Ireland’s Eurovision 2019 entry was not intended for a female singer, says Head of Delegation.
Speaking to Liffey Sound FM, Ireland’s Head of Delegation Michael Kealy has revealed that “22” was not originally written for Sarah McTernan. The demo of the Irish entry featured male vocals, and so the selection panel and Michael himself thought that the song would be best suited for a male singer. However, once RTÉ heard Sarah’s version of the song, they reconsidered their options and went on to select her for the contest.
Michael also expressed that he is confident of Ireland’s chances at the contest this year:
“We had a strong semi-final last year and everyone said we wouldn’t qualify, everyone said we would struggle to qualify…and we qualified comfortably. I am not writing our chances off by any means and I think she has a very, very strong chance to qualify.”
“A lot of those songs are very similar. A lot of them have a big ballad-y kind of song. Ours is different — ours will stand out for being different. There are also a lot of male vocals going on there. We don’t. We have a female vocal. That will differentiate us as well.”
Who is Sarah McTernan?
Sarah McTernan is best known for participating in The Voice of Ireland in 2015. She made it through the Blind Auditions stage and was selected to be part of Rachel Stevens’ team. She then made it all the way through to the Live Shows before going on to finish third in the final.
In 2018 Sarah was one of a number of singers who applied to represent San Marino at Eurovision. She did not make it through to the latter stages of the contest having been knocked out in the online vote.
Ireland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965 and is currently the most successful country to have participated in the contest, winning a total of seven times. During the 1990’s Ireland was a powerhouse in the contest becoming the first country to win three years in a row from 1992 to 1994. Since 2000 Ireland has struggled in the contest having qualified from the semi-final into the final just six out of a possible 13 times. Ireland’s last top 10 result came in 2011 when Jedward finished 8th in Dusseldorf.