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Ex Sex Pistol John Lydon’s Eurovision bid fails

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has failed to make a leap from post-punk to Europop by representing Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest.

UK Lydon Former Sex Pistols front man John Lydon has missed out on representing Ireland at Eurovision.
February 5, 2023
By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
5 February 2023

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and his band Public Image Ltd (PiL) have failed in their bid to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The post-punk group, formed in 1978, entered the song Hawaii, described as a “love letter” to Lydon’s wife of nearly 50 years, Nora, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

But on a special Eurosong edition of The Late Late Show on Friday night, a combination of votes from a national and international jury and the public selected the song We Are One by the band Wild Youth as the Irish entry for the contest.

PiL’s song finished in fourth position from six finalists.

Speaking at the start of the show, Lydon, 67, said: “This song we pieced together to try and tell the story as genuinely as we could without breaking down in tears.

“It is going to be a difficult one for me tonight.

“I recommend Hawaii to everyone for a holiday because it is the best Alzheimer’s cure.”

After Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten, performed his song on the show it was given a lukewarm reception by a panel of experts, which included former Irish Eurovision entrants Jedward.

John Grimes from Jedward said: “The song comes from a place of love, acceptance and calmness.

“A delicate song might stand out if it did go to Eurovision.

“It is heartbreaking what is happening with his wife.”

Edward added: “I am not so sure it is a song for Eurovision.”

Wild Youth singer Conor O’Donohoe said it was a huge honour to be selected to represent Ireland.

Lydon, who was born in London to Irish parents, formed PiL following the break-up of the Sex Pistols in 1978, alongside guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Jah Wobble and drummer Jim Walker.

Eurovision will be held in May at the ACC Liverpool after the UK was named runner-up at the 2022 event with Sam Ryder.

The EBU concluded Ukraine could not host the event due to the Russian invasion, despite its entrant, Kalush Orchestra, coming first.

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