Dustin, the funny, smart-ass turkey puppet character, is already a major television and recording star in his native Ireland but last week when the foul-mouthed turkey with a strong Dublin accent won the televised national Irish Eurovision qualifier music contest with his entry "Irelande Douze Pointe," many feathers were ruffled - with cries of protest ranging from it made a "mockery of the Eurovision" to it had been an "insult" to both the honor of the Emerald Isle and, more importantly, to the hard work and real talent of the other five (serious human) contestants who had also participated in the hope of going on to represent Ireland at the Eurovision semi-final in two months.
Since decades before American Idol and the X-Factor and shows like that, the Eurovision Song Contest has been in existence. But for many years it has been accused of becoming a bit of a joke itself, with countries accused of voting out of favoritism for neighboring nations rather than for talented singer/songwriter/performers. When the puppet character Dustin recently won the Irish contest with his song "Irelande Douze Pointe" it became a front page news story over in Ireland, dividing the country into those for and those against. Bob Geldolf (of the Boomtown Rats and Live Aid fame) came to Dustin's defense and said it would be nothing short of "rank poultryism" should "one of the greatest talents this country has ever produced" fail to be selected to represent "our glorious musical heritage" on the world stage, according to the Irish Times.
Others continue to see it as a "mockery" and question why Dustin was in the contest in the first place. But despite all the controversy, the decision to select Dustin was defended by the chairman of the judging panel, television producer Bill Hughes, who in a press statement said, "We did think seriously about it but once we heard it and we all laughed so much, we decided it was worth including." The video clip of Dustin and his crew performing "Irelande Douze Pointe," which is chock-a-block with witty inside Irish jokes including a public apology for Riverdance, performed on RTE Television in Limerick last week, is above. And in May Dustin will perform the song again in the Eurovision semi-finals in Serbia (the last Eurovision song contest winning country).