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