Ireland’s Brendan Murray won over plenty of new fans at Eurovision 2017, serving charm, good looks and a very unique vocal register. Sadly he still wound up in 13th place — and sent Ireland crashing out of the semi-finals.

Despite clear effort with the stage show and the involvement of legendary music mogul Louis Walsh, Ireland faced its fourth-straight year of non-qualification. That puts the tally up to seven. Ireland now has as many non-qualifying acts as it has had winners.

Nicky Byrne & Jenny Greene chat with wiwibloggs

It’s time to turn things around.

Like so many of you, Nicky Byrne — Ireland’s Eurovision 2016 singer and a former member of Westlife — wants to see Ireland back in the final. The Dancing with the Stars host made that much clear on Friday during The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene, his popular RTE 2FM radio show.

The “Sunlight” singer, who showed fans nothing but kindness during his 2016 bid, invited wiwibloggs founder and editor William Lee Adams to discuss what’s been going wrong for the Emerald Isle.

You can listen to the full program above.

William, who has written about Eurovision for The New York Times, CNN, The Financial Times, Newsweek, Billboard, Time and others, made it clear that no one doubts Ireland’s talent pool or its abilities.

The issue, in his mind, is usually the song (and, by extension, how it’s selected). As he’s said repeatedly throughout this Eurovision season, Brendan Murray is a standout talent. But his track “Dying to Try” lacked the immediacy (grab ’em in the first minute) and contemporary feel needed to slay Eurovision.

In our initial reaction video, filmed just moments after the song’s release, our panel was instantly turned off.

“This just isn’t good enough,” William said of the studio cut. “I forget the melody. I am not convinced by the delivery. Yes, it’s very emotional and fragile which plays to Brendan’s strengths. But I just don’t think he has a good enough product to sell….Ultimately it’s forgettable.”

Now Nicky has issued an SOS and suggested that wiwibloggs weigh in on the selection process. We just have three words for that: LET’S DO THIS!

In the aftermath of Eurovision 2017, Ireland’s leading media outlets have been highly critical of RTE and, more specifically, the team that chose its song.

The Irish Mirror branded “Dying To Try” forgettable, questioning the musical savvy of the “somewhat shadowy sect” who make up the Irish delegation.

“Eurovision has become an annual competition we now soullessly slog along through, awaiting the inevitable. Failure.”

The Irish Independent also blamed RTÉ for Ireland’s “embarrassing run of Eurovision failures”. The paper hit out at the broadcaster’s selection method, and urged it to look north and seek inspiration from Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. While acknowledging that such a large-scale show wouldn’t work in the Irish market, the writer highlights the importance of record label involvement.

The Irish Times argued that “the mysterious cabal” who picked Ireland’s “plodding, tepid ballad”  must be held accountable. Much of the blame is attributed to the lack of fun — “there was no levity, no spark, he failed to soar and could only plough through an unnecessary key change in his balloon of doom.”

A lot of you have already sounded off in an earlier post with your suggestions for how Ireland can improve. But what are you thinking a few days later? How would you choose Ireland’s Eurovision 2018 singer? Would you stage an open call for songs or focus on handpicking a track submitted by record labels? Would you involve an international panel if choosing a song behind-closed-doors? What about focus groups with members of the public? Who, besides or in addition to Samantha Mumba, would you call on? Let us know EVERYTHING you’re thinking in the comments box below!

Read more Ireland Eurovision news

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Armando
Armando
3 years ago

Irlande Douze Points!

Ron
Ron
3 years ago

There should be far more emphasis on the song. Most people are not that bothered by who the singer and songwriter is, they just want to hear a good song well performed. I would scrap the current internal selection, the Irish public should always be allowed to pick the entry : an internally selected song doesn’t suit the Irish psyche, not after 50 years of national finals. By the way, Louis Walsh was only brought in as a guest mentor by RTE this year. He had no involvement in any of the recent Irish entries, so the constant failures can’t… Read more »

Jasmine
Jasmine
3 years ago

Louis Walsh should retire and let someone younger with a modern vision in charge. I mean, how old is this man? I don’t know his age but he looks like he’s in late 60’s. And he’s old-fashioned, too. Second of all, NO MORE BALLADS! Just pick a nice pop-dance tune, sung by a young artist with a good voice, a great show, amazing visuals and a slick choreography and things should work out well! But again, no more crying ballads, Ireland! It’s not working anymore, we’re not in the 90’s anymore!!!

Napaw
Napaw
3 years ago

Wiwibloggs has become so influential. I wouldn’t be surprised if other countries would begin seeking for wiwi’s help from now on.

escphbelgium
escphbelgium
3 years ago

Actually, by the way I see it, Ireland has 4 options:
1. Let record labels like Universal Republic and Interscope be involved in selecting the artist and song.
2. Replace the head of delegation (get rid of Louis Walsh and replace him with someone with a vision). It worked for France so why not?
3. A National Selection – They should look UK, Norway, and Hungary for inspiration
4. Did what Belgium did this year: Get a song that was never intended for Eurovision in the first place

Alex
Alex
3 years ago

If Armenia did a big selection show, i am sure RTE has the budget to do it..i mean find sponsors..

BUT it’;s worrying that Louis Walsh could not find a big modern song for the show. Brandan is so cute and talented but i am afraid his voice put off the viewers. The song was lovely but it was forgettable.

Just because you won with ballads, doesn’t mean you should keep sending ballads. Find a big pop song or something like Circle of Light with Irish vibes.

Matthew
3 years ago

I think of failed Eurovision entries, Irish or otherwise, the failure much more often comes from the song than the singer, so emphasis should be put on the song as opposed to the singer. An open call for songs similar to what FYR Macedonia did this year may be effective, provided they choose a singer beforehand. A process like Depi Evratesil would be ideal for this, but also expensive. Internally selecting a qualified singer with good experience singing live should do just fine.

Jo
Jo
3 years ago

I’ve just given a look at the juries voting this year and I say hands down to Ireland…that’s how the results should look like. Very honest and not biased at all. No patterns.
Thank You Ireland!
I can’t say the same for Czech Republic, Romania, Ukraine, and many others…

AngieP
AngieP
3 years ago

First of all, Ireland needs a good team, of people with vision! People who like Eurovision and want to see their country back to success. The “Louis Walsh” solution doesn’t work! Next, they need to see what’s happening around them (ex.Belgium as many of you suggested). Belgium is a country with mediocre success which in 2010’s found a way to send good songs and have good results. And they have 2 broadcasters. Then, they need a talented singer and it’s sood to search for young and talented artists. (who I’m sure they have) Finally, what misses is an current, interesting… Read more »

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

What RTE should do isn’t perhaps to turn to sites but rather realise that the way of thinking “it worked before, it will work again” never works. ESC always looks for something new, not rehashes. They also should get rid of thinking “we find songs that work for ESC” because you never can predict ESC. It’s not just one thing but many. You can’t never be sure anything will work. Ireland should try new. Like they did with Jedward 2011. There is a reason they did well: it was new and perhaps not made for ESC. It was a new… Read more »

Ern
Ern
3 years ago

Brendan Murray had a bad song. If he had a better song, he would have qualified and possibly done well.

Nikos
Nikos
3 years ago

Wiwibloggs would no doubt pick something great to get Ireland back into the final. I’m still waiting for William and Deban to represent San Marino too 😀

Unofficial Månsters Association
Unofficial Månsters Association
3 years ago
Reply to  Nikos

William and Deban will definitely bring San Marino their second qualification in Lisbon. I bet their performance would be very mesmerizing and entertaining, with Deban showing off his vocals, and William…umm… doing some amazing choreography. 🙂

Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago

Well, it’s looking more likely that the theatre outfit “thisispopbaby” will be involved with next year’s entry. I have no idea how the song will be selected, but like I said before, this gives me hope. The staging will be great for sure, let’s just hope RTÉ don’t blow it this time. I mean, just surely by pure chance, they have to happen upon something half decent at least once.
https://twitter.com/thisispopbaby/status/867351434974679041

Cathal
Cathal
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonas

Thisispopbaby were spoken too and instead RTE went for Louis Walsh. I don’t think they are relevant this year.

Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago
Reply to  Cathal

Yes, 2017, has been and gone – RTÉ had already made a deal with Louis, but they are still absolutely in the frame for next year and have had discussions regarding that very issue out at RTÉ just recently. The tweet I linked to is dated May 24 2017 – five days ago – so yes, my guess is they will play a part in next year’s participation – that is assuming RTÉ have any sense at all.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonas

So long as they don’t bring back the turkey or anything like it. But then again, if they go for comedy, it had better be funny or it’ll be a wasted effort.

Marcus (Day one)
Marcus (Day one)
3 years ago

I think a country should only choose internally if they have a great song in mind. Otherwise a national selection is best. Rte should see how the UK does their selection as a small scale event in a dedicated show. Ireland should also allow international artist to compete with a national selection of 4-8 songs with 50% televote, 20% national juries and 30% international juries. Rte should use fan outlets like wiwibloggs and ogae because it will be very cost effective and you know that they’d try hard and want to do well. Unlike internal selections that probably only listen… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

They did allow an international artist to compete recently. Erika Selin from Sweden finished 3rd in Ireland’s Eurosong with “Break Me Up”.

Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago
Reply to  CookyMonzta

Forget about the international artists. Ralph Siegel and the like have sent in entries in recent years. This year’s “Irish” entry was written by a Swede and a Brit. I don’t mean to be closed-minded, but it’s not a good thing that every second entry comes from the Swedish conveyor belt.

Just keep it 100% Irish – win or lose, qualify or not, at least it’s a genuine effort and something to be proud of.

Azaad
Azaad
3 years ago

Robyn makes a lot of good points in relation to Ireland’s successes in the 90s and the reason we don’t have a language rule I’d because of Ireland’s victories in the 90s. As everyone else here is saying, the selection process needs to be radically overhauled. Looking to Belgium (Wallonia more so than Flanders, but hey, they came 10th in 2016- a place Ireland could only dream of) would be a good idea.

Azaad
Azaad
3 years ago

I say this as someone who loves Wiwibloggs; No!! Separation of church and state applies to separation of the press and juries! It’s one thing for William to be one of many members for a national final’s British jury, it’s another for Wiwibloggs to choose the Irish song as part of an internal selection.

William Lee Adams
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Azaad

lol. i love the use of separation of church and state!!! takes me back to history class. should point out — i’ve sat on internal selection committees in the past. it’s good fun.

Sarah g
Sarah g
3 years ago
Reply to  Azaad

I watched the shows. He was the CHAIR of the British jury in Finland and Norway. That’s different than being, as you say, “one of many members”

azaad
azaad
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah g

I was aware of that and would never want to diminish William’s success. But a chair still has the same voting power as every other juror.

Darren
Darren
3 years ago

One of the many problems with RTE and Ireland, is that we pick a song simply because “It sounds very Eurovision”. In fact, we should be picking songs that can be chart hits across Europe, and have a life of its own outside of the Eurovision bubble, much like Belgium. Belgium enters quite modern songs that end up being char hits across Europe. “City Lights” is getting quite a lot of airtime over here, I hear it at least once a day at work. It also comes down to music promotion in RTE too, which is actually quite poor. RTE… Read more »

Brian Swann
Brian Swann
3 years ago

I can see someone like Nathan Carter being Ireland’s choice for next year with the right song. He is similar to Brian Kennedy who came 10th in 2006. I think just getting a good track record and good build up before the final may help

Fatima
Fatima
3 years ago

A very enjoyable 10 minutes but as you pointed out Bernardo, the Wiwi jury only placed Amar Pelos Dois 16th this year!

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fatima

Yup…probably one of the biggest blown calls–if not THE biggest–they have ever made. I smelled a dangerous contender the sooner I heard it. Portugal never finished higher than 6th beforehand. I knew this one was going to make the top 5.

William Lee Adams
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  CookyMonzta

You’re not judging like and like. The wiwi jury is a collection of 30+ reviewers and fans. Strategically choosing a song and artist would not be done that group, but rather a smaller handful of people. If you watch our Portugal review videos you’ll see I was consistently backing Portugal even before the hype started at Eurovision.

Tomas Patrick Davitt
Tomas Patrick Davitt
3 years ago

omg LOL, that interview is hilarious!!!

William – you have to come and save Ireland. We need you!!! You can stay in my mum’s house in Dublin, – she makes epic oatcakes!!!!!

Ay Jo
Ay Jo
3 years ago

Sorry, but inviting wiwibloggers to choose the right song and singer instead of professional musicians and producers is just a very unprofessional attitude.
I like the way Wiwi gives fun throughout Eurovision journey and articles they write. But music production process is a different thing. We saw how many “hypied” songs by Wiwi flopped this year. They are just avid Eurovision fans and hardworking people who try to give their enthusiasm to us.
If Ireland want to get normal results in Eurovision they should work professionals who are able to work with music harmony.

Sarah g
Sarah g
3 years ago
Reply to  Ay Jo

Well I doubt it would be a wiwi jury free-for-all. It’d probably be a select group of people. It’s well-known William was on juries in Norway and Finland and Azerbaijan and elsewhere in recent years, so countries are in a way already calling on wiwibloggs

Ay Jo
Ay Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah g

I know they have been juries in some countries. But it does not mean whatever they pointed would end up right. I have a friend who writes, reads, interviews and does everything related to Eurovision but it does not make her a music professional. She has a good taste of music, she knows the soul of the contest. She is a Eurovision professional and that is all. If Ireland needs somebody who is full of with Eurovision experience they can take some recommendations or the person/group who is responsible for Ireland`s presentation in this contest must sit, listen, search, read… Read more »

Fatima
Fatima
3 years ago
Reply to  Ay Jo

What is needed isn’t so much inviting wiwibloggers to choose the right song, but having people at RTE who take notice of sites like this one. I get the feeling that broadcasters from failing countries like Ireland just don’t know much about the Eurovision Song Contest these days. Which was William’s initial point.

Denis
Denis
3 years ago
Reply to  Ay Jo

No one can claim to be a music expert, what is that even? And no where in the rules does it say the jurors are experts. The only rule is that they should work in the music business somehow. meaning they can be anything from singers to radio djs. A blogger about ESC qualifies to..

Ay Jo
Ay Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Denis

Well, if Ireland also do not know what is a music expert or professional like you then they must be ready for another failure for upcoming years.

beccaboo1212
3 years ago

This is gonna be tough. Remember there was a rumor about Samantha Mumba wanting to represent Ireland next year? That COULD work, but we won’t know at least a few months from now

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

Ahhh. Well done William for being honest with them! 🙂
I’m also glad that someone in Ireland actually cares about Eurovision; it’s heartwarming. x

William Lee Adams
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Nicky and Jenny are great — I love that they’ve been playing “City Lights” on their show!

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago

As a more serious set of suggestions: 1) Acknowledge that there is a Problem, and investigate it. Look for common threads among the four consecutive failures-to-qualify, assess if each commonality is a part of the Problem, and address them if they are. 2) Don’t get too wound up on “internal vs. national competition”. Building an institution like San Remo or Melodifestivalen takes several years to put together and build up as an institution, and there is Zero Promise of success in the effort. And “national selection contests” with bad inputs and bad setups produced both the Spanish disaster and the… Read more »

Interesuje
Interesuje
3 years ago

They need modern songs.
Maybe Nadine Coyle can record something for Eurovision?

Justin K.
Justin K.
3 years ago
Reply to  Interesuje

You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if she considers it sometime soon if Girls Aloud doesn’t do anything for their 15th (this year) or 20th (2022) anniversary…

Niko
Niko
3 years ago

They need a revamped internal or national selection. If Bulgaria, Belgium and Latvia could made it, after many years on non-qualification, I think Ireland can make it, too. All they need is a young head of delegation and a changed creative team. The songs for the national/internal selection must be modern, preferably up-tempo (no more dramatic ballads, please)…

Loin de La Bas
Loin de La Bas
3 years ago

Ok Ireland must not stuck in the past, and Eurovision has turned into a fun spectacle BUT one must also realize that we are currently entering a NEW era of Eurovision. Ever since 2014 the trend is changing. It is NOT just about a fun spectacle. It is about a stronger message and concept. One must have a certain authenticity. Cheesyness doesn’t work anymore. Therefore, if Jedward’s entry was for 2017 it would have not qualify. If Wiwibloggs get to choose an entry I am sure it would do pretty well. As you guys are BEYOND in touch to today’s… Read more »

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago
Reply to  Loin de La Bas

Novelty acts are almost surefire gateways to the Grand Final, and that isn’t changing anytime soon. Rap-Yodeling, dueting-with-oneself, dancing with a gorilla costume (would have qualified if it had been in a Semi), and doing a synchronized-treadmill routine all landed on the left side of the board. If Ireland sends a Jedward-esque novelty act, of the level of skill displayed by Jedward and all the novelty acts of 2017, I fully expect them to qualify to the Grand Final … but then, like most novelty acts, I also expect them to not be the Big Winner. If “qualifying but not… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

Novelty acts work only if there’s a good song to back it up; and if the novelty act specializes in COMEDY (like Verka Serduchka, still the highest-placing comedy act ever), it had better be funny.

William Lee Adams
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Loin de La Bas

Thank you for your comments. I should point out that the “hype” was before rehearsals started. If you watch our review videos from Kyiv you’ll see we repeatedly say Francesco will not win with his staging and we, in fact, push Portugal and Bulgaria. The same for 2016. After seeing all the rehearsals we predict Jamala as the winner, with Russia, Australia and Bulgaria fighting for the next spots. All of the countries, however, had strong songs worthy of pre-contest hype.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

I never watch a SECOND of the rehearsals, EVER! I grade the songs based on what I hear and what I see (i.e., the studio recordings and the music videos), and I wait until the contest begins so that I can grade each presentation on the raw, as they occur. For example, in the semis my overall #4, Jana Burceska, took a big hit on my scorecard for what she and her team put on stage, and I ended up grading her as a non-qualifier (#12 in that semi). For what Francesco put on stage, I bumped him from 1st… Read more »

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
3 years ago

Honestly I felt like they almost had it in the bag with Brendan Murray this year. Probably just a lack of preparation with the stage performance leading up to ESC.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago

I thought we already answered this in Angus’s post last week: send Dustin the Turkey again, but this time singing a soulful song in Gaelic, in front of an enchanted Irish forest. 😉

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

Wow, I didn’t know William wrote for Billboard. If we let Wiwibloggs choose the Irish entry, the result would be something similar to “These Boots Are Made for Walking” (obviously, Jessica Simpson’s version where she “pushes her tush” against a car in the video). In other words, a winner.

Loin de La Bas
Loin de La Bas
3 years ago

Oh yes, I think he is also a corrspondent for Times and some other big publications . Harvard graduate and all that, don’t let that squeeky “Let’s doo thisssss” voice fool ya! LOL

Hada
Hada
3 years ago
Reply to  Loin de La Bas

William is a Harvard graduate?

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
3 years ago

Ireland keep looking back to the ’90s and trying to do what worked then. But that’s as crazy as if Sweden sent a song along the lines of “Diggi-loo Diggi-ley” because that’s what once got them a victory. The fact is, Eurovision of the 2010s is very different to Eurovision of the 1990s – no live orchestra, arena rather than theatre setting, 50% televote, and Ireland doesn’t have the advantage of being one of only three countries who can perform in English. If Ireland wants to do well, RTÉ is going to have to drag themselves in to the 2010s.… Read more »

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago

Agreed.

Ireland’s broadcaster should even have an inherent advantage over the Belgian pair: it can easily craft an explicitly-Irish song in a way that is difficult for Belgium to manage across the Dutch/French split. Something modern and distinctly, uniquely-Celtic should not be difficult for Ireland to put together.

Tomas Patrick Davitt
Tomas Patrick Davitt
3 years ago

yep awesome point. We need to look at the countries who were in the same situation but have massively upped their game -: Bulgaria, Netherlands and Belgium.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

Once more, Belgium has had more success with the young lions. The problem for Ireland is that their contenders have been given songs that they could have easily given to anyone; and in some cases, anyone else might have done better. For which, even an attempt to duplicate Belgium’s game plan of sending young contenders (like Molly Sterling and Brendan Murray, as of late) doesn’t help them.

Abel
Abel
3 years ago

Everybody should look at France because they did it in the easiest way, just changing one person, the HoD. Sometimes is enough, pick a HoD that is in touch with reality.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  Abel

Escort Louis Walsh out of the selection committee conference room first. Problem solved.

mad-professor
mad-professor
3 years ago
Reply to  Abel

France isn’t really the best example with a HoD who throws a temper tantrum at the slightest bit of criticism towards any of his decisions.

https://twitter.com/edwardograssi/status/860907811743649793

escphbelgium
escphbelgium
3 years ago

Ireland should look for Belgium for inspiration, since Belgium step out of its comfort zone and took a risk of sending great (and modern) tracks from 2015 and beyond. So, yeah, change the head of delegation and let record labels like PIAS, RCA, Ultra, Interscope or Universal Republic help them.

Shona
Shona
3 years ago

Yaaaay!! This is exciting. So why don’t you go for both pools. Pool A handpicked and pool B open call. Do a wiwi jury. Rank the highest. Perhaps can use the focus group if jury scores are quite tight. Usually my taste is represented by the wiwi jury and I place my highest confidence in y’all.

Shona
Shona
3 years ago
Reply to  Shona

It should be pool A record label. And not handpicked. Sorry ?

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

Time for me to chime in on this one. I think they should go back to something unexpected or unconventional. Obviously it worked with what they sent Jedward with (twice). Unfortunately it won’t work again, as we have seen the boy-band playbook ripped to shreds. The last time they qualified was with a house tune sent with Ryan Dolan, “Only Love Survives”, which was my #1 pick before the 2013 contest. But as we have seen, the stage presentation can make or break an entry, and he was broken bad, last in the Grand Final. Nevertheless, the last one to… Read more »

Abel
Abel
3 years ago

Ireland needs an Edoardo Grassi (head of delegation France). Louis Walsh must go.

Drake
Drake
3 years ago

I got a question folks :
Speaking of Svala’s Paper, what does she refer paper as? Newspaper or just a random paper?

Abel
Abel
3 years ago
Reply to  Drake

Toilet paper

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago
Reply to  Abel

I can confirm it’s toilet paper

Abel
Abel
3 years ago

The real meaning of the lyrics is that she was given a toilet paper too soft/weak and her fingers went through it, this is way she is asking for something more trustworthy.

Jr esc nl
Jr esc nl
3 years ago
Reply to  Drake

It’s about that feeling when your stuck in a public restroom and you’re out of toilet paper.

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
3 years ago

Perhaps the immediate aim shouldn’t be to get good results at Eurovision, but rather to create a compelling experience for the public to take part in.
The main selling point of the Melodifestivalen format should be its ability to engage the public and impact the domestic market, regardless of Sweden’s results. It’s more than merely a selection process and as such would live on without Eurovision.
However, not everyone is comfortable with this merging of tax funded TV, big business and Eurovision.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago

I also think “good results” can be something entirely different than “almost always in the Top Ten”, which is where Sweden and Russia have positioned themselves.

Merely achieving the standard of “advance to the Grand Final more often than not” can be an entirely acceptable level of “good results”. That standard is met by several nations like Israel and Greece and Azerbaijan.

(Although I think that if the result of the national process is “compelling experience for the public”, it will naturally tend to send songs with a high chance of making the Grand Final.)

Abel
Abel
3 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia and Romania have 100% qualification rate.
Greece, not anymore after Argo 2016.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago
Reply to  Abel

Sweden also doesn’t have a 100% qualification rate. Nor does Israel. None of which was my point.

My point was a goal of “advance to the Grand Final more often than not”. Which Greece still manages to do, and which would make Ireland deliriously happy if it once more managed to do.

Abel
Abel
3 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

”if the result of the national process is “compelling experience for the public”, it will naturally tend to send songs with a high chance of making the Grand Final”

In that case Portugal 2017 was destined to fail. SS was not wanted by the public.

Abel
Abel
3 years ago
Reply to  Abel

by the public in Portugal – Festival Da Cancao

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago
Reply to  Abel

“Got 2nd place in the Televote out of 8 finalists” is something Quite Far Away from “was not wanted by the Portuguese public”. It’s like saying that Jamala “was not wanted” by the European public because even more of them voted for Sergey.

The Portuguese public liked another song slightly more, while still liking Salvador’s song perfectly well. Salvador’s song was, without a doubt, a “compelling experience for the Portuguese public”, and given months with it, they were perfectly willing to love it and root for it hard. Unlike, say, the Spanish and German experiences this year …

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
3 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

I agree completely.
What I meant to say is that if a country wants to get ‘back on track’ when it comes to success at Eurovision, then Melfest might not be the first solution to look at. It’s a very cumbersome way of achieving results which might work well for Sweden, but perhaps not elsewhere.

Justin K.
Justin K.
3 years ago

Much like Jo said, if they want to stick with internal selection, they need to ask for advice from countries which have been doing well with it, like Belgium, The Netherlands, Azerbaijan, or Armenia. It’s not that internal selection doesn’t work, it’s that whoever is making the decisions aren’t using the right criteria or holistically aren’t picking the right things. Their ‘national selection’ wasn’t broadcasted correctly either: a late show probably isn’t the best way to go. Their songs weren’t bad, but they weren’t good either; I also agree that Playing with Numbers was one of the best entries post-Jedward,… Read more »

Carin Trano
Carin Trano
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin K.

Umm I’m pretty sure Armenia doesn’t use the internal selection. Maybe you mean Bulgaria?

mad-professor
mad-professor
3 years ago
Reply to  Carin Trano

For the song itself they did.

Justin K.
Justin K.
3 years ago
Reply to  Carin Trano

I forgot to add Bulgaria! But Armenia is known for internally choosing their song, even if their artist gets chosen (much like Israel these past few years).

They may need to look at Portugal’s system of inviting the best composers, then think about having a smaller selection show like You Decide–even something like Festival da Cancao might be too big of a process for Ireland to undertake in its first year. RTE has handled six before, so I don’t see a problem in them using the same number for a similar National Final.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin K.

I think Ireland would be well-advised to look more at the process in The Netherlands and Belgium, rather than trying to analyze what Armenia and Azerbaijan are doing. The lessons to be learned are more likely to be both Directly Relevant and Easily Implemented. Armenia and Azerbaijan both have a large number of factors going on that simply don’t apply to Ireland: 1) Insane levels of national pride on the line, in direct rivalry with one another. Ireland isn’t motivated to “Proudly Represent Our People And Our Nation In Front Of Europe” to nearly the same degree. Barring a massive… Read more »

Justin K.
Justin K.
3 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

I think Armenia and Azerbaijan have a lot to teach to the rest of Europe when it comes to “National Sound”–until recently, they (along with Greece) were pretty much masters at conquering and utilizing their “National Sound” in their Eurovision entries. Whether it be language or composition (e.g. instrumentation), they had a string of success, whether it be Top 10 finishes or wins. I think the reason Azerbaijan has been struggling more is its recent tendency to choose slick Swedish-based productions that don’t sound unique anymore (although the winning ‘Running Scared’ probably wasn’t the best entry they had, especially compared… Read more »

Richardinho
Richardinho
3 years ago

I can’t imagine an Irish entry that isn’t a slightly boring ballad. Gotta be honest, haven’t ever been a fan of any of Ireland’s entries, which is surprising given their depth of musical talent. Have they ever asked Neil Hannon to help?

Abel
Abel
3 years ago
Reply to  Richardinho

Sure…Jedward are the kings of ballads.

Richardinho
Richardinho
3 years ago
Reply to  Abel

I think the Jedward thing was a bit of a gimmick tbh.

Abel
Abel
3 years ago
Reply to  Richardinho

It worked, gimmicks can be interesting and creative. Anything is better than a boring ballad.

Jo
Jo
3 years ago

Since 2013, “Playing with Numbers” is the only Irish song that I could see qualifying, but it didn’t make through.
These internal selections aren’t working for Ireland and they keep sending non-qualifiers songs, not bad but not enough.
The selection process is everything. You can’t pick songs based on few opinions. I agree with William, you need the jury (national or international, but you need them).
You can go internally, but a refined selection process is still required (like what Belgium and N’lands are doing).
And please, go away from these 90’s ballads…It’s not working since…the 90’s.