After a week of speculation and half-hearted denials, the Irish have finally confessed that they are actually sending Westlife alumnus Nicky Byrne to Eurovision. Initially you're pleased at this news. The motherland are sending an established, experienced act, and we won't all have to sit through the parochial purgatory that is The Late Late Show's Eurosong special for at least another year.
But then you remember that the boy Byrne only sang something like nine minutes of lead lines of their entire multi-platinum career, and the concern starts to grow. The song itself is kind of OK, of course. It's been fine tuned by many of the old Westlife team, who've delivered a pacy-for-Westlife modern European pop song that sounds like they think the Swedes would write a tune. So far, so fifteenth place in the final.
But the words need a little close attention. Lines like "Touch who you wanna, kiss who you gotta" all sound a bit Cologne station steps on New Years Eve, and seem to be there only because they scan rather than there being any developed thought behind them. And of course you just know that it's going to be smothered into the Stockholm soil with back projections of giant Celtic knots and the usual diddly-di nonsense unless someone at RTÈ or Westlife's record company takes serious charge of the production.
So the jury is out on this one at this point. While I'm enjoying the workings in the margins, the product of the final calculation doesn't quite work out. It remains to be seen if his past life cache will have any influence on his eventual placing, but I have fears that this won't work out as well as expected, and we'll be stuck with Uncle Ryan and his Late Late Horror Show for the next twelve years again after it crashes and burns. *Shudder*