Louis_and_Brendan_Murray_LLS_Set_Eurovision_2017
Louis Walsh with Ireland’s Eurovision 2017 singer Brendan Murray

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.

In 2015, HomeTown was rumoured to be a finalist in the Eurosong national final. We also picked them as a potential internal selection for Eurovision 2016.

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.

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!

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Brazzus
Guest

Yikes.

No, we really DON’T need to hear the song. Good Lord, guys!

And no, Jamala, Emmelie DeForest and Conchita do NOT have girly voices. They have womanly voices. This dude has a girly voice, as in “6-year-old with stage fright” girly voice. He sounds like a cartoon chipmunk. The song absolutely will not matter, unless he was trolling us with that Late Night performance – which I’m not convinced he wasn’t.

Cathal
Guest

I hope we withdraw next year to be honest, people clearly won’t give Ireland a chance and based on what we have seen so far nothing will change this year, these people had no problem being mean to a 14 year old girl this year so I’m not surprised.

Ron
Guest

He’s not too formulaic though Denis and there wasn’t any singer like him in the last couple of Contests, so nobody can really accuse him of following a Eurovision trend.

Denis
Guest

Sounds good and could be the push Ireland needs. On the other hand when ever someone says “he’s perfect for ESC” you should take it cautiously, especially if they are from Ireland or UK. Trying to predict what works for ESC rarely works, as indeed Ireland and UK has proven these years.
Still I choose to be causally optimistic about it, and hope for the best!

Charles
Guest

I only have one thing to comment … Ireland, see you again in 2018 #catchthatshadelouis

cheesecake
Guest

Well, anything would have been a step in the right direction after Nicky. BUT I do see a lot of potential here, even though I’m not the biggest fan of his voice. But with the right song and staging this could do well.
Go Ireland!

Ron
Guest

His distinctive voice could work in his favour. If he sounded like a regular boyband member, people would be dismissing him as boring, bland and generic. The fact that a lot of people are commenting on his voice and how he sounds is actually a good sign.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

They really need to up their game.

Leo M
Guest

He certainly has an interesting voice, not sure whether I like it or not. Can’t really judge him until we hear the song though.

Charli Cheer Up
Guest

Looks like an Ed Sheeran-esque act. Hope his song will be well received just like The Netherlands’ Slow Down.

Hubertznajomski
Guest

Too many artists and still 0 songs ????

Hiro
Guest

Well he’s cute and his voice is really unique, with a strong song and performance I thought he will stand out, because he really can sing.
I hope RTE won’t messed up again like those years before… I’m done with meh performance by RTE.

ESC123
Guest

How old is he? Is his voice stable yet? He sounds like child’ s voice..

CookyMonzta
Guest

@Briekimchi: If Brendan fails to make the final, this will definitely finish Louis Walsh as far as future selections for Ireland are concerned.

Kris
Guest

Had I not read he was a boy, based on this voice I would have never made it out.He doesn’t have a girly voice…..he has a girl’s voice. Nice.

Lianne
Guest

Well the girls will definitely vote for him, he is such a STUD, OH MY GOD. what a cutie.

Briekimchi
Guest

Should try and keep Louis Walsh away from the Eurovision process if possible, Ireland….

dutchie
Guest

@jonas
Well, there’s girly and girly of course. I’m a huge Antony and the Johnsons fan, and you don’t get them more ‘girly’ than that, but I have to agree with Ruud on this one: his voice doesn’t sound sincere, it sounds like he’s imitating emo singers who in turn try to sound like teenage girls.

But: at least he can sing without autotune, which I guess is a plus.

blondboybc
Guest

@ Donna: I don’t think they’ll have to worry about the UK overtaking their record. 😉
Sweden? That’s another matter….they aren’t in the bookies current top 5 for nothing! Anyway, good luck, Ireland. You’ll need it!

Kris
Guest

@mocosuburbian……….almost shares your name….eh!!……..so Brent/Brad Murray? Or Brendan Marin?

Kris
Guest

@mocosuburbian……….almost shares your name….eh!!……..so Brent Murray? Or Brendan Marin?

Donna
Guest

Give him a meaningful song that will bring out the potentials not just of his vocals but of him as a performer and Ireland might just bag another win and keep their record as the country with most Eurovision wins. Don’t mess it up Ireland. UK and Sweden might just overtake you guys!

Leo Valdez
Guest

I wanted Hozier for Ireland !
Well I think that’s a high level of expectation!

Hugh
Guest

Give him a beautiful, meaningful song and they’ve got a finalist. Give him plastic pop and they might sneak in, but probably not – with this kind of voice it’s beter to have a few people fall in love with the performance than to try to appeal to everyone. Having 10% of voters super keen to vote for you is better than having 80% of voters go ‘meh’.

William Lee Adams
Guest

Watching HomeTown’s cover of Adele, it’s clear he was the odd one out / standout in that group. His voice was like 8 octaves higher (and way more memorable) than the others.

fikri
Guest

very intriguing voice. it’s very androgynous. i love it.

Nickc
Guest

He is promising, but it comes down to song choice. They have to find a strong song for him, or his solo career will end before it starts. And that would be cruel. I feel that it is too much risk to put on his shoulders

Lex
Guest

Am I the only one who actually thinks his voice is very annoying? Not sure this was a right decision

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Louis’ taste is often very… questionable, so I hope they pick a song for him that’s not trashy.

Chicken Kyiv?
Guest

Sounds like a snooze.

RTE keep failing as they keep trying to copy the previous winner, it’s going to be something emotional and moving in RTEs eyes. When in reality the only moving it will do is move me to take my toilet break when its on

Ron
Guest

Those guys are all much older than Brendan though, mocosurbian. He’s only just out of his teens so ‘former boyband member’ hardly fits …..he’s two or three years younger than the guys in One Direction.

mocosuburbian
Guest

he’s cute and everything but that voice sounds super annoying, like a little kid singing
also the former boy band thing (nicky byrne, lighthouse x, anti social media or w/e) rarely works so i doubt good will come of this
he almost shares my name though so that’s cool ayy

Jonas
Guest
I think he has a nice voice. What do you even mean by “girly” and why is that bad? Do Emmelie DeForest and Jamala have “girly voices”? Oh, that’s okay because they’re girls. What are your feeling on Conchita Wurst? Obviously you learnt nothing from hger about bucking gender norms. Your loss. Anyway, the whole endeavor will hinge on whatever song they pick for him. I hope they get some decent entries, because if it’s left soley up to Louis Walsh I would be seriously concerned. Something with a bit of character is needed to showcase his voice and style… Read more »
Ron
Guest

The song almost certainly will be a ballad and not mid or uptempo. Both Louis and Brendan said on the Late Late Show tonight that they’re looking for something in the Ed Sheeran / Sam Smith / John Legend mould.

Ruud
Guest

Atrocious and girly voice in the Chandelier vid. Let’s hope the song suits him better than that

Steven
Guest

Expecting something very Tom Dice for him, although he seems to want to go for something big. Hopefully they can make it into a captivating modern ballad. His voice is a little love/hate I think though. Better than a washed up act nevertheless.

Purple Mask
Guest

He has a beautiful high range voice, like Belgium’s Loic Nottet, but much sweeter. It would be a dream to write for him. I wish I wasn’t so busy, otherwise I would have definitely entered a song for him! Darn it

Kylie
Guest

RTE are looking for a big ballad, ed sheeran- Sam Smith like. I just want my country to qualify 🙁

irish esc
Guest

he is a good choice for my country i just hope he gets an awesome song and we can make the finals next year

CookyMonzta
Guest

@esc1234: Yup…Sweden is already the gold standard now. One more and they’ll tie Ireland.

Alas; I still want Audrey Gallagher and that voice of hers to take a shot at this. 😉

CookyMonzta
Guest

@Krzysztof, Kylie: If the song is too reminiscent of Nicky Byrne’s, then it is very likely that IRE will not qualify. Four straight years of not making it to Saturday will set off all kinds of alarms, especially when it comes to a 7-time winning country.

And by the way, i thought Molly Sterling should have qualified with little trouble at ESC 2015.

esc1234
Guest

If they give him a dated pop rock song with guys on stage pretending to play instruments, ireland will definitely lose its record very soon…

Kylie
Guest

Ngl the more I listen to his voice the more I love it

Davve
Guest

Please give the kid a cool uptempo song…

Craig
Guest

Perch him on a stool with a guitar, with something stripped right back and he might do ok. Unlike Mr Byrne this year, the boy has a good voice

Lemmy
Guest

Couldn’t they just bring Kasey Smith back? zzz

Racal
Guest

He’s CUTE and what a voice! Hope the song will do him justice.

Colin
Guest

Please, let his song be good and performance too! I WANT to see Ireland back on top!

Kylie
Guest

@Robyn when can we see the reaction video? Really love seeing your guys opinion!