He’s a man synonymous with Eurovision and he’s not happy. Speaking to The Sun, Johnny Logan — the only singer to win the contest twice — hit out at the Irish selection process for Kyiv, branding it “cheap and nasty”.
His comments come after Louis Walsh — the man charged with selecting Ireland’s song — said he’d love for Johnny to write Brendan Murray’s entry.
But the “Hold Me Now” hitmaker is having none of it.
“I like Louis but he knows I would never have anything to do with our Eurovision entry the way it’s currently being done by RTÉ. Because at the moment, it’s cheap and nasty — that’s how it seems to me.”
Asked what he thought of Walsh’s involvement, Logan claimed to be not surprised:
“I’m not surprised. They seemed to have tried everything else at this stage.”
Do like the Nordics
Like every Eurovision fan, Johnny wants the Irish broadcaster RTÉ to take matters seriously. One suggestion he offers is for Ireland to do like the Nordics and run a multi-week selection show.
“RTE should have a show running for several weeks like they do in Norway, Sweden and Denmark to find a song for Ireland.”
He also wants the station to invest in new talent.
“RTE should go down to the BIMM music college and find the best new songwriters to come up with songs.
RTÉ prepares for “Stockholm”
In response to Logan’s criticisms, RTÉ issued a statement which was published by both The Sun and the Irish Indpendent.
“RTE is not in a position to invest in a series dedicated to a National Song Contest to select an Irish entry for this year’s Eurovision.
By appointing Louis to help select a song, RTE can put all of the resources available into the production of the act for the stage show in Stockholm and, of course, get the benefit of the many years of experience Louis has.”
Yes, you read that right — Stockholm. Either that’s a misprint or RTÉ really don’t care.
Ireland at Eurovision
While Ireland is well known for their seven Eurovision victories — including their 1990s dream run of four wins in five years — their recent Eurovision entries haven’t been as successful.
In the past decade, Jedward have given Ireland its best results, placing eighth in 2011 and 19th in 2012. Ireland has otherwise placed last in the grand final twice and failed to qualify for the final five times.
Most recently, broadcaster RTÉ took a break from their usual Eurosong national final and internally selected former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne. His upbeat song “Sunlight” wasn’t a hit with viewers, and placed only 15th in its semi-final.
In December, Irish broadcaster RTÉ revealed that music mogul Louis Walsh had handpicked former Hometown member Brendan Murray to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2017.
His song has yet to be revealed.
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