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  • Writer's pictureHayley Bessell

Ireland at Eurovision 2024: Can Bambie Thug be Ireland's lucky charm?

In 2024, Ireland will be represented by Bambie Thug and their song 'Doomsday Blue'.

Ahead of Ireland's national final this year, there was much fan discussion about the choice that Ireland would make for their 2024 Eurovision Song Contest entry, with many calling for a change in direction and urging the Emerald Isle to try something different and take a risk. Bambie and 'Doomsday Blue' are certainly that - but will it pay off for Ireland?

In this article, we take a look at Ireland's track record over the last few years and consider whether Bambie Thug can help Ireland break their qualification drought with a great result.

Read on below to find out more!

Ireland's rise and fall at Eurovision

Despite its small size, Ireland has had incredible success at Eurovision. Ireland holds the record for the most wins in Eurovision history, having triumphed seven times - although Swedes will be quick to point out that this is now a jointly-held record following Loreen's win in 2023!

Ireland's remarkable success began in 1970 with Dana's 'All Kinds of Everything' and continued through the next two decades with memorable victories including two wins by Johnny Logan (in 1980 and then again in 1987).

It was in the 1990s that Ireland solidified its status as a Eurovision powerhouse, however, achieving remarkable success at the Contest. The decade kicked off with another victory in 1992, as Linda Martin's 'Why Me?' brought the coveted trophy back to Ireland. Ireland would then go on to win four times in a space of five years, proving it really was a golden era for Ireland at Eurovision.

In recent years, Ireland has experienced a decline in its Eurovision fortunes, struggling to replicate their previous successes. The country, once a dominant force at the Contest, has faced challenges securing top placements and more recently, have been failing to qualify for the Grand Final.

Ireland's last Top 10 was with the supercharged twins Jedward who finished in eighth place in 2011 with 'Lipstick', who then returned again the following year, but were not as successful.

In 2018, Ireland qualified for the Grand Final for the first time in five years, and since then, they have been on a qualification drought, despite sending some quality entries (we love you Brooke!)

The overwhelming picture has been of a broadcaster unwilling to take a chance on anything too outside the box, leading to disappointing results.

But could that change this year thanks to one person?

Who is Bambie Thug?

Bambie Thug (Bambie really being their first name!) is a non-binary artist born in Cork, Ireland. From an early age, Bambie was destined for the stage, training in dance and ballet and then in musical theatre.

Bambie eventually got into writing music and started producing their own music in 2021, with their first release being the song 'Birthday'. Bambie has since released three EPs and a string of singles. Until Bambie's entry to Eurosong 2024, their most successful song to date was the hard hitting 'Tsunami (11:11)' in 2023. On top of their own music, Bambie has also written songs for other artists as well as instrumentals that have been used in television programs such as 'Just Like That' (the Sex and the City reboot).

Fusing together elements of pop, electronic, indie music and heavy metal, it is hard to pin Bambie's work down into a single genre. Their songs are characterised by catchy melodies, innovative production and introspective lyrics (including some incredibly honest and open songs about past struggles with drugs and mental health).

Bambie has previously used the term "ouija-pop", "electro-metal" and "electro-pop" to describe their work. Sporting a very unique presence on stage, Bambie's appearance is a captivating mix of theatricality and mystique often reflecting their fascination with witchcraft. Having already shown off a number of memorable costumes at the Eurovision pre-parties, it's clear that we are in for a visual feast in Malmo.

How was Bambie Thug chosen?

Bambie Thug won the ticket to represent their country through Ireland's national selection process, "Eurosong 2024". 'Doomsday Blue' was one of six songs to take part in the selection and before the contest, Bambie was sitting second in the odds, quite a fair distance behind the top pick - popstar and activist Erica Cody. As the show approached, however, there was clear momentum gaining behind Bambie, with fans using the hashtag #sendthewitch to express their support.

On the night of Eurosong, Bambie was second onstage with a bombastic, theatrical performance. After the performances and while voting was collated, it was quite clear from the discussions between the hosts and guests, that the Irish public saw the need for a change (a big change) in order for their country to again see success at Eurovision.

This was borne out during the results, with the studio audience chanting "take a risk" as points were announced. Fortunately, it seems that voters also wanted Ireland to take that risk, and Bambie Thug was crowned the winner of Eurosong 2024 and Ireland's 2024 Eurovision Song Contest entrant. They received 12 points from the national jury as well as the televote and comfortably won Eurosong!

Doomsday Blue - the song

Bambie is the co-writer of their song 'Doomsday Blue' which was written in London. The song was not specifically for Eurovision at the time, instead forming part of Bambie's most recent EP, 'Carthaxis', released in October 2023.

Like much of Bambie's music, the song blends many different genres and shows the artist's versatility and imagination, switching back and forth between pop, alternative, heavy bass and scream.

The lyrics for 'Doomsday Blue' are a powerful ode to the pain of an unrequited love. Many may recognise the opening line of the song, "Avada Kedavra", as being a reference to Harry Potter's infamous "killing curse":

"Avada Kedavra, I speak to destroy

The feelings I have, I cannot avoid

Through twisted tongues, a hex deployed on you

That all the pretties in your bed

Escape your hands and make you sad

And all the things you wish you had, you lose"

The song then switches over to a lighter folky feel in the chorus:

"I guess you'd rather have a star than the moon

I guess I always overestimate you

Hoodoo all the things that you do

I'm down, down in my doomsday blues"

The visually stunning video of 'Doomsday Blue' tells the story starting with Bambie on the floor casting spells against an ex-boyfriend, wishing for bad things to happen to him. Bambie is seen switching costumes and settings throughout the video, with the chorus of the video showing Bambie dressed in pinks and blues almost in a mad-hatter tea party look, playing badminton on a lawn with a tall hairy black monster, but then being chased through the forest by the same monster. There is a lot to take in!

On the filming of the music video, Bambie had the following to say:

"Filming the music video for 'Doomsday Blue' was mad! I’m so proud to have worked with an amazing team filled with so many queer and non-binary people. Camp are a dream to work with, and while the turnaround was ridiculously fast, there was a lot of heart and passion poured into it and I’m super grateful."

'Doomsday Blue' is clearly a risk, but perhaps it's the risk that needed to be take by Ireland at this moment - and with Bambie Thug and a great creative team working to elevate this performance on that stage in Malmo, things certainly appear set up for Ireland's best result in years.

The odds currently agree, favouring Bambie to qualify to the final for the first time since Ryan O'Shaugnessy in 2018!

Can Bambie Thug break the spell for Ireland, though? Long-term fans will know that there can be surprises on the night... so we will have to wait and see.

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