Wild Youth has been selected as the Irish Eurovision 2023 entry, after a tightly contested race in The Late Late Show’s Eurosong national selection.
The band saw off bookies favourite CONNOLLY to win the competition by two points, with 34 points against CONNOLLY’s 32 points.
Longford’s K Muni & ND came third with 20 points, with controversial figure John Lydon’s Public Image Limited coming fourth.
Donegal-born ADGY came fifth with 16 points, with Leila Jane coming in last place with the lowest possible score of 6 points – two points from each of the public vote, and the national and international juries.
Following the win, band member Conor O’Donoghue said he “hopes everyone gets behind the song”.
“We have been around for a while and we wanted to take a risk. Everyone who performed tonight has a great future ahead of them.”
It was a close competition up until the very last votes, when Wild Youth and CONNOLLY both had 22 points following the results of the national and international juries.
The public swung for Wild Youth, as a result crowning them Ireland’s hopefuls for the main Contest, which takes place in Liverpool in May.
It was confirmed days before in Liverpool that the Irish act would perform in the first half of the first semi-final, which takes place on Tuesday 9th May.
It will be a tough battle for Ireland to make it into the Grand Final – 15 countries, including Ireland, will compete in the first semi-final, where only 10 will qualify to the big show on Saturday 13th May.
Ireland has been slotted in alongside Norway, Sweden and Finland – all of which have strong televoting links to each other.
Ireland also has lost any possibility of getting votes from it’s neighbours and hosts, the UK, and also Australia – as they vote in the second semi-final.
The closest neighbours to us that could potentially vote for us are France, however they historically do not vote for us much as their mainland European neighbours.
Separately, this weekend, seven more countries chose their acts in a chaotic Saturday night – a now yearly tradition for Eurovision fans called Super Saturday.
Among the countries who chose their act was Croatia, who picked the band Let 3 with their song ‘Mama ŠČ’ – which has drawn attention for its staging, costumes, performance and political lyrics.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), who organise the Contest, aim for the music competition to be a “non-political event”, in order for the Contest not to be “brought into disrepute”.
Some lyrics refer to a “tractor”, which is being seen as a hint as a gift Russian President Vladimir Putin received from Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko for his 70th birthday last year.
Other lyrics include “Mama, mama… I’m going to war”, which hints at a potential anti-war sentiment.
While the debate on political lyrics looms, more of an emphasis has been drawn on the staging and costumes on the night for the act.
In the performance, a band are wearing military costumes, and near the end of the performance, one band member rips away their costume to reveal nude.
They also show off two large missiles near the end of the performance.
The band won by a substantial amount – gaining 279 points from a mix of a national jury and a public vote – while the second place act earned only 155 points.
The EBU only confirmed the act would represent Croatia on Monday, two days after the band had won the Croatian national selection “Dora”.
Italy also hosted their marathon five-day, four-hour per day national music festival “Sanremo”, where 28 acts performed their potential entries, while also dueting with well-known Italian artists.
Depeche Mode and Black Eyed Peas also featured during the festival.
The music marathon culminated in Marco Mengoni winning with the song ‘Due Vite’. Mengoni previously represented Italy in Eurovision in 2013, finishing seventh in Malmo, Sweden.
Mengoni has not ruled out possibly changing his song in the run up to the Contest in May. The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in May – the semi finals taking place on the 9thand 11th, with the Grand Final taking place on the 13th.
Image Credit: Instagram / @bandwildyouth