Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ireland at Eurovision 2005

Some would argue that Ireland's entry was dodgy. A simple young inexperienced brother/sister act who look very raw Irish kids-next-door stereotype. Joe with his natural red hair and pale skin and Donna looking like money was needed to be spent on her teeth long before this type of public display! Sometimes we are too close to ourselves to realize that it is often our unique features that makes us liked abroad. They were a confident pair, proud and with a sense of fun. Although many other acts looked very visually perfect - it is always possible for something quirky and different to surprise and do well. Maybe this is what Eurovision should be about. The ABBA act in 1974 had some of the features of a Donna and Joe type rise - they were natural talents - and the ABBA girls' teeth were no better that Donna's!

The problem is the public voting mechanism which has been introduced in the recent past and the neighbourhood voting pattern. To break through this emotional voting trap you need a very exceptional song and a very professional act - and even this is no guarantee. The ironic thing is that after last year's disaster we said we would try to select a very professional polished act for this year - but we are ourselves the victims of a public voting selection in our own country. Donna and Joe could do well if voted for by a balanced jury system in each country - it was a catchy song and they put it over well, they had a quirky appeal. However it was never designed for a European public voting system.

We need to immediately go back to a very professional jury selection system for our national choice of performance and need to influence Eurovision to also go back to a jury system. I doubt if the latter will happen though - the public voting system generates revenue to pay for the exercise and gets more people involved in watching TV. So going back to the taxpayer or TV network funding could be a difficult process - given the complexities of Europe. However, if we don't go in this direction the whole contest may rapidly decline in interest and credibility.

Anyway - Donna and Joe deserve our support and praise - they did their best by the rules we in Ireland and Europe presented them with. It's the rules which need to change.

No comments: