The eagerly awaited Irish Eurosong 2008 was held in the University Concert Hall in Limerick this evening. The media coverage in the build up to Eurosong had been very widespread, a lot to do with the participation of Dustin the Turkey it must be said. The show was presented by Ray D'Arcy. It began with a reflection back to Ireland's seven previous Eurovision Song Contest winners, and also the not so successful entries of more recent years.
The guest panel, who would give comments on the songs were then introduced. 1970 and 2007 Eurovision Song Contest winners Dana and Marija Šerifović were joined by popular manager and British X Factor judge Louis Walsh.
The six finalists were as follows:
After the six performances, the televoting lines opened and the public had their opportunity to cast their votes. The panel gave their predictions on who would win, Marija said "I think the duck will win!" This was met with hilarity from the audience. Louis Walsh wanted Donal Skehan to win but believed also that Dustin the Turkey would win and Dana controversially said if Dustin won then Ireland had better not go in for the Eurovision Song Contest ever again. Marija Šerifović then performed her Eurovision Song Contest winning song Molitva to close the show. A results programme was then broadcast which confirmed how the public had voted.
No actual numerical votes were announced but the singers were eliminated one by one starting with Marc Roberts, then Maya, Liam Geddes and Donal Skehan. This left Leona Daly and Dustin the Turkey. In a tense moment Dustin was announced the winner. A mixed reception of cheering and booing followed from the audience. Jury members were then invited to comment on the result, Dana said it was a "Foul decision" Louis Walsh admitted that he was not surprised, and Marija suggested he changed his name to the Duck!
Dustin the Turkey is clearly a big hit with the Irish audience, but it remains to be seen how the rest of Europe will react to him and this style of humour.