Sarah McTernan Ireland Eurovision 2019

It’s time once again for the Wiwi Jury! This year, our in-house panel of music unprofessionals will listen to, rate and review all 41 songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. We starting off in Ireland, where the jury is taking a look at Sarah McTernan and her song “22”. Will 22 be Ireland’s lucky number? Read on to find out!

Sarah McTernan – “22”

“22” reviews

Renske: Girl has come to pop. This is quirky, cheeky and girly. At the first listen, I wasn’t hooked on it, but after listening to all the songs in one afternoon once, this was the one stuck in my head and it has become one of my favourites since then. It’s a fresh breeze from all the male ballads in the competition. Besides, I can totally see what Michael Kealy meant when he said that RTÉ chose Sarah McTernan above all other auditionees because of her charisma, she makes this song!

Score: 8.5/10

Angus: Ireland’s entry is an entirely inoffensive slice of radio-ready pop music. And in some years, that works out well for Ireland: it offers a breath of fresh air and a moment of calm amidst a raging storm of ballads, divas and more. Unfortunately “22” feels a little bit too inoffensive. It is light, breezy and bubbly but it also fails to latch onto the memory receptors in the brain. Sarah has bags of personality, warmth and the voice to get the job done, but it feels like she’s had a hand tied behind her back by a subpar song. Staging may elevate the song, as happened last year, but for now the outlook is not great.

Score: 4/10

Antony: Ireland’s entry presents a sweet and bubbly song that is pleasant to listen to. However, there is not much within the music that is gripping enough for it to be memorable. The strongest asset to this song is Sarah’s charisma, which cuts through. I am interested to see whether the staging at the contest, together with the charisma could elevate the song.

Score: 5/10

Chris: “22” is lovely, bubblegum pop music. Unfortunately, “lovely” and “bubblegum” aren’t phrases that tend to result in “spot in the grand final”. Whilst it’s really easy to like “22” and Sarah in particular, it’s hard to see anyone really loving this track. It’s a textbook example of settling for being someone’s 4th or 5th favourite song — which, at least with televoters, is unlikely to be enough to carry Ireland to the final.

Score: 6/10

Florian: What I appreciate about this act is the fact that Ireland goes down the singer-songwriter road. While it might not be quite enough to stand out, the song itself is nothing to be ashamed about by any means. Is it enough, however, to bring Ireland back to its glory days? Probably not, however good staging could once again work in their favour.

Score: 5.5/10

Josh: This is a feel-good pop ballad that attempts to pull your heart strings. It makes you feel nostalgic remembering your first heartbreak. We’ve all been there, and then we second-guess everything we said and did, and we wish we could turn back time and relive fond memories. We relate to the story Sarah is telling, and it’s believable – however, the song never evolves beyond the feel-good cuteness it starts with. A song needs more than just a certain cute factor to really stand out and make a splash.

Score: 6/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 29 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Anthony: 6/10

Antranig: 7.5/10

Barnabas: 8/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

Calvin: 8/10

Deban: 6/10

Essi: 7/10

Izhar: 5/10

Jack: 3/10

Jonathan: 6/10

Julian: 4.5/10

Kristin: 4/10

Lucy: 8/10

Luis: 7/10

Lukas: 5.5/10

Mikhail: 6.5/10

Oliver: 4.5/10

Pablo: 5/10

Robyn: 6.5/10

Ron: 5/10

Sebastian: 5/10

Tobias: 4/10

William: 6.5/10

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 8.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.83/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2019 reviews and rankings

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brunowskii
Guest
brunowskii

I’ve been reading slices of nonsense reviews… lol

Miss saHHara
Guest

NO NO NO NO! Amazing talented artist with incredible voice….. But the song? HELL NO!

Another 3 from me! BRING JEDWARD BACK! I had to go listen to Lipstick by Jedward to cleanse me of the boredom I saw above! LOL

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

I said this before in a video but this is the song you listen to at 5pm on the way home. Unfortunately this is just not Eurovision competitive and I feel the Eurovision stage is not the appropriate place to showcase this song.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Ryan Shaughnessy qualified last year because he and his team were able to sell the performance on stage much better than they did in the music video. Sarah’s song and video do not sound or look like something she can sell on stage. Given my first evaluation of all 41 entries, I don’t see any chance of her qualifying, unless they can come up with something incredibly surprising for the stage.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

#IRL With Ireland I wasn’t that on board at first listen although I enjoyed the raw poppy sound “22” since the beginning. The thing is, the song grew on me despite Sarah not being the best performer by miles or at least her potential is not shown in the song. Yeah, it does take a while but eventually I really warmed up to the Irish entry. It’s the opposite situation of the one with Serbia, the song saves the total package although it might not be enough to qualify. Maybe I like it because I was really into pop-rock (emphasis… Read more »

MarioVision
Guest
MarioVision

Here we go with the country that has won the Eurovision the most times, a record of 7! 🙂
Will we see Ireland claiming its 8th victory this year? I do NOT think so at all… 🙁

~ My review
Good enough song but nothing outstanding…
It doesn’t stand out among the other songs…
Its just there.Not the worst or bad
but not the best or great either…
Just a generic mediocre song if you ask me…
I seriously doubt if Ireland will qualify from the SF…
I wouldn’t bet my money on IRE’s qualification to be honest…
My grade : 5/10

\niamh
Guest
\niamh

it no worse than any of other songs to be honest. this song tells a story- now how many of the other songs do this?
count them out….
a story that actually make sense..
lyrics melody and a story make a song. .. or something like last years clucking if thats what eurovision has turned into – ? until portugal sorted it again…

Joe
Guest
Joe

“Inoffensive” is really the operative word here. So is “charming.” Neither alone are enough to qualify a song, but I’d like to see this one slip through the cracks. It’s just so cute and cheerful, and it makes me smile every time I hear it. No, it’s nothing spectacular, but it’s a refreshing kind of sound for Eurovision. Her voice is light and breezy, and the chorus is easy to remember. It’s not particularly competitive, which isn’t great for Eurovision, but I’m happy to have it around. It’s stayed in my top ten pretty consistently through charm alone. I want… Read more »

Lena
Guest
Lena

Well, If you had problems with getting over your ex at least once in your life you will understand the song ! its 8/10 for me

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Ireland did understated last year and it worked. This one…I skip when it comes on. I’d like to say something bad about it but there’s not much to say, really. It’s just *there* for me.

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

I think it can do very well if its staging sells the song well and the juries give this song a chance. Same way they did for Germany’s ByeAlex in 2013.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Hungary*’s ByeAlex.

Kris
Guest
Kris

I like the song tbh , and it’s got a good vibe and good vocals. A 7.5/10 for me. Being in semi 2 where diaspora will decide the lower qualifiers , 1.5 point deducted for lack of it and 2 deducted for pathetic running order, giving it a 40% shot at qualifying.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

underrated af. had this been an anne-marie song (n it sounds like it) it’d be a 2002-sized payola hit. also one of the rare songs in this contest that sound like they’re from 2019….. the producers are trash for burying it in 2nd place in the runnin order smh

Niya
Guest
Niya

“Every time I’m with somebody I’m confusing them with you”
I can’t stop singing this song. When I first heard it I didn’t think much about it and didn’t care for it. However, it’s grown on me. It may be a simple “bubblegum-pop” song, but it’s well made and I find myself listening to this over songs like Arcade, Soldi or She got me.
Well done Ireland.

Colin
Guest
Colin

And here we… GO! 🙂 IRELAND – Often described as likable, but inoffensive, Ireland provides us with a pleasant background tune with little immediate impact. Sarah’s voice is sweet and the song brings some retro vibe and a bit of nostalgia with it. It can briefly remind us of some moment in our past, but it doesn’t really stick afterwards. It’s both a bit uplifting and a bit melancholic to tingle for a moment, yet not enough of either to fully immerse in it. It’s nice and breezy, but not really something that will make a splash. – 5/10 My… Read more »

L’oiseau
Guest
L’oiseau

Could not agree more! Looking forward for your reviews!

Colin
Guest
Colin

Thank you. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Phary
Guest
Phary

This is quite a nice song. The bass line works great as the first thing you hear and as an underlying theme through the song (it gives it continuity and coherence without feeling too repetitive). The lyrics are also quite okay and Sarah’s voice is probably my favourite thing about this entry, I love the soulful tone she has. But the song, while well-written and cute, isn’t outstanding in any way, it’s extremely “safe” and beside the laid-back vibe, it doesn’t leave me any particular impression…
I think I’d give it a 6,5/10 but I’m not used to rating songs 🙂

Stevie
Guest
Stevie

Very underatted its a great song

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Sarah’s voice is one of my favorites in the contest, but the song doesn’t seem competitive. And I say it as someone that really likes listening to it. But let’s face it, this entry is particularly average. Its subject is pretty common, the structure is traditional, the hook is not catchy and there isn’t a single moment when the performer can shine with vocal tricks. So, Ireland will rely again on good staging. What we know so far is that the performance in DWTS was a collective of all the things they shall not repeat in Tel Aviv. 5.5/10

Colin
Guest
Colin

So cool to be doing this again! I am looking forward to your reviews, Sabrina. 🙂 Always a delight. I will post mine tomorrow morning, because I still have a tiny uncertainty and the experience has shown that I have more clarity in the morning. Still, I have to say that my review is pretty close to yours.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Thank you, Colin, you’re very kind. 🙂 Since I’ll be busy the next few weeks, I already wrote most of my reviews, but I haven’t attributed them grades yet. I hope Robyn hold the few I haven’t written yet until the end of the month! 😛 I guess almost everybody has a similar opinion about Ireland’s entry. The funny thing is that even between those who share our views about it there are differences about its ratings and positions. It landed in the early 30s in my ranking. Which shows that I’m satisfied with the lineup pf the contest.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

I feel this has all been done in a hurry, it’s a cute song but it doesn’t suit the singer, and the video looks very cheap. Maybe the rumours about a big name going for Ireland were true, but the big name cancelled at the last minute and they had to come up with an alternative.

Ioa Ioa
Guest
Ioa Ioa

that makes sense

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

It’s a nice song, but it doesn’t really stand out, especially being 2nd to perform
6.5/10

Leo
Guest
Leo

Against all the odds, Sarah will eventually prove everybody wrong!

Ani
Guest

like ryan did last year!

Leo M
Guest
Leo M

It took a few listens for me to like my country’s selection but now I’m a bit bored of it. It is a cute song but there are so much stronger songs this year. I like that RTÉ tried something different but I did expect better after reaching the final last year. I’ve seen a couple of live performances and she hasn’t been great but I do like her charisma. Staging will make or break all songs but for now, I can’t see Ireland qualifiing

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I really enjoy this song, but it’s not competitive at all. I just can’t see it do well in the contest, even though if the staging will be really good. But I like the song and it’s cool to have in the contest. But I kind of hoped Ireland would’ve come even stronger after last year’s success.

I’ll give it a 6,5/10

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I agree with you 100%.

Other than that this song has grown on me a lot.

Ron
Guest
Ron

It depends what you mean by “competitive”. Are Macedonia, Belarus, Israel, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, San Marino, Austria etc competitive? You could argue that half the entries in a given year are not competitive (ie. little chance of a top 5 finish). I’m not sure why ’22’ is being singled out in reviews for this word…….you could apply it to a whole load of this year’s songs.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Yeah , only 15 songs this year are competitive . 6 are entirely non-competitive. 5 meh ones are in the grand final already . 15 others are fighting for filler spots in the Grand final.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Last years entry was a disaster pushed into the final by fenomenal staging. They might get it just right this year, but I doubt it. Other than this having close to no chance in the super strong semi- final 2, I absolutely love this for it’s laid-back vibe served by Sarah’s amazing vocals. However this isn’t even in my qualifier lost in SF 2 which shows how strong that semi is, and spot 02 is really not going to help it.
8/10

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Why a disaster? I loved the song. I do believe the staging helped but it was a great song.

Una
Guest
Una

I agree.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

For me it was a disaster in every sence of the word, it was really boring to me.

Niya
Guest
Niya

Oh I agree with you Whisker. I’ve been watching ESC for 20 years now, ever since I was a little kid really, and it’s rare for me to get goosebumps yet Ireland last year managed to give me just that. It was quite a simple song, not too outstanding, but there was something magical and genuine about it. A well deserved qualifier in my opinion.

Peters
Guest
Peters

A meh song. The only hope is to come up with a creative staging.

Ron
Guest
Ron

I totally get that people say the song is not ‘competitive’ and not a stand out but you could make that point about half the entries every year. There’s plenty of room for variety in the Contest and not every song is going all out for the win. I could easily imagine it in the final, providing the staging is good and we already know Sarah is a charismatic performer. It’s definitely not a no hoper.

Rimig
Guest
Rimig

As many people has already pointed out. This isn’t a bad song. The problem is that it isn’t a good song either. “22” is pleasant to listen to with its mellow retro-vibe and Sarah’s voice fits it very well, but the song is totally unpretentious and quite flat. Still, it has been growing on me since the first time I listened to it and it turned out to become number 16 on my personal list. However, I am afraid that Ireland’s chances of qualifying is rather low.

16. Ireland (6.5/10)

Pabs
Guest
Pabs

12 points from your family Uk

aroncido
Guest
aroncido

Eh, it’s not the best or most original song I’ve ever heard, but it’s quite pleasant and does not reek of sweat. I hope for the best.

Aline van Rossem
Member

Although Ireland is not high in my ranking this year, I do enjoy listening 22. I would never skip it if it comes on my Spotify. I met Sarah last Saturday and she was so sweet!
I give Ireland 6,5/10!

Darren
Guest
Darren

It’s nice to see Ireland try something different. However, in true Irish Eurovision style…it just lacks something to push it over the line. Ireland actually does send great songs…but in a competitive field, they always just lack something to give it some power. I thought we worked it out with our staging last year, which added extra power to a great song, but I think we are back to the same again this year. I like “22” and I want it to qualify, however I feel it will be more Kasey Smith rather than Ryan O’Seachnassy. I want it to… Read more »

Rom
Guest

Cute song but it is not really my cup of tea. I wish they would do well but theyre also in the death slot. Wish them the best but not my cup of tea in the long run.

Karen Austin
Guest

I like this song. I play it on Spotify every day. It’s not in my Top 10, but I’m hoping it qualifies.

Una
Guest
Una

Not a fan at first at all but now I like it and found myself singing it in my head a few times a day these last days.

Cory
Guest
Cory

She’s in my top 10 but i doubt she’ll qualify. However, I love the song: such a lighthearted, cute song. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Atari 2600
Guest
Atari 2600

Just get 2 lesbian dancers on stage dressed as 22s and Ireland will be the 2nd favourite before the final!

Ani
Guest

This song is insanely catchy! Hopefully they stage it well. I feel the juries will put it top 10 but the televote might kill it 🙁 Shame cause it was great to see Ireland back in the final last year but I wish them the best and hope she makes it!

Una
Guest
Una

I feel it has more chances with the televote rather than the juries.

Ani
Guest

I think the opposite

Herr Frau
Guest
Herr Frau

This song is going nowhere at Eurovision.

So forgettable
3.5/10

brexit
Guest
brexit

looking forward to angela merkel though singing the eu song for germany though

Darren
Guest
Darren

Angus likes the song….but rates it a 4/10. Okayyyyyy

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

“22” starts promising, I like the bass guitar and Sarah McTernan’s voice, but as soon as the beat kicks in, it loses me, also the synth highlights in the chorus do nothing for me. But it’s nonetheless a light, breezy summer tune, I’m gladly listening to, although nothing compared to the emotion that Ryan O’Shaughnessy conveyed last year. For me personally, “22” is a borderline qualifier, but to be honest I don’t think, it will be enough for the final, yet you never know, in semi 2 almost everything seems conceivable. And the song has risen in my appreciation over… Read more »

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

I really hope this qualifies

Ani
Guest

Same

impressiveinstants
Guest
impressiveinstants

Along with Moldova and Latvia, the most forgettable song this year.

Ioa Ioa
Guest
Ioa Ioa

Lithuania is more forgettable than these too. Actually Latvia has chances

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

I’d give this a 6.5/10. It’s a nice song to have on in the background, but it misses the ‘wow’ factor.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

YEEEAAHHH! Finally the reviews… OK. Ireland is exactly in the middle of my top and this is what this song is for me: a middle of the road pop song. It is pleasant enough to make it to my playlist this year and has a nice retro-vibe to it, which I like. On the negative side, I find the chorus a bit too repetitive and flat. Unfortunately, it seems to lack impact to qualify imo, unless a combination of great charisma and staging can bring it to another level. Good luck Ireland. 5/10

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Pretty woman with pretty hair is what I take from the music video. With audio only, I would not even have noticed that there was a song playing for three minutes.

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Decent score and accurate comments! Thanks Team Wiwi, fingers crossed for a decent result in Tel Aviv!

Peyton
Guest
Peyton

I know I’m in the minority when I say this but I absolutely love this song for some reason. It’s lyrics are super cute, the beat is infectious, and Sarah sells it fantastically. This is probably one of my favorite Irish entries this decade, and while I don’t have high hopes for this qualifying, I am quite enjoying the path Ireland is currently going down in Eurovision (despite none of their songs being winning potential). This is my 4th favorite this year 🙂 I wish Sarah and Ireland all the best this year!!

Alasdair Macrae
Guest
Alasdair Macrae

Feel like I agree with everyone, inoffensive, middle of the road pop song that will just get forgotten, was only a 6.5 for me, maybe ranked too highly but it’s a nice song that really will have to rely on the juries