Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Boyzone star Mikey Graham in Eurovision glory bid

Conor Spackman
BBC News

Boyzone
Mikey Graham (second from left) shot to fame with Boyzone

It is less than a month before Irish television viewers make their mind up and select their entry for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest.

For a country which has such a distinguished history in the competition, it is perhaps no surprise to find such a stellar field getting ready to take their place at the microphones and face their Waterloo on 5 March.

Bidding for glory is Boyzone singer Mikey Graham, who co-wrote his track 'Baby, Nothing's Wrong' with Scott Newman and Yann O'Brien.

Graham, who shot to fame with the Louis Walsh-managed boyband in the 1990s, will be no stranger to subjecting himself to the public vote, having successfully made it through several rounds of Celebrity Dancing on Ice on ITV.

Despite his fame, he faces a tough task in the final sing-off with one other contestant boasting the ultimate Eurovision pedigree.

Niamh Kavanagh won for the Emerald Isle in 1993 with 'In Your Eyes' the mid-point of the record-breaking Irish run of five wins in ten years.

Not content with the endless congratulations she still receives for her achievement, Niamh is back for another go with 'It's For You'.

International

Evidence of the truly international nature of the competition is the participation of Monik Ivkic, who is known as Monice and was a runner-up in Germany's version of American Idol. She will sing 'Fashion Queen'.

Johnny Logan
Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest twice for Ireland

Another familiar name, particularly to Irish newspaper readers, is journalist and columnist John Waters.

He will not be singing with the other rock and roll kids but has co-penned an entry for Leanne Moore called 'Does Heaven Need Much More?'.

It was a case of 'Why Me?' for Waters three years ago after his previous Eurovision entry "They Can't Stop the Spring" finished last with five points.

And while he has previously described his Eurovision experience in negative terms, he has also told the Irish Times: "One can't be imprisoned by one's fast emotions".

Making up the field is last year's Eurosong finalist, Lee Bradshaw, who will sing 'River of Silence'.

Eurovision aficionados have described this year's Irish entry as strong with all kinds of everything for everyone.

It is part of the country's attempt to rebuild its Eurovision credibility following the dismally-received 2008 novelty entry by puppet Dustin the Turkey, who failed to qualify from his semi-final with the inappropriately named 'Irlande - Douze Points'.

Whoever wins they will have a hard job to get out of the shadow of Ireland's undisputed Eurovision champion, Johnny Logan, who won twice, first in 1981.

Or was it 1980? Ah well, what's another year?



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