Song Title: “Dying to Try”
Artist: Brendan Murray
Second Semi-Final: Position 10
Last year’s entry: “Sunlight” – Nicky Byrne (DNQ – 15th Place, SF2)
Ireland is far from its glory days in the Eurovision Song Contest. They’re still the winning-est nation with 7 total wins, but they haven’t made the finals since 2013 and they placed dead last that year. They’ve been floundering a bit in their selection strategy – what used to have a vote has gone fully internal, although they seem to be on a bit of a pattern in their choices. Last year they picked a former boy bander (Nicky Byrne of Westlife) who had a mostly pleasant if bland entry, and I’m concerned they’ve done the same this year with Brendan Murray (formerly of Hometown)
Ireland, this is a lovely song but it should be sung by someone other than Brendan Murray. He’s got a lovely, wispy, tenor, but that whole wispiness thing is just wrong, wrong, wrong for this melody/chorus. Either try to convince the EBU that Robbie Williams is actually Irish((and also convince Robbie Williams to be a Eurovision entry rather than an interval act), or convince Johnny Logan that what he needs is a fourth Eurovision trophy, or just drop the melody an octave and find some other crooner to nail this thing. Brendan, you’re a nice kid but this is not going to be the kickoff to your solo career’s big break.
If there’s one saving grace here, it’s that the second semi-final isn’t quite as stacked as the first this year, so this could possibly squeak in if it’s close enough to the bubble. Ireland is performing between Denmark and San Marino, acting as a quick down-tempo moment between some more active songs. This could work in Ireland’s favor if it’s enough of a palate cleanser, but if the show they put on is as straightforward/bland as I suspect it might be, they’re likely to still end up just outside the finals. What’s another year?