RTÉ, the Irish broadcaster, organised the first ever Eurovision Forum in the broadcaster’s headquarters in Dublin last week. Representatives from the Irish music and entertainment industries, media and Eurovision fans attended the event. The forum was convened in order to generate ideas to turn avoid a potential fifth consecutive non-qualification.
According to an attendee at the forum, Dustin the Turkey’s participation in 2008 severely tarnished the contest’s reputation in Ireland and many high quality songwriters still shy away from the contest nearly a decade later. One attendee told the Irish Sun: “By sending a turkey in a shopping trolley, it looked like Ireland didn’t care about Eurovision and did us so much long-term damage.” Despite this perception, RTÉ have said that they would actually “love to win again because a win would provide a huge morale boost and wipe away the decades of losing. Even getting to final would make business sense because audience numbers increase if Ireland are in the final.”
Kealy said would like to secure a seasoned performer and hold an open competition for songs: “Amateur singers don’t have the stagecraft or experience to suddenly come up with the goods. We needed professional singers with decades of experience who could rise to the occasion.”
The forum also heard claims RTÉ made a mistake sending winners of the You’re A Star talent show. The recent internal selection of Nicky Byrne and Brendan Murray were also criticised.
Due to RTÉ’s financial problems, a national final is very unlikely. RTÉ has faced backlash for the amount of money spent on this year’s contest (€331,482) and more recently, for the salaries of its top employees. The exact selection process is yet to be decided and will be announced in due course.
The source that spoke to the Irish Sun added: “What came out of the forum was there is no formula to win Eurovision, or even to qualify for the final.”
Source: The Irish Sun