ESCountdown 2019: #28 – “22” by Sarah McTernan, Ireland

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #28 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Ireland, “22” by Sarah McTernan, written by Janieck van de Polder, Marcia Sondeijker, and Roel Rats. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 2nd on the second semi-final on May 16.

Originally interested in being a nurse, McTernan went on to study music technology at the Limerick Institute of Technology after finishing high school. She entered the blind auditions for season four of The Voice Of Ireland without any previous performing experience; not only was she chosen to be a part of the show that season – all four judges turned their chairs around – she went on to finish in third place and has been in the public eye ever since. She entered a song, “Eye of the Storm” as part of an online vote to be 2018’s Eurovision song for the tiny enclave of San Marino, but it wasn’t chosen. She was quoted at the time as saying, “Obviously you want to represent your own country but this is a massive opportunity, it would be amazing to be part of the Eurovision.”  Well, this year, she’s made it.

McTernan has a lot to live up to – last year’s entry from Ireland, “Together” by Ryan O’Shaughnessey, slowly grew into a huge fan favorite over time thanks to it’s heartrendingly beautiful video, and took the country back to the grand final for the first time since 2013. This year, this little lost love song has more happy memories going on in it, which is a nice change of pace, and I utterly ADORE McTernan’s voice; her smoky, smouldering sound on this song is perfect – she’s got a lot of Adele in her, and a little Amy Winehouse as well, and it pulls together nicely. The performance video is also playful and fun. But there’s so much that’s good this year that she could get lost in the pack.

Ireland is truly the Grand Champion of EuroVision over the years. They first competed in 1965, and have been involved 51 times since. They have won the Grand Final a whopping SEVEN times – with “All Kinds Of Everything” by Dana, 1970;  “What’s Another Year” by Johnny Logan, 1980; “Hold Me Now” by Johnny Logan, 1987; “Why Me?” by Linda Martin, 1992; “In Your Eyes” by Niamh Kavanaugh, 1993; “Rock And Roll Kids” by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, 1994; and “The Voice” by Eimear Quinn, 1996.  They are the only country to win the contest three years in a row, grabbing the championship in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Singer/Songwriter Johnny Logan is the only performer to win the competition twice (he’s actually won three times overall, as he was also the songwriter on Linda Martin‘s “Why Me?” in 1992). However, recently the country has fallen on hard EuroVision times; their best showing thus far in the 21st century was in 2011, when the twins pop act known as Jedward (for the love of all that’s musically holy, WHY????) managed an eighth place finish with their (utterly horrible) song “Lipstick“. Even the aforementioned O’Shaughnessy could only manage 16th place even with the song’s huge fan following….so time will tell if this is Ireland’s year to return to the top ten…

Here’s the official music video…enjoy!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

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Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

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