry this year has made a better first impression on me than this song. Really interesting and colorful, and with actual real instruments! God bless the Irish team.

Albert
Guest
Albert

It’s a radiofriendly song, but for Eurovision… Idk
Maybe it’s good, it’s different to the other song and the song isn’t bad

Yssy
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Yssy

I really like this one as well. Very bubbly and radio friendly. Sometimes countries are not wanting to win but instead diversify the field and just bring a sense of enjoyment.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Doesn’t have nearly enough impact, but aside from that it really isn’t all that bad. Wouldn’t call it a non-qualifier yet, but it’s chances are pretty slim tbh.

Una
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Una

The only good thing from this studio cut is her voice. Same as Greece but they are not at the same level. Nope, I don’t like this song. Sorry Ireland. I think some countries including Ireland just don’t want to win. If they did they would do a lot better. There are literally thousands of songwriters that want to submit songs to broadcasters. Look at Sweden – Swedish (co)writers in so many selections. Depending of course on whether the broadcaster allows foreign composers participate in their selection. The issue is even more serious in the case of internal selection. Some… Read more »

AM2PM
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AM2PM

Portugal literally stepped up and won after a string of failures.

Una
Guest
Una

Yes they did but not necessarily because of a great song but the story behind the artist. Even if that was not the intent, the issues still is that all that was talked about was SS’s health. Before 2017 they barely qualified (last time I remember Moscow 2009) and last year they finished bottom 5. Overall they don’t have a good record and one occurrence given the circumstances surrounding the singer, does not say much.

Matt
Guest
Matt

It’s cute and unlike many Eurovision songs, even good ones, it’s a good song in it’s own right and a mainstream pop artist could release that and it could do great in the charts, it’s not just a good song for Eurovision. I think it could still struggle, Ireland created staging last year that moved a lot of people, and felt very personal to a lot of viewers, that’s not easy to do with this sort of track, so it could get lost in the shuffle.

Brexit Queen Young and Sweet Only 17
Guest
Brexit Queen Young and Sweet Only 17

hoi

Gerry
Guest
Gerry

If you don’t watch the video and just listen to the words it’s a catchy yet beautiful song!

Gerry
Guest
Gerry

There is so much meaning in the words of this song that I think it will do very well with the Jury! With many countries who have a strong proficiency in the English language in our semi eg UK, Netherlands etc I think we’ll be straight through to the final!
Plus with good staging this will be a top song of the 2019 competition!

xmynameis
Guest
xmynameis

There’s nothing to it, it’s just bland and mediocre. It’s a strong NQ.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

If it was in the 1st semi it may have a chance but the second semi final is looking to be a bit of a blood bath so I dont see us Qualifying this year :'(

WillDoThisLater
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WillDoThisLater

Are you mixing up the finals? 1st is far more competitive.

tom
Guest
tom

thats true, second is once again boring, people in the first semi should be happy that Ukraine is out, they have big chance to make it to the final

Evan
Guest
Evan

It’s cute, but she’s giving me Pearl from RPDR vibes…

Maxim
Guest
Maxim

I understand the comments that the song doesn’t go anywhere and that it needs good staging to be effective. In that regard, it reminds me of Ireland 2018 because that song was cute too and needed a strong staging to elevate it.

It’s not a winner, but it’s cute and it reminds me of Colbie Caillat. I have it on repeat!

aroncido
Guest
aroncido

This is a sort of timeless song, much like Denmark, performed very well.

bastian
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bastian

This is cute! With the right staging this could make it.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Uhmm… I can’t say I don’t like, but neither I like it. It is there, no harm, but I don’t want to listen to it again. It kind of reminds of Denmark’s entry, but it is too middle-of-the-road to appeal the public. Denmark this year goes for a sugary, cheesy song which would appeal that kind of public. Ireland, on the other hand, isn’t sugary, emotional or uplifting enough. Also, and this is a personal appreciation, I find her facial shape and features kind of “agressive” (don’t know what word I should be using tbh haha) for this type of… Read more »

Jake
Guest
Jake

She has a nice unique voice but probably would’ve better suited for an emotional Adele-like ballad or something a little more sultry or atmospheric like Blanche. I’m shocked with all the great Irish songwriters they went with a Dutch team. The beauty of Ryan last year was that he wrote the song so his performance sounded so genuine and fit so well in his voice. Even as people questioned the staging, his beautiful voice and the melody just fit so right. He also has the experience of performing for big crowds which Sarah won’t have that benefit.

james devine
Guest
james devine

what a cool song, wonderful lyrics telling a story and am already singing it- of course if miley cyrus sang this song the opinion here would be amazing, thats how random everyone is on this forum

orla burke
Guest
orla burke

here we go lets slag off the irish entry if you come from eastern europe and have no idea about song lyrics
whats everyone waiting on? the russian entry from a country trying to influence european politics? its a total farce

Peter M
Guest
Peter M

I’m from Ireland too but people have the right to like whichever songs they want to like. I actually think the song is ok but the problem is that it goes nowhere and doesn’t really lift at any stage. Hopefully enough people will vote for it to go through.

orla burke
Guest
orla burke

crap – it will be all about russian tomorrow thats how naive people are

Peter M
Guest
Peter M

That’s because Sergey Lazarev is a huge name in Russia and in Eurovision. The likes of Russia and Sweden are big deals because they have such big budgets and usually send quality entries.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I get your frustration Orla I really do. The fandom can be so hypocritical sometimes. However, if someone isn’t into the song I can get it.
I think the expectation is on Ireland to deliver because we have such a glorious legacy in ESC and the fact that Sweden is biting at our toes to try and take our record, people expect Ireland to bite back now and they just don’t.

Peter M
Guest
Peter M

Fully agree with you there. I’d love to see Ireland send in a song which would be good enough for at least a top 5 finish. I wasn’t really expecting a lot from us this year because of how many idiots wanted us to boycott the contest. I’m sure it made a lot of musicians think twice about submitting a song.

kiki
Guest
kiki

Why Ireland hates Eastern Europe? Is it because after Ireland winning, E-Europe started winning? Ireland will start winning again if will send songs like The Voice.

Peter M
Guest
Peter M

We don’t hate Eastern Europe. There are some people here in Ireland who sulk because we don’t win anymore and like to blame other countries instead of realising that RTE haven’t sent any songs which deserve to win Eurovision.

kiki
Guest
kiki

It’s Sobral curse. Don’t hate me, but after Amar Pelos Dois, we have only sleepy songs. I honestly, and genuinely never thought that Sobral legacy will be so big.

Peter M
Guest
Peter M

Well, that’s diversity for you. I actually loved Amar Pelos Dois. It’s one of my favourite Eurovision songs of all time. I enjoy “sleepy,” mellow, relaxing songs. O Jardim was actually one of my favourites last year

kiki
Guest
kiki

Yes, diversity means also sleeping pill, so I guess I have diversity. Sobral is the worst thing that ever happened to ESC. Awful clown.
comment image

Peter M
Guest
Peter M

Oh, I wasn’t arguing with you. I was just pointing out that some people (including myself), like those kind of songs.

kiki
Guest
kiki

With all due respect for Ireland record, can’t you see that your own country is affected by Sobral’s legacy?

WillDoThisLater
Guest
WillDoThisLater

Orla, I say this as an Irishman, you’re being a bit defensive. If anything, I’m surprised at how positive the response is with the general Eurovision fandom. The song is fine and will hopefully do well with a decent staging and good live vocals but let’s not pretend that the song is a masterpiece.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

just very…..mediocre. there’s no strong melody, vocals or instrumental, but the video is cute and if she re-creates those vibes in her live performance she can do nicely

orla burke
Guest
orla burke

are you deaf?