TG4, Ireland’s Irish language broadcaster, has unveiled its new season line-up, and Ireland’s Junior Eurovision selection features among the highlights.
Last year, Gaeilgoir (Irish-speaker) and musician Stiofan O Fearail was joined by Eurovision veterans Niamh Kavanagh and Brian Kennedy on the judging panel which chose Aimee Banks and “Réalta na Mara (Star of the Sea) as Ireland’s inaugural JESC entry.
According to TG4’s website, “Ireland’s former Eurovision representatives will guest judge each programme.” Hold on to your hats, because it looks like Jedward will be among those imparting their Eurovision wisdom on the show.
The “Lipstick” singers will sit alongside a returning Niamh Kavanagh, Eurovision 1992 winner and “odious man” hater Linda Martin and 2008’s Dustin The Turkey. The final panellist will be Sandie Jones, Ireland’s 1972 representative and the only person to ever sing in Irish at the adult contest.
Recruiting the twins could be a smart move on TG4’s part. Jedward is one of the most successful acts to come from X Factor UK, and have always had a massive tween (JESC target audience/approved by mum) following, with three number one albums and singles in the Irish charts, and countless Christmas panto cameos.
With the country’s most famous twins on the panel, the broadcaster will hopefully see increased interest in Junior Eurovision, as was seen when they took part in the adult contest in 2011 and 2012. Jedward gained many new fans after their successful Eurovision appearances, so they really do have plenty of solid advice to give to hopefuls. I hope.
Local media reports that the selection process will air and conclude within the next month, with 32 contestants through to the live shows, although TG4 has not given any specifics yet.
The winner will compete at Junior Eurovision 2016 in the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta on November 20th.
Malta’s Destiny Chukunyere slayed the pack in Bulgaria last year to bring the contest to the sunny island for the second time. Perhaps it’s time for the kids of Malta to share their secret with the adults?