Farewell Theme Night #26

It’s one we will always remember.

One which demanded different talents and skills. One we all watched together but separately. One where a new generation of twenty somethings stepped up to the mark and delivered. One which put a much-needed smile on people’s faces.

I had never watched a theme night live on TV before. Many of the participants have noted that never before would they have had the time required to create and shoot videos of such a high standard. And certainly no theme night before ever reached such a wide audience.

If you missed it – you can see all videos here

The Golden Jacket – well the recipient this time will miss out on much of the craic associated with it unfortunately. But his name will (in time) be embroidered into it like that of the others and will go down in Theme Night History!

It’s awarded each time to someone not necessarily for the level of their performance, but for embracing the spirit of the nights and contributing in less obvious ways.

It was donated by Chris Baillie after Theme Night #22, and it is a way in which we can always remember Chris when he departs from these shores shortly for his native New Zealand.

Chris has added so much to these nights over the years – here is a full list of his performances over the years, and it makes for some reading!

Theme Night #26 – Saints and Sinners

Theme Night #25 – You’re My First, My Last, My Everything, and Guilty (twice).

Theme Night #24 – Living For The City

Theme Night #23 – Jesse James

Theme Night #22 – I Just Can’t Help Believin’ – with dance moves at 2:21.

Theme Night #21 – Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart (with Robbie Fitzpatrick).

Theme Night #20 – New York Minute

Theme Night #19 – I Just Can’t Help Believin’

Theme Night #17 – The Chain (with Kelesa Mulcahy)

Theme Night #16 – Born To Run

Theme Night #15 – An Innocent Man

Theme Night #14 – Ocean in His Eyes

Theme Night #12 – WAR

Theme Night #11 – From Eden

Theme Night #10 – Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Theme Night #9 – I Call Your Name

The best of luck with everything Chris and hopefully you’ll surprise us back here with a well-timed visit in the future!

The winner of the Golden Jacket? Well given there wasn’t the usual opportunity to make a speech after the show last Thursday, I’ll have to explain my reasons here.

This man firstly put hours of work into creating 6 top class videos in the middle of lambing season! But the clincher came when I rang him late last Monday night and asked him to take over the mammoth project that was editing the choir video.

Two days to go until the show. He still had another video to finish, and despite the large amount of work that had been put into this video already by previous Golden Jacket Winner Luke Devaney, there was still an immense amount left to do in order to pick the shots that would get the required emotion across, and then put the whole thing together. As he said himself he would have loved another 10 hours to tighten it up, to smooth out the rough edges. But given the time he had, he did an amazing job. I knew the minute I saw the video that it would work, and I know I’m not the only one who had a lump in my throat and tears welling in my eyes when it was over.

But apart from the quality of the job he did on this, and the other videos on which he worked (including the promo video for the show), the way in which he immediately agreed to take on this project spoke volumes. He knew he was taking on a monster project with very little time in which to complete it, but he knew it had to be done in order for the night to succeed, and he did it without a second thought.

Congrats and most of all thankyou – to Rory Maitland.