In 2016 Ireland internally selected former boyband member Nicky Byrne for Eurovision. And this year they’re sticking with that formula with the news that ex-Hometown singer Brendan Murray will sing at Eurovision 2017.
RTE confirmed the news in a press release on Friday evening. X Factor judge and music impresario Louis Walsh is reportedly set to discuss the news on Friday evening during an appearance on The Late Late Show.
As we reported earlier today, Louis was approached by RTE to handpick this year’s act following the country’s third straight year of failing to make the grand final at Eurovision.
Walsh didn’t have to look far to find an act, as he’s already Brendan’s manager, having guided him as part of boy band HomeTown, which he also managed before they announced their indefinite hiatus on December 7.
Who is Brendan Murray?
Brendan Murray is a 20-year-old singer, originally from Galway in Ireland. He came to fame as a member of six-piece Irish boyband HomeTown, which made its debut under Louis’ guidance in May 2014.
Hometown had two No.1 singles in Ireland — their debut single “Where I Belong” and follow-up single “Cry for Help”. They toured extensively in Ireland and had support gigs for artists such as Olly Murs and the Vamps.
Earlier this month, HomeTown announced that they were going on hiatus in order to take a break from the boy band life and pursue solo projects.
What will Brendan Murray sing at Eurovision?
RTE is staging an open call for songs, which Louis and a panel will evaluate. They say:
“RTÉ is now inviting interested parties to submit a song for consideration by Louis Walsh in conjunction with a judging panel to be selected by RTÉ. Louis Walsh and the judging panel will consider all songs but will not limit themselves to considering songs solely submitted through this process.”
“Songs must be no longer than 3 minutes in duration. Compositions submitted for consideration (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released and/or publicly performed including online video platforms or social networks, in full or in part, before the 1st September 2016.”
“The closing date for entries will be at 5pm on Monday, the 16th of January, 2017. Entries should be submitted to Eurovision Song Contest 2017, RTÉ Entertainment, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.”
In recent days sources close to RTE suggested to wiwibloggs that Brendan might be picked, leading us to publish a cryptic tweet this morning.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) December 16, 2016
Ireland at Eurovision
While Ireland is well known for their dream run of four wins in five years in the mid 1990s, their recent Eurovision entries haven’t been as successful.
In the past decade, Jedward have given Ireland its best results, placing eighth in 2011 and 19th in 2012. Ireland has otherwise placed last in the grand final twice and failed to qualify for the final five times.
Most recently, broadcaster RTÉ took a break from their usual Eurosong national final and internally selected former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne. His upbeat song “Sunlight” wasn’t a hit with viewers, and placed only 15th in its semi-final.
What do you think of Brendan Murray as Ireland’s Eurovision 2017 act? Can he get his country back in to the final? Share your thoughts below!