The Xtra Files: We Review Ireland’s ‘Dying To Try’ by Brendan Murray!

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at escXtra think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Ireland.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start in May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an escXtra leaderboard of the entries! You can see our preview reviews here.
Today, it is the turn of the Irish entry, ‘Dying To Try’ by Brendan Murray, to be reviewed by Hlynur, Katarina, Luke, Nick, Sagheer, and Simon. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


Brendan Murray is charming and has an interesting voice. The word “dying” makes the song sound a bit too dramatic for my taste. And once the song is done I only remember his voice and this one line “dying to try”. I don’t like it but I don’t dislike it.


As weird as this might sound, Ireland is my winner of Eurovision 2017. The song flows beautifully and the harmonies make my eyes fill with tears by the time it’s over. The key change might sound awkward at first and Brendan’s voice is certainly unusual but once I got used to them, they became my favourite things about the Irish entry.


Well done, Ireland, you win the award for most dull song of this year’s contest! Dying To Try puts me to sleep so hard that by the time I wake up, Brendan might’ve actually finished going through puberty. At least you tried, I guess…


A very typical X Factor winning single. No wonder Louis Walsh is behind this. But I applaud Ireland for sending this. Brendan’s voice is rather remarkable, but I like how they’ve used it in this song. A few key changes and I’m a happy man. I hope Ireland do really well, but I’m not too sure, sadly… Just keep the staging simple.


Ireland sending a song that you would think was from the 1990s. Well that’s what happens when Louis Walsh is one of the names behind the entrant. As great as Brendan’s voice may be, it’s just not for me and I do not think that Ireland will advance to the Grand final. Better luck next year Ireland.


An entry that could only be from Ireland. Oh, or maybe Norway. It’s going nowhere, but it is perfectly nice. No to the key change.


Dimitris 3 Rodrigo 9.5
Hlynur 5 Ryan 8
Katarina 10 Sagheer 2
Luke 0.5 Simon 3
Matteo 8 Sophie 6
Nathan 6 Wivian 1
Nick 9 Yassia 6

When we remove the top score of 10 and the lowest score of 0.5, the average score for Ireland is 5.54.
(Removing the top score and the lowest score helps to make the average score more reliable and less affected by outliers.)


Ireland reaches 22nd place in our leaderboard with a score of 5.54.

  1. France – 9.04
  2. Sweden – 7.77
  3. Belarus – 7.75
  4. Iceland – 7.46
  5. Australia – 7.25
  6. Israel – 7.21
  7. Serbia – 7.08
  8. Estonia – 7.07
  9. Switzerland – 6.96
  10. Denmark – 6.83
  11. Armenia – 6.80
  12. Portugal – 6.79
  13. Hungary – 6.79
  14. Germany – 6.59
  15. Austria – 6.58
  16. Moldova – 6.58
  17. Greece – 6.54
  18. Norway – 6.33
  19. Latvia – 6.25
  20. Czech Republic – 6.25
  21. United Kingdom – 6.00
  22. Ireland – 5.54
  23. The Netherlands – 5.33
  24. Albania – 5.21
  25. Ukraine – 5.13
  26. Malta – 4.25
  27. San Marino – 3.92
  28. Georgia – 3.91
  29. Montenegro – 3.33
  30. Croatia – 2.71
  31. Slovenia – 2.13

Tomorrow, we will review Azerbaijan.
Do you agree with our reviews of the Ireland? What are your thoughts on Brendan Murray’s ‘Dying To Try’? Let us know in the comments!

Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

Comments on The Xtra Files: We Review Ireland’s ‘Dying To Try’ by Brendan Murray!

  • Joey

    Wow, I love how the tagline for Eurovision is #CelebrateDiversity this year, but from some reviews and general comments about Brendan’s song, you’d never think so…I’m sorry, but the people implying Brendan is a girl in a derogatory manner and taking the piss by saying he hasn’t gone through puberty need to take a long hard look at themselves – it’s fucking disgusting and demeaning.

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