Ireland‘s internal selection process has taken another twist in its long journey to Lisbon. The Irish Sun is reporting that both punk icon John Lydon and sisterly duo Heathers are out of the running. Broadcaster RTÉ has instead selected a “male solo singer” who will reportedly be announced soon.
Both John Lydon — aka Johnny Rotten — and Heathers had made it as far as the top ten acts that were recently assessed by various focus groups.
RTÉ felt that Lydon and his ‘cowpunk’ song “Pleased to Meet You” were not right for Ireland at Eurovision 2018, as they say the Portuguese-hosted show will be going “back to basics”.
The folk-pop duo Heathers — made up of sisters Ellie and Louise Macnamara — were under serious consideration, but negotiations fell apart over song choice. The broadcaster wasn’t happy with the self-written song the sisters had submitted and urged them to perform something written by another songwriter.
However, as an insider told The Irish Sun, “Heathers are accomplished songwriters so being the writer as well as the act singing it was a deal-breaker for them.”
With both Heathers and Lydon out of the running RTÉ had fallen back on a “plan B”. They are said to have secured a “male solo singer with TV experience”, who will be announced shortly.
But who is the mystery man? The Irish Sun has named several potential acts. Top of the list is Ryan O’Shaughnessy. He came to fame in 2012 when he made it to the live shows of The Voice of Ireland and later placed fifth on Britain’s Got Talent.
Also suggested is some past winners of The Voice of Ireland: Pat Byrne (2012), Keith Hanley (2013) and Brendan McCahey (2014)
We’ve also heard buzz around singer-songwriter Jake Carter. He’s the younger brother of Irish country music star Nathan Carter and is currently starring on the Irish edition of Dancing with the Stars.
Linda Martin’s winning formula
Meanwhile, Ireland’s 1992 Eurovision winner Linda Martin has shared her thought on how Ireland can get their Eurovision groove back.
The “Why Me” singer told chatshow host Ray D’Arcy that Ireland needs to return to sending ballads, as that’s the song Ireland has success with during its golden era 20 years ago. Fans have noted that Ireland has not had much luck with its recent Eurovision ballads, while Jedward’s uptempo “Lipstick” gave Ireland’s its only top-ten finish in the past decade.
Martin also said the Irish need to stop sneering at Eurovision and to embrace it for the huge performance and career opportunity it offers.
Who do you think the “male solo singer” is? Should Ireland take a ballad to Lisbon? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!