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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 February 2008, 01:36 GMT
Fowl Eurovision entry for Ireland
Dustin the Turkey
Eclectic musical and sartorial styles made Dustin a strong contender

Eurovision Song Contest feathers may be ruffled by Ireland's decision to be represented in May's cross-continental competition by a puppet bird.

Dustin The Turkey was plucked from a raft of six finalists, winning a televised vote on Saturday night.

The cult figure's gobbled rendition of Irelande Douze Pointe - a parody of the Eurovision voting system - secured his place at the top of the pecking order.

Dustin now aims to restore Irish pride battered by recent Eurovision failures.

But while Dustin beat off national opposition in broadcaster RTE's Eurosong on Saturday, he now faces a pressure cooker environment at May's Eurovision, where he will have to fight off competition from all over Europe.

Dustin time

Although it faced strong opposition from the likes of Dubliner Leona Daly's Not Crazy After All and 17-year-old Liam Geddes's Sometimes, Irelande Douze Points won over the viewers, who voted by phone and text in the competition.

Leona Daly, left, congratulates Dustin the Turkey, 23 February 2008
Fellow finalist Leona Daly was gracious in defeat in Limerick

Composed by Darren Smith and Simon Fine, the tune draws strongly on the campness of the Eurovision contest, which has become notorious in recent years for its tactical geopolitical voting.

"Shake your feathers and pop your beak, shake it to the west and to the east," crooned Dustin in Limerick's University Concert Hall.

"Wave Euro-hands and Euro-feet, wave them in the air to the turkey beat."

Dustin will now go on to perform in Eurovision's first semi-final in the Serbian capital Belgrade on 20 May and, if successful, will be aiming for the golden egg of glory in the final four days later.

Douze points?

But it won't be Dustin's first shot at the big time.

A turkey vulture with a thick north Dublin twang, he became a star of national broadcaster RTE's The Den in 1990 alongside fellow television puppet stars Zig and Zag.

Dustin the Turkey
Dustin the Turkey is aiming for Eurovision victory

Dustin's career took off and he was eventually given his own programme, Dustin's Daily News.

He has a keen interest in politics and despite never officially standing, his name has appeared on ballot papers in the Republic of Ireland as a protest vote in elections.

But he has always had a talent for warbling, having already released 14 singles and six albums.

His last album - Bling When You're Minging - was released in 2005 and featured a duet with Chris De Burgh.

Ireland has had a poor Eurovision run in recent years, despite having won the contest a record seven times.

The country's 2007 entry, Dervish, came last.

Dustin will be hoping to change all that in Belgrade.

Eurovision entry may be a turkey
07 Feb 08 |  Northern Ireland

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