Molly Sterling will represent Ireland at the Eurovision with her song “Playing with Numbers”:
Molly is a 16-year-old smoky voiced singer who has been competing in talent competitions around Ireland for the past few years. She won the 2011 Tipp Teen Idol, but has hit the big time with her win in Ireland’s Eurosong 2015 show. Eurovision is at its best when it is uncovering young, hungry artists, and Molly fits that mold.
The ace panel of judges on The Late Late Show (Phil Coulter, Linda Martin, Panti Bliss, and Mairead Farrell) all stressed the need for Ireland to both take the competition seriously and focus on sending a great song to Vienna. I think Ireland has done the best with what RTE had offered up.
“Playing with Numbers” reminds me a bit of one of Ireland’s winning entries, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids.” It is a lilting, gentle ballad with wistful, thoughtful lyrics. Molly sings it with composure that belies her age. It is a solid song.
But I wonder if that is going to be enough. A song like “Playing with Numbers” hasn’t won Eurovision since, well, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids.” Moreover, Ireland has drawn the first half of the second Semi, and a similar ballad, Cyprus’ “One Thing I Should Have Done,” is drawn into the second half. I fear that “Playing with Numbers” is going to disappear at the end of the evening when the votes are tallied.