It’s been a while since ThisIsPopBaby revealed themselves as Ireland’s Eurovision 2020 staging masterminds and dropped a whole bunch of clues as to who the Irish act might be. But fans have taken the few hints we’ve been given and run with them. And after a whole lot of speculation, two names seem to be on everybody’s lips — Lesley Roy and ELM.
Ireland at Eurovision 2020 — Rumours
Hidden away inside Thursday’s edition of The Irish Daily Mirror was a short article declaring Ireland’s Eurovision 2020 act to be Lesley Roy. The tabloid claims that the singer-songwriter will debut her entry on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show on 6 March. Apparently, she’s written a “pop banger”. This would tie in with one of Creative Director Philly McMahon’s previous hints — that the Irish entry is “an almighty bop”.
While she has worked with the likes of Max Martin in the past, Roy is a virtual unknown in Ireland. She enjoyed modest success in 2008 with “Unbeautiful” in the US and parts of Europe. Since then she has largely focussed on songwriting.
Hence, fans are speculating that the newspaper may have gotten its wires crossed and Roy may be the songwriter rather than the performer.
It’s not unheard of for newspapers to get it wrong. In 2019, the Daily Mail proudly announced that Janet Devlin would sing for Ireland, only for RTÉ to unveil Sarah McTernan mere days later.
Step forward ELM — a four-piece band from Dublin. They perhaps fit better with the other clues we’ve been given. Firstly, they are part of the 2FM Rising initiative for up-and-coming Irish music acts. When opening submissions, RTÉ explicitly said that it would work in conjunction with the scheme.
Additionally, the group is unabashedly LGBTQ+. Their Facebook bio lists the band members as follows:
- Dylan (vox // twink)
- Gary (cello // cub)
- Ca (drums // trans)
- Aidan (synth // queer)
Finally, on 16 February, McMahon tweeted an image of four pairs of feet captioned “First #Eurovision rehearsal was a blast. I have such a good feeling about this!”.
ELM have eight legs between them, whereas Lesley only has two.
— Philly McMahon (@McMahonPhilly) February 16, 2020
One spanner in the theory is that ELM are due to perform in the UK on 2 May. This date would clash with Eurovision rehearsals.
Also, ELM’s social media activity has split opinion. The quartet have been enthusiastically engaging with Eurovision fans on Twitter, liking and retweeting several tweets on the topic.
As a rule of thumb, if an act is teasing a big announcement or even Eurovision itself, they’re not actually going to the contest. Broadcasters generally have very strict rules about what acts can and can’t reveal online.
However, Ryan O’Shaughnessy is a notable exception to this notion. Ahead of his confirmation as the Irish representative for 2018, he made a post on Instagram which promised big news.
RTÉ has yet to make any official confirmation.
What do you think? Could either of these acts represent Ireland at Eurovision 2020? Are they working together? Let us know in the comments.