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 Timesacademic 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)

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Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
7 years ago

How’s it going guys? Here is what I hope to achieve by devising the Eirevision for Ireland: + Get the rest of Europe involved with OUR Eurovision selection process and possibly bring tourism to Ireland as a result of Eirevision. + Have 24 high calibre, potential Eurovision winning songs. The best 12 songs will progress to the final. + I want to be able to restore a sense of national pride in Ireland’s Eurovision record. + If it is successful in finding a winner (of top 5 entry), I will consider devising a very similar format for the UK and… Read more »

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
7 years ago

Hi Guys @Robyn Gallagher Yeah, I mean, I am currently analyzing a few possible venues that RTE could use for 2015. I will give you a few of them now. Dublin Convention Centre (2,000 people) Citywest Convention Centre (3,100 people) Belfast Waterfront (2,500 people) The Marquee Cork (4,000 people) Bord Gais Energy Theater (2,000 people) Basketball Arena Tallaght, Dublin (1,900 people) RDS Simmonscourt (5,000 people) The voting system used on the Late Late Eurosong is cool. It is basically the same as Melodifestivalen only instead of the international juries, you have the 5 regional juries. So I would be happy… Read more »

Anna
Anna
7 years ago

The Irish system to let mentors choice arrists and song especially is horrible! I mean just see for this year the song Ireland represent with was terrible bad!

Deven O'Kearney
7 years ago

Hi guys. So listen, what do you think of my idea of a national final. Name: EIREvision Song Contest Venue: RDS Simmonscourt (5,000 people) Presenting Market: 2 presenters JEDWARD Nicky Byrne Kathryn Thomas Amanda Byram Laura Whitmore Grainne Seoige Ray D’Arcy Kamal Ibrahim Eoghan McDermott Daiti O’Se (Irish Nikolaj Koppel) Judges: 5 judges Johnny Logan Alexander Rybak Lena Meyer Landrut Linda Martin Helena Paparizou Louis Walsh Paul Harrington Charlie McGettigan Voting System: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 points. 50/50 jury/televoting Here is the twist. The rest of Europe will watch the show and will VOTE for the act… Read more »

Starmoon
Starmoon
7 years ago

I feel that we really need RTE to do a Eurosong for Ireland selection show. Which would be something like say The Voice or the X Factor type show, where all great talent from Ireland and go forward and then go on to say semi’s and Final show. The people of Ireland should be allowed to ring in their votes each week. The Judges on the panel should maybe include a mixture of music styles like say Bono – Damien Rice – Ed Sheeran – Enya – Mundy – Christy Moore. This is just a few of people that would… Read more »

Craig
Craig
7 years ago

A massive national final show, or a makey-uppey national final shoved onto the end of the Late Late Show makes ZERO difference to the outcome,none, Nada, zilch! A great song is a great song. We just need 5 great songs. What I dislike about the mentor system is that the song that gets chosen to represent us is really just the best of a bad bunch 🙂 We need five amazing songs, 5 songs that is difficult to chosen between. *And what you all need to realise is that if RTE had a stand alone national selection the ratings would… Read more »

D
D
7 years ago

They should scrap Eurosong and go with either an MGP/UMK-like show with semi-finals or internally select an artist and have the song chosen by the public like Israel did this year.

Darren
Darren
7 years ago

YES! Ireland needs to scrap the Late Late eurosong completely! The Late Late Show always attracts an older audience, therefore dated songs are always being sent. A programme like The Hit, is perfect for eurovision as it brings together both amateur and professional song writers and performers. Then, come eurovision night, the whole performance should be changed, ever year Ireland use the same formula, lead singer and backing singers, instead, why not get a singer who can sing without the backing vocalists and get backing dancers instead? I believe Ireland can win eurovision again and I have a feeling that… Read more »

Stevie
7 years ago

I long for the day when RTE wake up and realise that Eurovision has moved on from 1996. I grew up watching Eurovision in the 90s and am immensely proud of Ireland’s record breaking history in the competition. But come on people, it’s time for Linda Martin to get off her Eurovision Throne and get someone else involved. Putting Irish elements onto a pop song is not going to make anyone vote for us. (Likewise with staging. To give credit where it’s due, Linda Martin was right to tell Can-Linn to ditch the dancers on the now infamous Eurosong.) I’d… Read more »

beccaboo1212
7 years ago

Man, I hope Sinead Mulvey returns to Eurovision next year! I haven’t seen her in the contest since 2009!!!!!

Anthony
Anthony
7 years ago

Yep, I’d prefer if Ireland’s Eurosong wasn’t broadcast so awfully late. It’s like putting the UK X Factor into a 10-11pm slot, and having a ratings war with Match Of The Day instead of Strictly Come Dancing.

Callum Nowacki
Callum Nowacki
7 years ago

Ireland and RTÉ should go for an Internal Selection, if I’m honest. RTÉ could score some good acts and songwriters and kept the selection budget down.

Internal is the only way in my eyes.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
7 years ago

I don’t think it mattered how well or poor Kasey’s vocals were. It just didn’t have the thunder or even the gravitas that Ryan Dolan’s song–or even stage performance–had; and I figured it was going to be another step backwards right from the start.

mikateriyan
mikateriyan
7 years ago

ireland confirmed the day be4 the final that they are scrapping the mentor system, and for all we know they might be using an internal selection…. its unknown yet.

Zolan
Zolan
7 years ago

Everything was wrong with it.
Even the song, while artfully assembled, lacked both momentum and powerful moments; it ambled along for three minutes and then it stopped. All detail, no big idea. The impulse to throw more stage action at it should have been a clue that the song wasn’t doing its job, but nothing in the selection process revealed its weaknesses in advance.

Aaron
Aaron
7 years ago

Ugh it seemed like this year the whole irish thing of our act was (and forgive me for saying it) Americanized with all the diddley ei factors thrown in like the trad music and the celtic looking head band. RTE need to realise that the irish factor wont work with Europe, the contest is getting to the stage where charting songs are key. In saying that based on some opionions and views from Newspapers etc I think the following points are true. 1) We do not have the capacity or interest for a Melodifestivalen styled Selection process. 2) I think… Read more »

Eurofan
Eurofan
7 years ago

god, the more pictures you see of Kasey Smith’s performance, the more embarassing it looks.

Woz
Woz
7 years ago

Ryan Dolan’s was my favourite song last year and his staging was terrific. I keep scratching my head thinking what could go wrong.

Timselvision
Timselvision
7 years ago

No, I enjoyed the NF a lot haha XD

The performance was just really bad. Same for Ryan in 2013.

Hans Wollstein
Hans Wollstein
7 years ago

But, hey, wait just a moment here. If RTE gets rid of The Late Late Show scheme, won’t we miss another entertaining emasculating brouhaha between Linda Martin and some poor bloke? But Straycat is right: the poor cow was out if tune.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Great song BAD very BAD stage performance. Her dress was awkward, the dancers needed to go and her voice wasn’t strong.

and yes RTE needs to change their selection show. Make a national final or pick a winner from talent shows

Michael
Michael
7 years ago

The problem was her vocals, she was extremely weak on the night, the song and staging was alright nothing too memorable though.

straycat
straycat
7 years ago

Funny, I assumed her lack of qualification was because she was hideously out of tune a lot of the time.