The controversy over Ireland’s Eurovision entry has taken another twist
The debacle that was the Eurosong contest in Father Ted has nothing on this.
A member of the official Norwegian jury for this year's Eurovision Song Contest has been replaced after slamming Ireland’s entry before the competition has even started.
Speaking on Adresse Kiev, Norway’s official countdown show to the Eurovision, Per Sundnes, former head of the Norway delegation at the Eurovision Song Contest and a member of the Norwegian jury for this year’s competition, said that Ireland have "lost it completely" when it comes to the Eurovision.
In a segment where they rank all the songs at this year's Eurovision, he awarded Ireland's entry, 'Dying to Try' by Brendan Murray, the lowest rank of one point. Ireland was the only country to receive such a low rating.
Clip via Eurovision Song Contest
Apart from Sundnes’ comments not boding well for Ireland getting any points from Norway come the second semi-final on Thursday night, concerns were understandably raised about an official jury member so publicly dismissing the prospects of an entrant before the competition and the effect it might have on other jury members.
The issue was raised with the organisers of the event, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), by the head of the Irish delegation, Michael Kealy and having sent an email to the EBU about it, Kealy received the following statement in response from the EBU on Monday evening.
“Per Sundnes, who was part of the Norwegian jury, has been replaced with Erland Bakke due to a breach in Juror rules.”
Commenting on the EBU decision, Kealy said: “I'm glad that the EBU have reacted swiftly to this situation and that all jury members are impartial. It's only fair that each song in the Eurovision Song Contest is judged on its individual merits on the night.”
Whether the controversy has any effect on how Brendan's performance is judged on Thursday night remains to be seen, but far worse songs than his have curried favour with those on high in the past...
Clip via RTÉ Player International