In 1992 Johnny Logan’s legend countinued as after winning Eurovision both in 1980 and 1987 for Ireland, he brought the trophy back to Dublin with his composition “Why me”, sung by Linda Martin. She had previously came close to winning with other Johnny’s song “Terminal 3”, reaching second place in 1984. A returning artist knocked everyone out in Malmö, Sweden and kept running a great career. Now known as a Eurovision legend and huge animal rights supporter, Linda Martin agreed to answer a few questions from us! What does she think of the contest nowadays? What should the Irish do to come back to the glories? Is Eurovision a right area to spread animal rights message? Read carefully!
Polish Fans of Eurovision: In 1984 you represented Ireland in Luxembourg – a country that won Eurovision five times, but no longer takes part in the contest. Do you think it’s really hard for the smallest countries to do well now, when Eurovision is bigger?
Linda Martin: A very good question. I think the production of ESC should match the economy of each country. I know and marvel at the production spectacles we see each year. Like Tel Aviv this May. There were millions spent on the contest. I was working in Tel Aviv during ESC and it was truly fantastic. But don’t forget it’s a SONG contest. Smaller countries just need to do things on a smaller scale. I did ask the Prime Minister of Luxembourg to please re-enter the contest. Fingers crossed.
PFE: From the point of view of a Eurovision winner from the past, do you think the contest has gone in a good direction since that time? Is it still as great and serious as it was some years ago?
Linda Martin: No, I don’t. I miss the orchestra terribly. I know the uptempo songs need a backing track but the big ballads need something beautiful behind them. There should be a choice in an ideal world. Also, please give us back jury only voting. Public voting worries me and the fact that there’s 43 countries having to cast there votes. Do I sit through 43 votes? No way.
PFE: It’s been almost 25 years since the last time Ireland won the Eurovision Song Contest. What do you think should be done in Ireland to win again?
Linda Martin: What we have to do in Ireland, is get our songwriters to write big ballads. That’s how we won before, but we also need new experienced singers to perform the songs.
PFE: After your Eurovision win, have you ever considered coming back to the contest or at least working on a song to be sent to Eurovision? Would you accept the invitation if you were asked to do Eurovision now?
Linda Martin: I’m always working in some capacity with the Irish song. Whether it’s mentoring Jedward or finding backing singers for Brendan Murray. I don’t think I’d re-enter the contest unless Johnny Logan, my dear friend, wrote a duet. Then of course I’d be very tempted. I say that to him every time we meet.
PFE: What are your favourites Eurovision songs? Do you still listen to any songs from Eurovision 1984 or 1992?
Linda Martin: Besides my own songs… I love “Non Ho L’Eta” by Gigliola Cinquetti, “Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue” by Severine, “Kisses For Me” by Brotherhood of Man and “Apres Toi” by Vicky Leandros. I hear Michael Ball’s song “One step out of time” from time to time on radio, but apart from that I’ve not been listening to any of the songs.
PFE: You are one of a few artists to both win Eurovision and finish in 2nd place. Is it always worth to try again even if you had been close to winning it before?
Linda Martin: Oh, it certainly is. No one should ever give up after failing for the first time.
PFE: Except for music, you’re known for your love to dogs. Do you believe Eurovision is a right area to spread such messages as animal rights? It’s not a common topic, but for example the Polish entrant in 2017, Kasia Moś, actually did that.
Linda Martin: I salute Kasia Moś for spreading the word about animal welfare. Anywhere is the right place, providing it’s done in a friendly way. Just ask Katrina and The Waves. She’s a huge animal lover, like me.
PFE: What shall we wish you for the future?
Linda Martin: The future for me is still singing, acting and dancing and of course working with Dogs Aid, my animal rescue sanctuary.