Every year I tell myself that I am not going to watch the Eurovision this year as it is tacky and crass. However every year a voice enters my head which says “What’s another year?”. What follows is compelling viewing in that you are never sure what is going to happen next and of course you want to ensure that the Irish contestant “does Ireland proud”.
The Eurovision usually has some very interesting stories, where contestants, often faced with adversity in life, show huge perseverance to go on and win the contest. Ireland is no exception is this regard.
In Ireland, we have Johnny Logan, who first won the Eurovision for Ireland in 1980 with the song “What’s Another Year?”. However, Johnny’s success was short-lived and his original success was not capitalised on due to a major mix-up, with two singles being released at the same time, radio stations played neither as this caused huge confusion. With the momentum of the Eurovision well gone by 1983, Johnny showed huge perseverance by releasing a new song “Becoming Electric”, which unfortunately was unsuccessful. This didn’t dissuade Johnny Logan, who released another single in 1986 titled “Stab in the Back”. However, this was also a huge disappointment in the charts. In the meantime, Johnny, had lost his house, was living in student accommodation and had developed a drink problem.
After seven years in the wilderness, Logan was back competing in the Eurovision song contest of 1987 with the song “Hold me now”. And guess what, he won. His Eurovision success didn’t stop here.
In 1992 Johnny Logan penned a song for Linda Martin titled “Why Me?”, which also went on to win the contest. This made Johnny Logan the most successful artist in Eurovision history, to this day.
Logan is now at the peak of his career, who is hugely successful in Norway and Germany. In fact, Logan knocked Coldplay off their number one spot in the Norwegian charts last years and remained at number one for a full six weeks.
The Johnny Logan Eurovision story is truly inspirational. From success to failure to re-invention and more success over a career spanning four decades, Logan is testament to the power of perseverance, even when faced with extreme adversity. With that said, best of luck to Brendan Murray, who will be representing Ireland in Kiev this year. Be sure to do us proud!