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Ireland selects Sarah McTernan with '22' for Eurovision 2019

08 March 2019 at 07:00 CET
Irish Eurovision 2019 representative Sarah McTernan RTÉ
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has revealed that Sarah McTernan will represent Ireland at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. She will perform the song '22' which was written by Janieck, Marcia “Misha” Sondeijker and Roulsen.

Speaking about being selected to represent Ireland, Sarah said, “It’s like an early birthday present! My 25th birthday is next Monday and if you’d told me last year that I’d be chosen to represent my country at Eurovision, performing the song for the first time on Dancing with the Stars this Sunday, and then flying to Tel Aviv on my birthday to record a postcard, I would have told you - you were crazy! My Mum, Nana, family and friends are super excited for me – they’re shocked and very proud. I can’t wait to teach my biggest fan – my 2 ½ year old daughter Mia- all the lyrics to '22'!”

Irish Head of Delegation Michael Kealy said, “We received a huge amount of entries for this year thanks in part to Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s great performance in Lisbon last year. Sarah has an amazing voice which stood out the minute I heard it and she fits perfectly with our chosen song '22'. I think the Eurovision audience will love her, now it’s full steam ahead preparing for her performance in Tel Aviv in May.”

Filmed on Dollymount Strand, the video for 22 was directed by Christian Tierney who has worked with artists including Hozier, Niall Horan, The Weeknd, Macklemore, Demi Lovato, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, The 1975 and James Bay. Christian also directed the acclaimed music video for Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s 2018 Eurovision Song Contest entry Together which went on to reach the Grand Final.

In August of 2018, RTÉ held its second annual Eurovision Song Contest Forum and invited key industry professionals, songwriters and performers to come to RTÉ to gain a deeper insight into the present day Contest from international Eurovision experts and key RTÉ decision makers. Over 430 songs were submitted to RTÉ for consideration before the November deadline. Several panels comprising music experts, journalists, Eurovision fans and students from BIMM shortlisted the entries received and ultimately the song 22 was selected as Ireland’s entry.

About Sarah McTernan

Sarah McTernan (born 11 March 1994) is an Irish singer songwriter from Scariff, County Clare. She came third in the series four of The Voice of Ireland in April 2015. At her blind audition she sang Who You Are and all four judges turned their chairs. Her coach and mentor was Rachel Stevens of S Club 7 fame. 

Sarah is an only child and has a 2.5 year old daughter Mia who also loves to sing. After graduating from secondary school in 2011, Sarah took a pre-nursing course in Ennis, County Clare. She then went on to study Music Technology at Limerick Institute of Technology after which she took a break from education and worked in retail. Sarah has also worked as a makeup artist.

In November 2014, after getting through the blind auditions on The Voice of Ireland, without ever doing any gigs, Sarah set up her own band called 'The Jeds'. The band performs at weddings and gig around Clare and Munster. Sarah plays traditional violin, guitar, ukulele, piano and tin whistle.

Last year, Sarah competed to represent San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon. with a song called Eye of the Storm written by Swedish song writers and identical twin sisters Ylva and Linda Perssons.

Ireland at Eurovision

Ireland holds the record for the most Eurovision Song Contest victories, having won seven times. It is also the only country to win Eurovision three times in a row, when Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh and then Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan won the 1992, 1993 and 1994 Contests. Johnny Logan’s victories in 1980 with What’s Another Year and 1987 with Hold Me Now made him the first and only artist to win Eurovision twice. He also wrote Linda Martin’s Why Me, making him a three-time champion. Ireland’s Eurovision fortunes have faded recently, until Ryan O’Shaunghessy qualified from his Semi-Final last year to give Ireland a first appearance in five years at the Grand Final where he finished in 16th place with Together.

Can Sarah McTernan take Ireland to the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest for a second year in a row? Let us know in the comments below!