Sarah McTernan Ireland Eurovision 2019

Sarah McTernan will represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with her song “22”. It’s a light summery track about past love with 1960s influences.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ chose Sarah through an internal selection process, which the network hopes will secure another qualification for the country after Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s breakthrough in 2018. The song received its live debut during a Eurovision-themed episode of Dancing With The Stars Ireland.

Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day — Ireland’s national holiday —  we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Sarah McTernan. Déanaimis é seo — let’s do this!

1. She’s a talent show alum

As with so many Eurovision acts this century — including winners Alexander Rybak, Loreen, Måns Zelmerlöw and Salvador Sobral — Sarah is a TV talent show graduate. In 2015, she auditioned for The Voice of Ireland with Jessie J’s “Who You Are”, convincing all four coaches to turn their chairs. The panel featured Una Healy from The Saturdays and Westlife’s Kian Egan, but Sarah opted to go with S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens. It proved to be a canny move, and Sarah made it all the way to the final. She finished third behind Emma Humber and Patrick Donoghue.

2. She’s tried to represent Ireland before

Writing on Facebook in November 2017, Sarah confirmed that she had recorded a song to submit for Ireland “two years ago”. It’s unclear whether she was referring to 2015 — the last time RTÉ opted for a televised national final, which included Alex Saint’s “She’s So Fine” — or 2016 — when Nicky Byrne was internally selected with “Sunlight”. Regardless, the Ylva and Linda Persson penned “Eye Of The Storm” was passed over by organisers. The song later fell into the hands of Iceland’s Karlotta Sigurðardóttir, securing her a third place finish in Söngvakeppnin 2016. Afterwards, Sarah returned to the song and released it as a single herself.

She also unsuccessfully tried to represent her country in 2018.

3. She wanted to be the next Valentina Monetta

Determined to make it to Eurovision, Sarah soon set her sights further afield. When San Marino issued a worldwide call for artists in late 2017, she was among the hundreds to answer. She auditioned online with “Eye Of The Storm”, but didn’t gain enough public or jury support to reach the live shows. Ultimately, the 1in360 process was won by the Maltese-German duo of Jessika featuring Jenifer Brening (aka Jenny B).

4. She submitted a different song to RTÉ

The Irish broadcaster received more than 430 submissions for Eurovision 2019. One of the songs was “22” and one of the performers was Sarah, but they weren’t a ready-made package. Once again, she had entered with a Ylva and Linda track which failed to win over the powers that be. Nonetheless, Sarah’s “distinctive voice” grabbed their attention and she was paired with “22”.

5. Her path to success was foretold

Sarah recounts a visit with a psychic from several years ago:

He said, “You’ll get a little bit of a spike of fame and you’re career singing wise [from the TV show] but when you’re 23/24 it’s going to be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. I see a massive stage, I see Eurovision.'”

The Voice hadn’t even happened and I was like, “What is he talking about?”

He also said that she would have a daughter. Since then, all three predictions/guesses have come to pass. Albeit, he was slightly off with the last one. Sarah turned 25 three days after she was announced as Ireland’s representative… close enough!

View this post on Instagram

What a cake! ?? ?? Ireland's Eurovision entry Sarah McTernan is in Tel Aviv for her postcard shoot. She flew over to Israel on Monday after her performance on Dancing with the Stars Ireland on Sunday night. ? If you follow her on Insta (@sar_ious) you'll see some of her adventures so far. RTE can't reveal too much about the postcard but she's in a desert location in Kibbutz Eliot. ? It was her birthday on Monday and she was presented with a stunning Eurovision cake – photo attached. All the kids in the kibbutz brought out the cake and sang happy birthday to her. ?? Sarah bumped into Georgian entry Oto Nemsadze in the hotel yesterday and chatted about their songs and excitement around the upcoming contest. ?: RTE #eurovisionsongcontest #Eurovision #eurovision2019 #esc2019 #daretodream #pressrelease

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

6. She was a viral sensation

In summer 2018, Sarah and daughter Mia went viral on Irish social media. It all happened when mummy sat down to record a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” with baby Mia perched on her lap. Watch as the little girl’s jaw literally drops when her mother belts out the big notes.

7. She’s a prolific wedding singer

After her The Voice stint, Sarah set up a band called The Jeds. They performed at weddings and gigs in Co. Clare and the wider Munster region. She’s since joined a new group called Pulse.

8. She’s a multi-talented musician

Sarah is more than just a singer and can play no fewer than five instruments — traditional violin, guitar, ukulele, piano and tin whistle. She’s also dabbled with songwriting. The first track she ever wrote was called “Forever” and was dedicated to her late grandfather.

Sarah McTernan – Forever now (Original song)

Seeing as its Thursday, here is a major Throwback. This is Sarah singing the first song she wrote as well as the music. 'Forever Now' is a song written by Sarah about her late Granddad, John, who she undoubtedly admired so much and who also had a massive impact in her life. From my understandings, it was only for her mother Sinéad who eventually persuaded Sarah into letting her record her singing it, as I believe it was Sinéad's birthday around the time and it was something her mam really wanted her to do. This was taken over three years ago, as the then shy, bright red-headed Sarah, gave us all the goosebumps with this song. We can ignore the quality and to just appreciate the music, vocals and lyrics. -Tasha. #TBT #ThrowbackThursday #OriginalSong #Music #Musician #SarahMcTernan #Singer

Posted by Sarah McTernan on Thursday, September 10, 2015

9. She’s had a varied career

Upon finishing school in 2011, Sarah took up a pre-nursing course. Next, she went on to study Music Technology at Limerick Institute of Technology. She parked the books while competing on The Voice and took up a part-time job at Penneys, the Irish arm of Primark.

She has also worked as a makeup artist.

10. She was a budding Rose

If there’s one event Irish people “love to hate” even more than Eurovision, it’s the Rose of Tralee. The annual beauty pageant takes place every August and sees women from across Ireland and the Irish diaspora compete to be crowned the fairest in the land. It’s embedded in the nation’s pop culture, regularly attracting half a million viewers and was famously parodied in the sitcom Father Ted. Last year, Sarah took part in the competition’s preliminary stages. She attempted to represent her native Co. Clare, but lost out to Clara Burke.

What a day Clare Rose of Tralee Centre? massive congratulations to Clara Burke for becoming the 2018 Clare Rose! So…

Posted by Sarah McTernan on Saturday, April 28, 2018

Can Sarah McTernan maintain Ireland’s quantification streak for another year? Could “22” even be victory number eight for the Emerald Isle? Let us know in the comments.

Read more Eurovision 2019 facts here.

 

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Michèle
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Michèle

Primark is actually the UK arm of Penneys – it’s an irish company!

Denis
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Denis

Last year you all thought Ireland wouldn’t make it through semifinal. And look what happened!
Give it some time…

James
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James

I like her song. It’s radio friendly and current but not the kind of pop song you often hear in Eurovision. I have low expectations but I’ll forever remain hopefuly for Ireland like I did with their entrylast year. 🙂

James
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James

*hopeful

Angi
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Angi

Worst song of the year. I’m sorry.

ESCelebrate19
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ESCelebrate19

It definitely is not the worse song of the year. It may not be to your taste but you are a bit over dramatic ? It’s not an offensive song!

INAMOO
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INAMOO

I hope she qualifies. I watched her live video where she performed this song for the first time and she needs some improvement.

Olivia Mac Arthur
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Olivia Mac Arthur

I love this song! One of the few happy bops this year in a sea of overdramatic sad ballads. Staging will be important however, as it really is with every song. I’ll never say that a song has no chance of making the final or is a a definite qualifier because, as I have learned from the last few years, nobody can predict what will come off better live on stage or who the casual viewer may vote for. It seems like a lot of people are forgetting how last years Irish act for example, was guaranteed by many to… Read more »

Conor K
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Conor K

No matter the result she’s already done us proud! Lovely and extremely talented girl 🙂

Ern
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Ern

I think the Irish song this year is really good.

Henry
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Henry

Can the Ylva and Linda women just take a break of producing such cheap tracks for upcoming artists? They are everywhere but always fail.

Ron
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Ron

For sure, but they haven’t written ’22’, that’s by three Dutch composers. The article merely says they tried to enter a song into the Irish NF and with Sarah as the singer

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Nice article from Padraig, well done.
In summary: she’s good. 😀

Ron
Guest
Ron

Nice article Padraig. There were a few things in there I hadn’t even heard about Sarah.

I believe she entered a song into the Irish NF by the Swedish duo and ’22’ was entered with a different singer. It seems RTE weren’t happy with the 22 singer but liked Sarah’s voice on the other song and matched up the two.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I like her song, it’s nice and pleasant, but it needs some kind of umph in it to kick it over the line. We won’t do as well as Ryan last year, to be honest and it hurts me to say this, but I think we are back to our NQ ways. Sarah seems nice and she CAN sing, which in ESC is a bonus 😀 ….but I think she hasn’t had enough experience for an ESC stage or audience. RTE should have went down the more well known/experienced performer. I wish Ireland well though and I will eat my… Read more »

Una
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Una

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Ireland is in my top 10 in SF2. Ryan was a good performer but his song was not only good and well delivered by him and the girl at the piano, sorry I don’t know her name. That Irish entry had an outstanding staging. That one will be very hard to match by any country, not only Ireland this year. But you know that the only sure thing is Sweden and Australia qualifying, luckily this year from different semis!

Darren
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Darren

Shona Lá Cheilé Padraig to you too Una 🙂

Ani
Guest

it’s getting a revamp apparently

Olivia Mac Arthur
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Olivia Mac Arthur

Where did you hear that?

Darren
Guest
Darren

A revamp could work although is it not too late?

Also, where did you hear that?

Whisker
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Whisker

I love it when they don’t just sing but also play several! musical instruments.

Lol
Guest
Lol

Like the Irish. Don’t like the song. So sorry.

Una
Guest
Una

I didn’t like it at the beginning and now it’s in my top 5 SF2. Give it a try and a bit of time.

Darren
Guest
Darren

The average voter will only hear it once before they gotta vote though.
This will be down to staging, and from what I hear RTE are going with a ‘simple’ staging, similar to Molly Sterling, and we all know how the staging killed that entry….
I’m not optimistic.

HarpyDarper
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HarpyDarper

Nice list. I was wondering, is Sarah of traveller descent? I may have read that somewhere. Also, is she doing many appearances on the promotional circuit before the contest? I think she has potential but may benefit from honing her act a little

Ron
Guest
Ron

Hopefully. Both Brendan Murray and Ryan did the entire concert circuit pre-ESC and with any luck we might see Sarah as well.

Atari 2600
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Atari 2600

This won’t be troubling the final by a longshot.

Olivia Mac Arthur
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Olivia Mac Arthur

How many people said that about Ireland last year and were completely wrong. Nearly everyone in the Eurovision circle it seemed. You never know until the actual show and the live stage show so I would suggest waiting until then to make any definite claims about the voting habits of everyone who watches the show,

ESCelebrate19
Guest
ESCelebrate19

Lovely girl and lovely song. Most people seem to really like the song but the question to be asked is of the song will stand out in a competitive SF2? The staging will make or break this song.

Kirby Romford
Guest
Kirby Romford

Her voice is deep and beautiful and she is georgeous and charming artist, the song is nice but with Sarah’s talent they could give her better material