The full line up of the jury for Ireland’s Junior Eurovision selection process, Junior Eurovision Éire has been revealed by TG4.
As reported yesterday the twins who took Eurovision by storm in 2011 and 2012, Jedward are on the panel. Also now known to be on the judging panel are four further Eurovision participants, winners of the contest Linda Martin and Niamh Kavanagh and one of Ireland’s better known participants from the 2000s, Dustin the Turkey as well as Sandie Jones.
The judges will decide who will represent Ireland at the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, with the Irish public having no say in the result of the competition. A total of 32 singers have been selected to go through to four semi finals which will be broadcast in the coming months.
Ireland debuted in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year in Sofia, Bulgaria with the singer Aimee Banks, she performed the Irish language song “Réalta na mara (Star of the sea)”, she finished 12th with a total of 36 points.
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Dustin the Turkey is a puppet character who appeared on Irish Television in 1989. Dustin has had a long music career having released songs since 1990, and having six albums to his name. In 2008 Dustin represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade with the song “Irelande Douze Pointe”, the song poked fun at the contest and associated well-known stars and singers. He finished 15th in the semi final and failed to make it to the final.
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Linda Martin is best known for winning the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Why Me”. Her victory in Sweden set off Ireland’s best run in the Eurovision Song Contest, with two further Eurovision victories coming in the next two years. Linda also represented Ireland at the 1984 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Terminal 3″, the song which was written by Johnny Logan is the only song he has sent to the contest that failed to win.
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Niamh Kavanagh won the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest on home soil in Millstreet, Ireland. Her song “In Your Eyes”, beat strong competition from Sonia of the United Kingdom, winning the contest by 23 points. In 2010 she returned to the Eurovision Song Contest to represent Ireland in Oslo. Her song “It’s For You” brought the country back to their first final since the 2007, she finished in 23rd place scoring 25 points.
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Sandie Jones is to date the only singer to have performed in the Irish language at the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1972 she performed Ceol an Ghrá (Music of love), she finished 15th in the final with a total of 72 points.