Jedward and Eurovision – a Match Made in Hell (Again)

Posted: January 14, 2011 in music, Random Musings
Tags: , , , , , ,

OK, chill. It’s just on the table, it isn’t a done deal. I was sure their 15 minutes would be up on the last night of the panto, but their appearance late last year on Brendan O’Connor’s Saturday show proved them to be as jaw-droppingly surreal as “Father Ted” characters, and suggested that there is still some entertainment value to be had.

OK, but Eurovision? I realize that Ireland has been clueless for years about this song contest, ever since the pitch shifted after our triumvirate of conquests in the mid 90s. You can’t just stand up and sing your song anymore, as I’m sure Brian Kennedy can tell you. You need a big production number that would never work in any other context. You need visual stimulation as well as aural. You need scantily clad women dancing around a disembodied hand emerging from a piano as bare-chested Rank film extras beat giant drums with flashing flight terminal signs around and, just for good measure, demons with guitars. I’m not saying it’s right, but it is what it is. Add to that the number of Eastern European countries that have split like amoeba and are now voting for their former single-cell mates, and we are left scratching our heads over what to do about it, as we have been for well over a decade.

We tried to do it straight (with a pleasant, non-competitive song), we tried to do it pop (with a generic up-beat pop song). We tried to do it trad (without even waiting to see whether we would be putting forward a trad song). We even tried a dusty old turkey (with whatever the hell that was).

Is it just me, or is there a pattern here? Mix and match, pick the gimmick first then throw some inoffensive music at it that was chosen by committee, which in recent times usually consists of the entire population, or at least the ones who watch the Late Late. Now this year, instead of putting up one turkey who can’t sing, we are considering sending two. Have we learned nothing?

It’s a hard thing to have to admit, in a country where everyone has at least one song in them, but it’s time to bring in the professionals. We should let them write and/or choose a song, choose the performer, choreograph it, and road manage it. The extent of our input should be hiring said professionals then staying out of it to let them do their job. That’s what the competition is doing, and the result for us would certainly be no worse than it has been lately.

Or maybe we should just pack it in.


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