Ireland Eurovision 2018 RTE selection

One month ago it organised a much-talked about Eurovision forum. And today, Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ continued its preparations for Eurovision 2018 by quietly making an open call for songs.

Unlike this year when Brendan Murray was chosen before “Dying To Try”, the TV station is primarily interested in songs for the moment. But, as hinted during August’s forum, they want to move away from amateur and part-time songwriters. This morning’s announcement reads:

RTÉ would now like to invite accomplished songwriters and performers, preferably with a proven track record of success in the music industry to submit a song.

Further distancing itself from the 2017 selection process, the songs will be considered by a number of expert music industry panels to be appointed by RTÉ. This is in contrast to last time when music mogul Louis Walsh took control of the entry for Kyiv.

The submission rules are:

  • Songwriters/composers may only submit one song (including co-writes) for consideration.
  • If more than one song per composer is submitted only the first song received will be considered.
  • 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 September 1, 2017.
  • Entries will ONLY be accepted by email as an MP3 (192kbps) file or Soundcloud link.
  • No entries will be accepted on CD, cassette or any other format.
  • Email entries to [email protected]
  • The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Monday 6th of November 2017.

However, the seven time winners are keeping all options open. While all entries submitted through this process will be considered, RTÉ may also approach acts and songwriters directly. They say:

It is important to note that any entries submitted through this process will be considered alongside other compositions and performers which RTÉ may commission or secure independently of this process and RTÉ reserves the absolute right to approach established acts and songwriters and to select a song and/or a performer(s) at its sole discretion from outside this process.

Furthermore, the station also reserves the right to match any song selected with a different artist to the one who submitted the entry.

Speaking to RTÉ’s entertainment website, Head of Delegation Michael Kealy shared his desired outcome.

We’re looking for a killer song performed by an act with vast experience of playing live to big crowds.

At this early stage, it would appear that all decisions regarding both the song and act will be made behind closed doors. If so, it will be the third consecutive year that the Emerald Isle has foregone some kind of national final.

What do you think of RTÉ’s new approach for Eurovision 2017? Is it better than last year’s? Will they find that “killer song”? Let us know in the comments below.


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18 Comments on "Ireland: RTÉ launches search for its Eurovision 2018 song"

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Robyn Gallagher

RTÉ have ignored one of the big complaints that came out of the workshop – that they don’t give songwriters enough warning before suddenly launching the song search. Oh well…


Though an improvement on last year. They held the submission period open for only after four weeks after Louis Walsh announced the process on the LLS in December.


How do you know that?

The Anders

And PLEASE: Not just another talent show singer with teen appeal and another dishonest plastic pop song containing lyrical clichés like “we will shine” or “untouchable” / “unbreakable” / “invincible”… We have WAY too much of that. Send something genuine – just like Portugal and Belgium did this year.


Agreed! 😀

The Anders

Hope they will up their game. I really miss the old Ireland in ESC: “What’s Another Year”, “Rock’n Roll Kids”, “The Voice”, “Mysterious Woman” – all really great songs.

It has gone downhill ever since, even though I personally like “They Can’t Stop the Spring” and “Playing With Numbers” a lot.


@JustPadraig, does it mean RTÉ will select internally for Lisbon? According to RTE press release I only see two options:

1 – Jury appointed by RTE picking the best song among all submissions
2 – Jury selecting a few songs for a Late Late Show final.

Who selects the winning song? RTE press release is not clear on this point. Any information? Thanks!


I know I’m not much of an opera fan, but remember Aimee Banks from Junior Eurovision 2015? She’ll be turning 16 in February 2018, thus finally making her eligible for the regular Eurovision. May if Ireland finds the correct songwriter to write a good entry for her to perform in Lisbon, she may even bring Ireland to an eighth Eurovision victory! 🙂


Personally, I think that there is not much change this year since last year’s format. A good track record in the music industry does not guarantee Eurovision success e.g. take this year, the composer Jorgen Elofsson has written for many A-list singers, yet Dying to Try failed to make it past the semi’s. In addition, even if budget is an issue for Ireland, there needs to be more of a public influence. Perhaps one way they can do this is by releasing the song, then getting the public’s reaction and making a revamp if necessary.


Budget is not an issue…Portugal and RTP have no budget and they threw a man on stage with a microphone and won the whole thing.

Weirdly enough I think Amar Pelos Dois shared a lot with old Irish winners. Ireland always had songs (often ballads) that were heartfelt and performed by seasoned singers that brought genuine emotion and honesty to them. It always felt organic, raw and real.

The latest songs have been manufactured to “win” or “qualify” and often performed by folks without enough performing history.


I think Playing with Number should be in the final


and so did Heartbeat – still one of my favourite songs in Eurovision since 2010. But I like Ireland overall their problem is that they do not know how to stand out – same goes for Switzerland

Robyn Gallagher

And yet Ireland totally nailed the staging with “Lipstick”, even winning the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award for the overall impact of the performance.

Liam Holton

A Number of Irish artists are obviously gonna feel pressure having to follow up from an undeserved last place and four consecutive failures to qualify. Let’s just hope ThisisPopBaby stays clear away!!!!!!


Last year they were dying to try .but this year they are actually trying and not just dying. Good to see.


That remains to be seen. We’ve been here before, and we know the end result.


This year their focus seems to be the song which is the step in the right direction!! While rarely singers do win like Salvador/Conchita did but mostly its the song that wins!! A good song with a mediocre singer is better than a mediocre song with a good singer for me