Donal Skehan, Cecelia Ahern, and 10 songs Ireland didn’t send to Eurovision

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ll be all to aware that the 58th Annual Eurovision Song Contest is finally upon us (See our guide right here for more info). From Dustin to Ryan Dolan, Johnny Logan to Linda Martin, and of course, Dana, we’ve sent many an act to do battle in Europe over the past few decades, but what about the ones that didn’t make it?


Yes, as the clock ticks ever closer to show time in Malmo, we want to pay tribute to some of the songs that didn’t even make it out of the country, failing to do the business in Eurosong, You’re A Star, or the long forgotten National Song Contest. What we wouldn’t give to hear Pat Kenny say “Song D” just one more time…

1. A Better Plan – Simon Casey (2003)
The Gareth Gates of You’re A Star, Simon looked set to trump Mickey Joe HartE all the way back in 2003, but he just couldn’t best ‘Go Go Mickey Joe’. The track came courtesy of ex-Westlife star Brian ‘with a y that changed back to an i’ McFadden, which isn’t surprising considering the chorus and bridge blatantly rip off Westlife’s My Love and Swear It All Over Again respectively. As for Simon, he’s still going rather strong on the national and international scene, apparently.

2. Does Heaven Need Much More? – Leanne Moore (2010)
Always the Eurovision bridesmaid, never the bride, You’re A Star winner Leanne has been to the song contest 3 times as a backing singer since Niamh Kavanagh’s last huzzah denied her the chance to fly the flag herself. The funniest thing is, this tune was actually co-written by John Waters, the man who basically gave us Dervish and a whole load of political rants. Oh John, we’re loving that you managed to squeeze Jehovah in there…

3. When You Are Near – Shimma (2000)
P.S you’re only shockin… If you look closely, you’ll spot chick-lit mogul Cecelia Ahern shimmying along and generally being drowned out by the wan screaming the lyrics out. Maybe if they’d let the then Taoiseach’s daughter have a go she’d have done a better job… Anyway, this is where Eurovision dreams go to die.

4. Losing You – James Kilbane (2004)
So, remember when Chris Doran’s world very definitely stopped turning on the Eurovision scene back in 2004? Well, this is the lad we could have sent instead. I always did think James had a bit of the Charlie Sheen about him but he was, in fact, more like wee Daniel O’Donnell than anyone else. Perhaps that’s why we elected not to send him to Europe…

5. Bon Bon Carr – Doona (1999)
He’s singing a song about a Bon Bon Carr that comes from Tír na nÓg. As Gaeilge! With some hilarious backing singers to boot. Sure who doesn’t love grá, ceol agus rock’n’roll? Bon Bon Carr for Eurovision 2014. He’s got enough girls in the ‘carr’ to tear it up anyway…

6. Go Raibh Maith Agat – Sheeba (1982)
While we’re on the subject of the bit of Gaeilge creepin in, here’s Sheeba, the girlos who came 5th for Ireland in 1981. This time around they lost out to one Linda Martin for a place in Malmo. Bet that made them get to thinkin why me…

7. Every Kiss Is A Lie – InFocus (2001)
InFocus were supposed to be the next big thing since Boyzone and Westlife: Sure didn’t they do an arena tour with STEPS and everything? Sadly, neither the Eurovision dream, nor any other dream came true for ’em, and they disappeared before we could even remember they existed. We’re blaming it on the lack of stools. Sure they had a god-awful key change and everything…

8. Double Cross My Heart – Donal Skeehan (2008)
There’s not that much evidence of Eurosong 2008 still floating about online, for reasons which may become rather clear in just a second. Y’see Kitchen Hero Donal Skeehan gave it a go, and he wasn’t that bad (albeit a little out of tune when he performed it live), but he lost out to, well, Dustin. Yeah, we’d want to forget about that one too… Donal had a cracking dance routine to boot, but we can’t find it anywhere *sob* Back to making burgers and Swedish delicacies it is…

9. Falling – Nikki Kavanagh (2011)
There was quite the bit of uproar after Ms Kavanagh lost out to Jedward on The Late Late Show in 2011. She had a cracking tune, a cracking voice and a cracking look about her, but the tween texters dashed her hopes at the final hurdle. Lipstick went on to finish quite strongly at the Song Contest in Germany and the scandal was forgotten, but we still think Falling would have been a good’un…

10. Baby Nothing’s Wrong – Mikey Graham (2010)
*cough* Eh, sorry Mikey, but pretty much everything about this one was wrong for Eurovision in our eyes. The former Boyzone star did manage to finish second to Niamh Kavanagh though…

Catch the Eurovision Song Contest tonight from 8pm on RTE One and BBC One.


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