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       IRELAND      

Song : "Irelande Douze Points"
Performer : Dustin the Turkey
Music & lyrics :
Darren Smith, Simon Fine & Dustin the Turkey

Running Order : #11 in the first semi-final 

Audio file
Preview video
Live Performance

THIS YEAR'S ENTRY

While historically Ireland is Eurovision's most successful country , with a record seven victories in the contest, recent results have been generally disappointing. It's now over a decade since Ireland last claimed victory and only one Irish entry since 2001 has finished in the Top 10. 2007 produced Ireland's worst ever result, when Dervish and "They Can't Stop The Spring" finished last in Helsinki. 

Following last year's result, RTÉ decided to bring in a panel of experts to review Ireland's selection process. In the end, a "back to the future" approach was chosen, with a multi-artist national final being used for the first time since 2001.  

Before the artists were officially announced this website broke the news of the participation of one of Ireland's best known characters - Dustin The Turkey, a puppet act that has been a regular feature of Irish children's television for almost twenty years. Once the names of the six artists were announced, all media attention focussed on Dustin. The story of how Eurovision's most successful country could be represented by a puppet act soon began to gain media attention far beyond Ireland.

Dustin's participation caused a large amount on controversy as several of the other acts in the Irish selection felt that with a public televote choosing the winner, that the competition was already decided in Dustin's favour. Bookmakers installed Dustin's song "Irelande Douze Points" as the odds on favourite, despite the fact that non one outside the selection panel had heard the entry.

Consequently it came as no surprise when Dustin the Turkey was chosen to represent Ireland in Eurosong 2008 staged in Limerick on February 23rd. Within a few days of the selection, Ireland was installed as the bookmakers favourite to win Eurovision, despite the fact that many countries had still to choose their entries. More recent betting odds have seen Dustin lose the favourite's position, but the Irish entry still remains among the top five most backed entries for Belgrade.

Dustin the Turkey is a top class popstar, builder, politician and Irish TV personality.He has been a star since the 1990’s when he joined RTÉ’s children’s television programme The Den with fellow furry friends Zig and Zag. He currently presents The Once A Week Show with Sinéad Ní Churnáin on Saturday mornings on RTÉ Two television.

A multi-talented Turkey, Dustin has enjoyed considerable chart success in Ireland and has released six albums and twelve singles. He’s had numerous number ones and has sung with Bob Geldof, Chris De Burgh, Boyzone and Irish Showband legend Joe Dolan to name but a few and has had Irish sales in excess of 25 times platinum.

Not one to rest on his feathers, Dustin has also dabbled in the political arena and has run mock campaigns for a number of Irish presidential elections as a representative of ‘Fianna Fowl’ and also of the 'Poultry Party'. Although he has never been an official candidate, in the 1997 Irish presidential election hundreds of voters spoiled their votes by writing Dustin's name on their ballot papers. Dustin is now keen to expand his political activities throughout Europe and says he is currently engaged in talks with many major European political parties in relation to launching a bid for the presidency of the EU. Commenting on these ambitions Dustin said: "As my good friend Dana has already been an MEP, there’s now a tradition of Irish birds from Eurovision ending up in Brussels – so yes I can declare that a vote for Ireland in this year’s Eurovision is in fact a vote for a greater Europe as it will without question catapult me to my rightful place as President Of Europe."

Dustin believes there is a direct link between the recent downturn in Ireland’s economy and Ireland’s poor showing in the Eurovision Song Contest over the last number of years.He returned to the recording studio in an effort to restore his nation’s position as the High Kings of the Eurovision Song Contest. He says it’s a selfless act based on his desire to help his country; "The truth is that over the last decade Ireland has had another famine, only this time it’s not the potatoes that died but our rich and glorious tradition of Eurovision Song Contest hits. So, as ever, the onus of restoring our nation to greatness has fallen on my wings."Dustin hopes the people of Europe will unite to the turkey beat of Irelande Douze Pointe.

Dustin will be joined by Kathleen Burke and former "You're A Star" contestant Anne Harrington (niece of 1994 Eurovision winner Paul Harrington) to perform "Irelande Douze Points". The songwriters behind this year's Irish entry are Darren Smith, Simon Fine and Dustin The Turkey who have previously collaborated on “Crazy Turkey” from Dustin’s bestselling album “Bling When Your Minging”. Darren is well known to Irish television as one of the judges on the first season of "You're A Star". Both Darren and Simon have long careers in the music industry, but both are newcomers to Eurovision.

While the Irish entry has always been one of the bookmakers favourites, reaction on fan polls has been a lot less encouraging and many Eurovision fans both in Ireland and abroad are hostile to an entry that attempts to poke fun at the contest.

 

SAMPLE LYRICS

Shake your feathers and bop your beak
Shake 'em to the west and to the east
Wave Euro hands and Euro feet
Wave 'em in the air to the turkey beat

 

BROADCASTER

RATINGS

Bookmakers

Eurovision history

Runnning order
Fan Poll
Webmaster

LAUNCH PAD

  1. Dustin's Eurovision website
  2. Irish television website
  3. The song's lyrics (from Diggiloo.net)
  4. Information on Ireland's selection

 

IRELAND AT EUROVISION

First entry: 1965 
Number of previous entries: 41
Best result: Seven times winners (1970,80,87,92,93,94,96)  
Worst result: Last (2007), failed to qualify (2005) 

TEN YEAR FORM GUIDE

 

WEBMASTER REVIEW

If this entry came from any other country, I would be pretty scathing about it, so it the interests of balance I should tell it as I see it. Generally I don't like novelty entries, although I did warm to Lithuania in 2006 and Ukraine in 2007 due to the live performance. For the most part I don't find this song funny and the live performance in Limerick was a complete mess visually. Unless it comes across better on stage in Belgrade, I can see Ireland going the way of Israel in 2007, gaining a lot of pre-contest publicity, but failing to qualify due to a lack of appeal on scren. For me the only good things that have come from this entry are the fact that people in Ireland are talking about Eurovision once again and that in Belgrade, the Irish entry will be one of the biggest stories, generating a lot of attention.  
    

REVIEWS

"Given that it is now a performance contest rather than a song contest, is the only excuse for sending this turkey. An exceptional performance might see this act do well, but otherwise this half baked stuffed turkey will burn at the bottom." - David Berlinger (Israel)

"I think I should keep my beak firmly shut about this one, other than to say that I hate Eurovision mickey-takes (sorry, but I’m a purist!) and it takes the opportunities away from singers and songwriters who really want to do their country proud. I’m willing to let the Irish get it out of their system, but normal service will be resumed next year, and I hope on the quiet that the turkey is roasted in Belgrade!" - John Withers (U.K.)

"Oh no my dear Ireland, What have you done now?! You as one of my favorite countries in Eurovision and a country that almost always sends quality, now send a worthless turkey to Eurovision! That's terrible! That turkey could not sing and the 'song' is pure crap! The only thing I want to do with that turkey is to kill and eat him so that we don't have to see him in Belgrade. Sorry Ireland, but no place in the final for you this year!" - Nicky Peeters (Belgium)

"For the second year running we send a turkey to Eurovision, where DID it all go wrong?" - Ian Carson  (Ireland)

"Well, well some fans waited for a different sound from Ireland and they got....a Turkey! To be honest, I don't think it is that funny and the lyrics are more or less about the presumed eastern " block vote ", not sure if that's the right topic for a Eurovision entry. Musically some early 90s Eurotrash sound, kinda Bobo like, with some screaming and shouting by the Turkey. A hyped entry but I am not sure whether all of Europe get's the joke - if it is meant as such. Will be remembered but in a good or bad way ?" - Paul Hutter (Germany)      

"Oh lighten up everybody! Yes, it sounds mad and yes, it’s a puppet but any song that can get away with singing about Wogan’s wig gets my vote. And let’s face it – it’s miles better than Dervish!" - David Bridgman (UK)

"Now this is the sort of piss-take I love. First off, it's as much dissing our performances of the last several years as it is (gently) poking the Contest itself on the nose. But it's a real song, well produced and well performed. Should qualify: staged really well could actually win. And if it doesn't, Dustin and Kitty B were still the best choice from the Irish final."- John Egan (Canada)

"This was not my favorite, I think that this is Eurotrash, but this is way better than Verka Serduchka. This was a great national final and I saw this song’s victory coming. I think that this is a good novelty act, so I am going for a high mark." - Atmantas (Greece)

"Well, well, well, Dustin the bloody Turkey and his song "Irlande douze points" (I certainly hope not)! I really hope this plummets in the first Semi-Final so it wont get a chance to embarrass Ireland and Eurovision! No doubt if it gets to the Final and "douze points" is in the bag from the UK!" - Sam (Russia/South Africa)

"In realtion to Dustin, Europe is going to look at Ireland in one of the following three ways: 1) Ha! a puppet singing at Eurovision - I'm voting for that! 2)Sigh! The Irish have become very cynical about this contest. I'm not going to vote for these sore losers. 3) What's going on here? Personally I believe Europe will mostly be thinking the last of these and Ireland will bomb. I do think Dustin is normally great and he played a significant part in moulding my childhood but this entry looks and sounds like a load of excrement." - Brendan Meskell (Ireland)