Last year, there was a lovely Twitter thread about being Irish:
And I thought of this thread when I was watching the Late Late Show’s Eurosong, a National Final that was half delusional optimism and half confidence-destroying shade.
I mean, where to start with this train wreck of a show – which, to be clear, was the most entertaining National Final this year? (I’m not even going to mention the Public Image Limited performance, because that was like 15th on the list of ridiculous things to happen this evening.)
Maybe it was host Ryan Tubridy insisting there was a clear Eurovision winner and then having all the acts perform in a venue where the sound and lighting people seem to have gone on strike?
Maybe it was green room host Marty Whelan, who, after watching the pitchy, dance-heavy performance by Algy, complimenting him on his beautiful speaking voice?
Maybe it was the fact that sponsor Meridian Peanut Butter got some of the biggest applause of the night, with the host enthusiastically touting its benefits?
My favourite performance, and one that encapsulates the weird way that Ireland made their national final seem like a deeply, deeply local affair, was by K Muni and ND. They brought a lovely Afroswing sound to the stage, demonstrating the diversity that exists in modern Ireland, and then it got staged like this:
Yes, those are very literal dancers in yellow slickers with 5 euro umbrellas from Penneys.
Even the interval had this tension. The Late Late Show brought Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh out at the end of a performance of Eurovision songs – meaning one line from a bunch of recognisable hits – performed by a bunch of up and coming musicians that we never learn the names of. Keep your eye out for the shot where the camera operator pans…across the other camera operator.
The whole thing was deeply, deeply unserious. And while I found this to be great craic, I feel liek we also have to ask Ireland – do you even care about Eurovision any more? I mean, it’s okay to say no! Not every country does! But if you’re interested in Eurovision, you kind of have to put a little bit more effort into it. It’s not something that Ryan Tubridy can manifest just by speaking it into the world!