Earlier this month, Ireland’s RTÉ poured cold water on any hopes for a standalone national final for Eurovision 2018. But junior fans needn’t worry, as Irish language broadcaster TG4 is going full steam ahead with its national selection for Junior Eurovision 2017.
On Monday, the Emerald Isle’s second EBU member unveiled its plans for Tblisi during its Autumn 2017 season launch. Nestled in between promotional blurbs for long-running soap opera Ros na Rún — “rural crime, drugs, alcohol, sexuality, deceit” — and sports coverage, lay details of Junior Eurovision Eire’s third season, including the revelation that the likes of Jedward and Brendan Murray will sit on the judging panel.
As in 2015 and 2016, the pre-recorded selection process will take place over five shows — four semis and a grand final. Former Voice of Ireland presenter Eoghan McDermott is on hosting duties once again, as 32 young performers hope to win over the judging panel with their original songs sung in Irish.
Similar to last year, the panel will contain two permanent members along with a number of guests judges drawn from Ireland’s rich Eurovision talent pool. Hothouse Flowers frontman Fiachna Ó Braonáin and TV presenter Bláthnaid Treacy will take their seats each week, while Dustin the Turkey (2008), Brian Kennedy (2006), Brendan Murray (2017), Jedward (2011 and 2012), Niamh Kavanagh (1993 and 2010) and Linda Martin (1984 and 1992) will all drop by over the course of the series.
The search begins on Sunday 22 October at 20:00 local time.
Ireland at Junior Eurovision
Despite holding the record for most Eurovision wins, Ireland was relatively slow to join the Junior Eurovision party. With national broadcaster RTÉ showing no interest, the Irish language broadcaster TG4 decided to have a go.
The country debuted in 2015, with Aimee Banks finishing 12th. In 2016, future The Voice Kids contestant Zena Donnelly took them into the top ten for the first time. Can her successor do even better in Georgia?
Are you excited for the return of Junior Eurovision Eire? Can Ireland find its first Junior Eurovision winner? Let us know in the comments below.
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