Ireland is struggling with the qualification for the Grand Finals for a couple of years. Therefore the Irish broadcaster RTE has given up the national final in recent years. But the internal selections did make a difference, beside of one exception in 2018.
This year it should have been Lesley Roy who should carry the Irish colours to Rotterdam. As we all know that this year’s ESC has been omitted. At this stage it’s not clear if Lesley will get another chance in 2021.
Lesley was born in Dublin in 1986 and grew up in Balbriggan close to the capital. Lesley’s mother is a singer so that’s probably the reason for her to step into her footsteps. In the age of seven she learned to play the guitar, with 15 she recorded her first demos. Lesley was mostly inspired by Motown, Fleetwood Mac and Sheryl Crow. Her music style can be mostly found in alternative rock and pop rock. In 2008 she release her debut album “Unbeautiful” and is mainly concentrated on song writing for singers like Adam Lambert, Miss Montreal, Medina, Jana Kramer, Marlee Scott and Deorro. She also wrote an album with Max Martin in Sweden and performing at Coachella with Deorro.
She moved to New York, by now Lesley lives in the USA and Ireland and would like to express her feelings in her Eurovision Song. Her aim was to bring something uptempo and triumphant to show a “modern Ireland”, the song “The Story Of My Life” exactly states that:
“I don't care, what they say, And who are they, anyway, The story of my life, It's Mine, I made it on my own, that's right”
The video clip has something crazy and the “na na na na na na” appears a bit contrary in what she normally does. Despite of the freshness “The Story Of My Life” is not touching really and will easily be forgotten and would also had its difficulties to qualify for the Grand Final.
Finals: 45 (8 since 2004)
Top 10: 31
Chances for Top 10: 57%
Chances for Final: 47%
For Ireland it would have been the 54th time participating in the Eurovision Song Contest, but the ESC 2020 has been cancelled. Ireland is still the most successful country in the ESC with seven victories, closely followed by Sweden with 6 victories. Additionally, Ireland still has the record of three successive victories 1992, 1993 and 1994 and then another time in 1996. These 1990’s were the golden years of Ireland in the ESC history.
Unfortunately, the jaunty times of the top positions and victories is over. This is due to several reasons e.g. the language rule was tilt in 1999, so from that year every participating country was able to sing in English or a language of preference. The unique advantage of the English speaking countries has gone, also the UK entries did not shape up that well anymore. Furthermore the general interest has decreased dramatically thanks to the launch of the Semi Finals in 2004. Now Ireland has to go through the qualification process every year. And that’s where Ireland struggles. Maybe it’s a lack of good songs or the competition has become harder. Many people believe that the bad luck is also due to the opening to the Eastern European countries.
In the track record there is of course Johnny Logan, who could win two times as a singer with “What's Another Year” in 1980 and “Hold Me Now” in 1987. He could also win another time as a composer of “Why Me” sung by Linda Martin in 1992.
The chances for Ireland to be in the Top10 are still relatively high with 57%. Ireland and the music from Ireland is mostly connect with ethnic music and ballads. There were several attempts over the years to bring modern pop music. Best example here is Jedward who could bring new spirit into the contest with “Lipstick” in 2011 (8th place) and “Waterline” in 2012 (19th place). In the recent years Ireland was mostly unsuccessful and did not pass the Semi Finals five times in a row. Last year Sarah Mc Ternan could not convince the juries and public to vote for “22”, she came even last in the Semi Final.
7x 1st place “All Kinds Of Everything” | Dana (Amsterdam 1970) “What's Another Year” |Johnny Logan (The Hague 1980) “Hold Me Now” | Johnny Logan (Brussels 1987) “Why Me” |Linda Martin (Malmö 1992) “In Your Eyes” | Niamh Kavanagh (Millstreet 1993) “Rock 'n' Roll Kids” |Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan (Dublin 1994) “The Voice” |Eimear Quinn (Oslo 1996)
4x 2nd place “If I Could Choose” |Sean Dunphy (Vienna 1967) “Terminal '3'” |Linda Martin (Luxembourg 1984) “Somewhere In Europe” |Liam Reilly (Zagreb 1990) “Mysterious Woman” |Marc Roberts (Dublin 1997)
1x 3rd place “It's Nice To Be In Love Again” |The Swarbriggs Plus Two (London 1977)