2016 marks Ireland’s second Junior Eurovision entry, with their debut last year with Aimee Banks, who ended up in 12th place. This year, Ireland is hoping to build on their results with Zena Donnelly, who is participating with the song Bríce Ar Bhríce, meaning Brick by Brick.
The song, which is sung in Irish is first and foremost a tremendous representation of the talent Zena has, having composed this herself. The song is somewhere between a pop song and a ballad, which shows off the voice Zena has, and keeps the backing as quite a simple beat. The star of the show is the melody and the young star singing it, and she should be rewarded with a decent result come Junior Eurovision. Her voice holds a lot of emotion in it, and although she hits some really vocally interesting notes early onto the song, the tune still builds over the three minutes without being too repetitive. As I said, the backing music is certainly simple, and for me that’s probably the main downside, however still reflects well on Zena, considering the time and effort for her to compose this herself.
I’m not too sure what to expect from the stage show of this performance, however the smoke machine might be used – just a hunch. I’m indifferent to seeing backing dancers or not, as I think she could pull this song off without props or too much choreography. I’m interested to see what they will pull out of the bag!
Overall, this isn’t my favourite song of the year, however I can appreciate the song and the results it may bring Ireland. I do have a feeling this could end up in the middle ground, and would be disappointed to see it at the bottom, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it missed out on a top 5 position at the end.
I’m going to give it a 6.5/10.