Ireland hope to float above the ‘Waterline’.

Last night, Ireland held their national final and the winner was, rather predictably, Jedward with the song Waterline. I thought Donna MacCaul might provide an upset with Mercy, but it was the complete lack of presentation that stifled her chances. Surprisingly though, the voting was a bit of a race but in the end, Jedward charmed both the televoters and the regional juries into giving them the top score so they are off to represent the Emerald Isle for the second consective year, the first act ever to do so in the history of the country’s participation.

Ireland 2012: Waterline performed by Jedward

Honestly, its not as punchy as Lipstick and exposes their rather weak vocals. However, the song is extremely catchy and is great in its studio version. It sounds like a cross between early noughties punk rock act Busted and Westlife’s When You’re Looking Like That with a touch of Disney charm. It marks a progression in Jedward’s sound and I think its great that they decided not to play it safe by sending a ‘Lipstick Part 2′. How will it do in Baku? Well, if they make like 2011 and polish their performance, work on the more demanding vocal delivery that Waterline requires and change out of those awful bee-like costumes, I think Ireland can do some business.

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Irish hopes have been ignited.

It would appear that RTÉ has devised a new and interesting selection method for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. The broadcaster has selected five music industry professionals who will then develop and mentor a song entry each. These songs will then be performed live on a Eurosong special on the Late Late Show with the winner being selected by a mix of public televote and regional juries, who will then go on to represent Ireland in Düsseldorf. The mentors have been listed below:

Caroline Downey-Desmond – Director MCD & Event Producer
Ronan Hardiman – Composer (Lord of the Dance)
David Hayes – Musical Director & Arranger (Tommy Fleming & Riverdance)
Willie Kavanagh – Chairman, EMI Music Ireland
Liam Lawton – Composer & Performer

Overall, I’m quite impressed. Both with the selection method and the list of mentors. No doubt they will create some interesting acts. I’m particularly intrigued as to what Ronan Hardiman, David Hayes and Willie Kavanagh will come up with. Lord of the Dance, Riverdance and EMI Music are some of the prolific forces in the Irish music scene so I think we will be in for a real treat.

Has RTÉ finally come to their senses and give Ireland a fighting chance at Eurovision all these years? It’s too early to tell, but at the moment, it looks promising. Really promising.