Ireland’s Kasey Smith brought a strong song, a gorgeous golden dress and two excitable Irish dancers to Eurovision. Yet something was still missing–and Ireland crashed out of the second semi-final.
The result seemed increasingly likely as rehearsals unfolded, but it still took Team Wiwi by surprise. The Wiwi Jury–our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals–ranked Ireland third. And our readers voted it their favourite to win, handing it over 30,000 votes in our Eurovision poll. No wonder Ireland’s dismissal made our list of Eurovision crimes for the second semi-final…
Now Ireland is left searching for answers on how to get back in the final–and how to do well once it actually gets there. You’ll remember that in 2013 Ryan Dolan made the final–and finished last with just five points. That Kasey failed to advance from the smallest semi-final ever (just 15 acts) must have raised eyebrows (and a few fingers…) at RTE.
In a May 10 article for the Irish Times, academic and journalist Karen Fricker argues that Eurosong–the national selection that takes place on the Late Late Show–needs to go.
A central problem lies in the current selection process: the one-night Eurosong competition in which the public votes on acts crafted by RTÉ-chosen mentors. This has resulted in performances which have not proved appealing to European voters and expert juries. Nor are these acts representative of the wealth and variety of musical talent in Ireland.
RTE understands there is a problem. Speaking to the Irish Times on May 10, the head of delegation Michael Kealy confirmed that Ireland will scrap its mentoring system.
However, he did not confirm whether Eurosong would be scrapped altogether.
We have been reviewing the Eurovision selection process for some time and we are planning to make an announcement shortly about changes to how we select Ireland’s Eurovision act.
Few of us objected to Kasey’s song “Heartbeat.” Since that came from Eurosong, should we really write off the contest so quickly? Or is the issue what to do after Eurosong? Ireland’s staging at ESC seemed repetitive and somewhat lazy, a copy of last year’s staging replete with folks banging on drums. At times Kasey seemed lost on stage. Maybe she was angry that Conchita was wearing her dress?
How do you want Ireland to choose next year? Comments below!
William Cahill is a correspondent in Ireland. Follow him on twitter @williamcahill16. Follow the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter @wiwibloggs and keep up with the latest Eurovision news by liking our Facebook page.
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)