In the Eurovision 2018 pre-season, Irish broadcaster RTÉ has made a lot of noise about wanting to shake things up. There have been plenty of rumours about potential acts, but little solid information — until now.

Television presenter Eoghan McDermott — best known as the host of the Irish Junior Eurovision national final and former host of The Voice of Ireland — has shared a couple of photos to his Instagram Story that show there’s some serious deciding happening.

The Irish broadcaster showed scenes from a listening session to pick Ireland’s entry for Lisbon. In one photo he was shown sitting around a table covered with a number of RTÉ-branded coffee cups.

It’s not clear from his photos if the songs being assessed were were all entries from different artists, or if the broadcaster is searching to find one song for an already internally selected singer.

Most tellingly, McDermott shared a glimpse of his song assessment sheet. It shows his reactions to five songs, including a score out of 10 and comments. The comments are cut off, but they still give a lot of clues to the sort of songs the panel is assessing. The song titles have been obscured.

  • Song 1: 6.5/10, Eerie, Lorde, Royals vibe…
  • Song 2: 4/10,  Amy Winehouse/Adele vibe…
  • Song 3: 4/10, Lively, v. derivative, boring…
  • Song 4: 8/10, Big potential, current but…
  • Song 5: 6/10, Too repetitive, weak…

The image is titled “Only one decent song so far…” and the implication is that song four is the big stand-out track. McDermott has rated it 8/10 and describes the song as “Big potential, current but…”. The ominous “but…” suggests there’s something about the song that isn’t quite right for Ireland.

The obscured song titles show that there are a total of ten songs being assessed, which suggests this is the final shortlist.

Ireland gets serious

Following four years of non-qualification, Ireland is shaking up the way it selects its Eurovision act. The internal selection process for Lisbon started in September 2017. Back then, the broadcaster put out a call for entries, and specifically noted they were looking for “songwriters and performers, preferably with a proven track record of success in the music industry”.

The broadcaster also reserved the right to match any song selected with a different artist to the one who submitted the entry.

Since then, only one artist has been confirmed as having entered a song. Punk rock legend John Lydon — aka Johnny Rotten — revealed he has entered the song “Pleased To Meet You”, described as ‘cow punk’.

But plenty of other rumours are circulating, suggesting that Samantha Mumba, B*Witched, Heathers, and an unidentified boy band have all been considered at some point. And who knows — perhaps some of the songs Eoghan has been assessed are attached to one or more of those artists.

What do you think? What sort of song should Ireland send to Eurovision 2018? And who should sing it? Share your comments below!

FOLLOW ALL OUR IRELAND EUROVISION 2018 NEWS

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Bernadette
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Bernadette

It would have been better to present the finalist (if this is what these panels are about) to the nation and let them decide. It also gives Irish songwriters / singers a chance to show case their talents. Doing well in Eurovision can be a source of national pride. Ireland seems to over represent itself in the world with successful international artists, surely they can get better results in Eurovision than in the last few years. Last year the successful Scandinavian songwriter writer also wrote some no.1 hits for Westlife. That is 2 years of a Westlife connection.

Zebb
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Zebb

No one asks Ireland for Green Light, or Dua Lipa’s breaking hit, but to downgrade paramountly ‘eerie, Lorde vibe’ adds couple of decades to Eoghan’s birth year. There’re teamwork and producers to fix/add hooks or back-vocal to chorus…

Bgc
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Bgc

“Eerie, Lorde Royals vibe” sounds good to me. ^_^
We should be looking to countries like Belgium, Bulgaria and The Netherlands for inspiration – they turned their fortunes around in recent years, we can too!

Darius
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Darius

100%, but get rid of Louis Walsh! His Eurovision “experience” is outdated, he’s a 65 year old man!!! Look at France and their revamped Selection since a new and young HOD took over 2 years ago, Amir was amazing… Alma, too! And 2018 looks very promising for them, too!

esc1234
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esc1234

They still havent found their way, a selection including that kind of names and the comments indicating that all the songs are meh, idk, doesnt look good for them

Ron
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Ron

Eoghan had only heard five songs when he wrote the comments. We don’t know what he made of the other five.

Héctor
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Héctor

Is it possible that the chosen artist is a girl? All of the references in his references in comments are females: Amy, Adele, Lorde, etc… Or maybe there are more than one artist and the songs with those references come from girls.

Ron
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Ron

Heathers rumour is rapidly gaining pace. A couple of people on the general Irish ESC scene have said today they think they are the act (they’d be a very interesting shout too).

Geo
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Geo

It’s obvious, no final for Ireland…again (especially if the old fashioned Louis Walsh is in charge again, after last year’s disaster). He should have the decency to retire!!!

beccaboo1212
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Hopefully Ireland sends one of the following to Portugal.

* Aimee Banks (Junior Eurovision 2015)
* Annabel Sweeney (guest performer for Celtic Woman’s September 2017 concert at Dublin’s 3Arena)
* B-Witched
* Chloë Agnew (former Celtic Woman member until 2013)
* Heathers
* Samantha Mumba (longtime rumor)

8tdig7
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8tdig7

It seems pretty reasonable for one to say that Ireland has stopped caring about eurovision a long tine ago…
The last time it got to the final was 5 years ago and they got last

Rob
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Rob

One good sign is that they seem to be involving younger people in the song selection process this time. Eoghan McDermott on the final judging panel and I believe they had a young rock journalist on the initial panel in November.

irish esc
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irish esc

does not look good for ireland this year we could be disappointed : (

Connor T
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Connor T

The only person*

Connor T
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Connor T

I think I’m they person who still listens to B*Witched. So im down for them to be an esc act. Although i worry they wouldn’t be able to break the streak.