Petra Mede Linda Martin

Petra Mede’s ‘drag queen’ jibe caused controversy in Ireland.

It’s been a funny old month for Linda Martin. Attending the Eurovision in Malmö, not only was she forced to endure Ireland’s Ryan Dolan crashing and burning on the leaderboard, she was also the subject of one of host Petra Mede’s more controversial gags when she implied that the 1992 winner was a drag queen during an interval sketch.

Still, you can’t keep a good woman down, and like a phoenix from the flames she has risen, popping by the RTE studios in Ireland to discuss the incident with Saturday Night Show host Brendon O’Connor, and to deliver what must now be the considered the definitive reading of Daft Punk’s international chart topper Get Lucky. Resplendent in a shimmering backless dress, the ‘Why Me?‘ singer gave a uniquely powerful vocal that was in no way diminished by the fact that it appeared to be about 70% spoken word.

In what was no way a complete overreaction to a harmless throwaway joke, the host pressed Linda on her feelings about what will forever be known as ‘Drag queen gate’, in a tone that suggested it was a diplomatic incident on a par with the Lewinsky scandal. Thankfully, it’s a happy ending for Ms Martin, as she claims to have had bookings from all over Europe in the wake of her renewed exposure. Good for her.

There was also some discussion of Ryan Dolan’s surprise last placing. Linda could offer no explanation, but the grim spectre of political voting was inevitably raised, as was the suggestion that only the countries that qualified for the final should be allowed vote – a rather selfless suggestion given that the 2 points he received from non-qualifying Cyprus represented over a third of Dolan’s total score.

To be fair, Linda also made a genuinely good point about the way the UK and Irish media tends to look down on the Eurovision, arguing that we need to treat the thing with more respect if we want to do well. She also threatened to take matters into her own hands if she and RTE could convince Johnny Logan to write her another song. Oh but Linda, why think so small? Surely the obvious solution is to get Nile Rodgers on the phone. Based on the above performance, it couldn’t possibly fail.