The winner of the Voice of Ireland 2013 is...
Keith Hanley is the Voice of Ireland 2013.
Whether you agree with who made it here or not, the Voice of Ireland final came down to three singers from Cork and one from Donegal.
Magical Shannon Murphy was the first to perform, joined by Paul Walsh for a performance of "We Should Be Lovers".
The harmonies didn't work too well, and Shannon seemed a bit drowned out by everything going on, but she more than made up for that later with her repeat performance of the Lumineer's "Ho Hey", which again showed what makes her special.
Kelly Mongan made a great start on Pink's song "F*ckin' Perfect", but to be honest the song lost impetus with the addition of Úna Healy's rather weak vocal, and never really recovered. Elton John's "Sorry seems to be the Hardest Word" did her no favours either, but nothing can take away from her superhuman performance over the last weeks and months.
Shane McLaughlin has not been our favourite so far, and he did little to change that opinion tonight. He chose "Brewing up a Storm" from The Stunning for his duet, and was joined by super cool Steve Wall for quite a decent performance, which was only enhanced by Kathryn getting her cue wrong and having to improvise some go-go dancing. His return number was Fake by The Frames, and again the best that can be said is it was fine. He's not a bad singer, but I couldn't help wishing John Gaughan was there instead of him.
Keith Hanley is a star. On top of a great personality, he is so completely comfortable and confident onstage it is hard not to catch your foot tapping when he gets up there. His duet with Ryan Sheridan was rhythmical, musical and knocked the roof off of the Helix, and the same went for his repeat performance of Beggin', the song with which he really started to shine in the early live shows.
There was some superfluous time-filling stuff, The Saturdays sounded better with their backing tracks than without them, the coaches were careful to say nice things about everyone all the time, we were treated to an interesting dancing/kissing thing from the presenters, and then it was time to see how Ireland had voted. We knew it couldn't only be about the voice, as looks, personality and geography are always going to play a part when the voting public decides.
Still, while it was sad that Shannon came fourth, not so sad that Shane came third, and fair enough that Kelly came second, on the night the best man won. Keith Hanley is The Voice of Ireland 2013!