RTÉ may revert to using a national final to choose the Irish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
The station is due to carry out its annual review into the competition over the summer and one possibility is to let the public decide which song goes forward, a format which was used up until 2015. Last year saw the first completely internal selection by RTÉ, in which Nicky Byrne was chosen to represent Ireland by Michael Kealy, the Head of Delegation for Ireland, while Brendan Murray was selected this year by entertainment manager and X Factor judge, Louis Walsh.
Speaking after a live broadcast of RTÉ Lyric FM during the opening day of the Bloom Festival 2017 in Phoenix Park in Dublin, RTÉ’s Eurovision commentator, Marty Whelan, said those involved in the contest will be discussing how they can improve on our performance for 2018.
He said it was “very upsetting” commentating on the Eurovision final when Ireland wasn’t in it. “We’re having a meeting in a few weeks’ time about it. But the point is, we can have meetings till we’re blue in the face but all we can do is have a plan. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work,” he told The Herald.
“It just means, ‘here’s another idea.’ Brendan was good this year and the song was decent. But it didn’t get through. It’s four years in a row and we don’t need that again. We need to be in the final so we’re just going to see if we can come up with another formula.”
Marty, who has covered the contest for 19 years, said that Ireland is “doing nothing wrong”.
“We’re doing the best we can. There’s nothing wrong with it. This year, you could say, ‘How could a song from Portugal, sung in Portuguese – how could it win? But the song was gorgeous and it won. That doesn’t normally happen. Normally it’s pyrotechnics and dancers and mini-skirts and shouting and roaring. It wasn’t that this year, it was different. So you just try and send the best you can.
Maybe it’s time for a National Song contest again, maybe it isn’t. Maybe we need to make a song ourselves and those of us who have an involvement over the years need to sit in a room and have a conversation.”
RTÉ has yet to confirm their participation in next year’s contest. Ireland’s last appearance in the Eurovision final was in 2013, when Ryan Dolan finished last with “Only Love Survives”.
Source: Irish Independent
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Ireland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965 and is currently the most successful country to have participated in the contest, winning a total of seven times. During the 1990s Ireland was a powerhouse in the contest becoming the first country to win three years in a row from 1992 to 1994. Since 2000 Ireland has struggled in the contest having qualified from the semi-final into the final just five out of a possible 12 times. Ireland’s last top 10 result came in 2011 when Jedward finished 8th in Dusseldorf.