ESC 2017 Review: Ireland – 20 Year Old Sings Age Appropriate Song

Completing the set of sub 21 year boys in Eurovision it’s Ireland. I don’t know if Ireland knows if it even wants to win anymore but at least this years song is the polar opposite of their song last year.

These are my own PERSONAL rankings of what I think of 2017’s Eurovision songs but I’m also going to make some bold predictions about the eventual fate of the song. These will probably be very wrong for a variety of reasons including I have no idea what almost half the artists sound like live or what type of staging and song changes could be made. There’s plenty of songs that have been let down by their staging (2016 Spain for example) so in the end they’re just guesses in the dark.

Country: Ireland
Artist: Brendan Murray
Song Title: Dying to Try
My Ranking: 28th (out of 43)
Semi Final: 2nd Semi
Final placement prediction: NQ

For modern viewers, I think it would really surprise people to find out that Ireland is the most winning-est Eurovision country of them all. They are the only country to win three times in a row even. The language rule change doomed them but the 90s was the decade of Ireland. Riverdance even once preformed at Eurovision as the interval act so great was their cultural power and influence! Their last win came and went in 1996 and since then they dropped from 2nd place the next year to a string of last place entries and failure to qualifies over the last decade. Ireland seems to be stuck sometimes in their winning glory and like the UK, I don’t know if they want to win. The entries they send are more confusing than actual entries. Their most recent claim to fame is in 2008 when they sent turkey puppet singing “Irelande Douze Pointe” which promptly didn’t qualifying and then later sending JEDWARD – twice. Last year they sent a washed up ex-boy band member (sorry, not sorry) whose glory days were well behind him and it was honestly difficult to listen to the terrible song and his over strained voice singing it. It earned them an easy let down NQ but this year maybe a touch of hope?

Brendan Murray is the baby faced hope for this year. Murray, who is actually 20, is also an ex-boyband member. This time of one I have never heard of because it’s no longer the 90s and boy bands are not really a thing for the most part. He was a member of Hometown, a very local Irish boy band that had mild success but only in their…home town. He hasn’t released any other singles and because Ireland has internal selection he just seemed to pop up out of nowhere because of that. However, this is probably one of the better internal selections Ireland has made since Jedward (who are only currently 25 and could go to Eurovision again at any moment). Brendan has a very clear singing voice and if he can preform live at the level he preforms on the track then he has an actually good chance of qualifying for Ireland.

The song itself is a pretty standard love ballad and it doesn’t color outside the lines enough for anyone to care much about it. The interesting part of this ballad is that it is well matched both in lyrical content AND meaning to a 20 year old. It’s just a sweet song about starting a new relationship and trying to make things work in it. There aren’t any creepy mismatches between content and singer and while this may be lost on the larger audience I actually found this song really refreshing. There is not a lot to say about the song itself because it’s so colored by the numbers but I think it could easily work on stage. It is of note at how many and how long the falsetto notes are in this song and how exceptionally difficult it is to hit them live and that’ll be, I think, the make or break with this entry.

The staging for this is going to need an extra element but they could pair him with dancers or graphics. They’ve got a good hook and some imagery that could work like a bridge or heart or flying – I do love me some cheesy flying on stage. I can’t even remember what Ireland’s stage looked like last year so I’m hoping they invest a little money in to this song since it has a much better chance. The best part about the song is that not only can Brendan belt notes but there’s plenty of places in the song where he could take the vocal performance up another step and really wow the judges.

While I have this listed as I think it was will NQ because there’s so many ballads and I worry the staging will let him down and I don’t know about how solid his live vocals are, I hope maybe there will be a surprise and even an Irelande Douze Pointe in his future.

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