Ireland Lesley Roy First Rehearsal Eurovision 2021
Photo: EBU / ANDRES PUTTING

It’s the one-time Eurovision powerhouse that finds itself licking its wounds after finishing last in the semi-final for a second consecutive contest. Now, as the dust settles on Lesley Roy’s Rotterdam adventure, Ireland’s RTÉ is left to map out a new strategy for 2022 and beyond.

Speaking to The Irish Sun, Head of Delegation Micheal Kealy shares his dream for public involvement while also stressing the broadcaster’s financial difficulties.

Will Ireland return to a national final for Eurovision 2022?

Kealy has stood by Ireland’s internal selection process on many occasions, citing various issues such as the difficulty in attracting quality acts, the cost of running a national final and the public’s tendency to vote for their local hometown entries. However, after a sixth non-qualification in seven attempts, he’s now singing a slightly different tune.

“I feel it’s time we reverted to giving the public their say in what we do but we must find an effective and cost effective way of doing that.”

Nonetheless, Michael quickly dampens expectations of a lavish national selection by highlighting RTÉ’s budgetary woes.

“Other countries are able to invest significantly more money and resources in their selection processes, staging and support teams than a small chronically underfunded broadcaster like RTE, that’s unfortunately a fact of life we can’t ignore.”

It’s worth noting that Michael doesn’t specifically advocate for a return to a traditional national final. We’ve seen other countries let the public have their say without hosting a televised selection. Between 2018 and 2020, Czech Republic held an online selection with fans and an international jury casting their votes based on music videos. In 2021, Bulgaria presented a selection of songs for Victoria and opened a portal for the public to share their thoughts — although the final decision remained with the delegation.

Ireland’s Eurovision selection process

Up until 2016, Ireland always selected its entries using some form of public competition. In recent years, this typically took the form of a Eurosong special on the Friday night talk show The Late Late Show. However, RTÉ went internal in 2016, selecting Westlife’s Nicky Byrne and the song “Sunlight”.

In 2017, music impresario Louis Walsh was handed the reigns. He handpicked Brendan Murray and “Dying To Try”. There was an open call for entries between 2018 and 2020, while Lesley Roy was reselected in 2021 after Eurovision 2020 was cancelled.

In this period of internal selections, Ireland has only made the final once — with Ryan O’Shaughnessy and “Together” in 2018.

What do you think of Michael Kealy’s comments? Is an Irish national final a realistic prospect or just wishful thinking? Let us know below.

Follow all our Ireland Eurovision 2022 news.

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Michaelcrosse
Michaelcrosse
4 months ago

Yes online voting a good idea to comprise of1/2 of total votes but one vote per person but initially only people that know a good – winning song could chose 5 or6 good songs a few that are daring yet melodic

Dani
Dani
4 months ago

Ireland should send Robert grace he has a large platform on tiktok and is a great singer and songwriter

JayW
JayW
4 months ago

Samantha Mumba is on record saying she would do it. Her new stuff is contemporary and relevant, and she’s working with some brilliant songwriters including MNEK. It seems like an obvious but great choice in my mind.

I loved Lesley. Ambitious and a cracking tune but the live performance perhaps was a little too ambitious.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

I think Ireland should send something in Gaelic because it will stand out.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

How difficult it is to do an online national final? Or even better to find a sponsor? It’s Eurovision so it’s a big brand.

Honestly, RTE get your s.. together and find someone young and talented with a great voice. The 2018 guy was perfect!

Martin
Martin
4 months ago

I always wanted Una Healy or Nadine Coyle to represent Ireland

Michaelcrosse
Michaelcrosse
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Perhaps John farry
Who wrote that great song mysterious woman Ireland 1997 entry which finished2nd could write a song for Nathan carter as he is his manager

Adriana
Adriana
4 months ago

I feel sorry for Belarusian artists and fans they do not deserve that, but saying that, Hungary is another country who ignore the rules, same in UK.If you punish a country for their political views then you should look at Hungary and UK. For some reason you punish only countries from Eastern block, what about from west Europe?

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  Adriana

Hungary left before the EBU could expel them. However the Hungarian broadcaster itself hasn’t done the vile things BRTC has. The EBU doesn’t have jurisdiction over governments, but it can discipline broadcasters. At least in Hungary even after Orban and Fidesz got really bad A Dal still included non white acts for example, despite the racism of the Hungarian government.

Lin
Lin
4 months ago

Ireland – please send the coors with their Irish sound, Perfection!

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Lin

They’re my cousins.
Jim is weird though.

lin
lin
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Why is he weird?

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  lin

He’s a crazy conspiracy theorist. Thinks covid was a scam, and there’s aliens and stuff.
He’s as mad as a box of frogs

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
4 months ago

I enjoyed Maps, but was always bothered about how auto tuned it sounded. I trusted Lesley was a good singer, but on the night she seemed to struggle. Looking back on her performance of SOML, she couldn’t handle the high notes very well there either. Without sounding mean, is she (like James Newman), not a natural singer/performer, and better suited to writing or producing?

Also, her staging was ambiois and creative, but also made me think of children’s TV, like some kind of puppet show (unintemtional I’m sure)

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  HarpyDarper

I’d agree that she’s a better song writer than singer but I also think the camera issue on the night made it difficult for her. Caught her by surprise. I think she thought they would play the Irish postcard again and give her time to get ready, but they just went straight into it and caught her off guard.
She recovered vocally about halfway through the song, but by then it was too late.

Dans82
Dans82
4 months ago

How many times do we hear from RTÉ (and BBC) that they want to choose a song that will work at Eurovision? This is the outdated idea that there is a Eurovision formula, why not just choose a good song? They also need to choose somebody with performing experience, the last two attempts we’ve had bad vocals and overly busy presentations. Change is needed but i wouldn’t hold my breath, I expect we’ll hear in spring 2022 that they’ve found a song and performer that ‘will do well at Eurovision and do well with Eurovision audiences’ sigh …

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Dans82

But it will be a mid tempo poop rock piece by someone with just a guitar

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Pop/Rock*** lol
Though some might call it poop rock

MollieLouise
MollieLouise
4 months ago

I hope the HOD realises that the song wasn’t the issue, they chose an amazing songwriter and could do the same next year. It was the singer and her performance that let Ireland down. Maybe focus on the singing and staging next year instead, I mean how many times have we seen an average song be lifted up with a killer performance?!

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  MollieLouise

Set Me Free might be a good example

Cassandra
Cassandra
4 months ago

I want to mention that from the studio version Mapps was my favourite song (along with Tout l’Univers).
I listen to it all the time.
Unfortunately the live performance wasn’t good. I liked the staging, but the vocals were out of breath. I think Lesley would have done great, if her voice would have been stronger live.
It’s really just so sad that it didn’t work out…

Luke A
Luke A
4 months ago

Would love a song in Irish or with that celtic sound something more traditional, come on neighbours don’t be following our (UK) lead I’m always been near bottom

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Luke A

I don’t think 100% ás gaelige would work but a bilingual song along the lines of Amir (France 2016) could work.

Oy oy
Oy oy
4 months ago

The Irish entries nowadays lack style and direction: every song sounds like «just some song that probably will do all right in Eurovision»… Well, they don’t.. Look at top 5 this year, each of these songs stood out bravely in their own way! They were not just «another song». Ireland: look closely at this year’s Eurovision and learn! I really want you to do well!

Richard Kimble
Richard Kimble
4 months ago
Reply to  Oy oy

I can see how the top 3 did well this year. Italy was refreshing and energetic. France was good their best in years the singer was stunning. The Swiss entry was very strong vocally. Personally I thought Ukraine was awful yet it came high enough. Ireland can contend they just need to let someone who has the will to drive it on.

Apollo
Apollo
4 months ago

THIS HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Ireland doesn’t qualify and then the HoD tells journalists he wants a ‘Melodifestivalen style” national selection in Ireland, but then says RTE cannot fund it. There are articles every year since 2013 of their HoD saying the exact same thing, but he doesn’t make any changes! Ireland need to start looking for other options if they cannot fund a national selection, start off with getting rid of their HoD and then maybe do an online selection similar to Czechia. If Ireland does magically have a national selection in 2022, they should have NO Melodifestivalen rejects… Read more »

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Apollo

”Mello rejects never do well” Malta 2021, Denmark 2018, and Denmark 2010 say hi! 😉

Sure, a lot of them fail for a reason, but there are outliers.

An online selection similar to Czechia is an excellent idea. 🙂

Last edited 4 months ago by Colin
Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Malta 2021 only did well with jurors, Denmark 2018 only did well with the televote. It’s still taking a big risk going for a “melfest reject” and for a country that’s been struggling for many years, I don’t think we should take that approach.

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  Escfan

We already did in 2017 and it did not work

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  Escfan

I think a Melfest reject can work if you know how good of a vocalist the original Swedish singer was. If the original Swedish singer just couldn’t give a good performance it might mean that the song was still good and could do well in the hands of a better vocalist.

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Escfan

“Malta 2021 only did well with jurors, Denmark 2018 only did well with the televote.” Yes, but this “only” has put them in spots UK or Ireland could only dream about for a long time now. I mean, Malta was 7th! Ireland would call it a huge victory if Lesley had finished 7th.

Last edited 4 months ago by Colin
Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Also, whilst 14th is disappointing with televoters, it’s not awful and certainly a good turning point for Ireland.

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Yes but at the same time, they had things that specifically appealed to their target audiences. Malta did well because of destiny’s strong vocals and stage presence, Denmark probably because of the visuals, they were memorable and they also sang it decently.

I think that the problem is apart from Ryan in 2018,we didn’t really have anyone in the last few years who was strong vocally and had great stage presence.

Its not their status as a melfest reject that got Malta and Denmark there positions but rather how they performed it.

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Escfan

I agree, execution is the key. For what it’s worth, I voted for Ireland in both 2017 and 2018. I can see that Brendan’s pitch wasn’t for everyone, and Louis’ idea of a balloon wasn’t the best, but I still think that it was a great song, and it should have qualified. Ryan was amazing, and absolutely deserved his qualification. With Sarah, it’s just that the song fell into the background. Lesley had a good song, but a messy execution, which led to elimination in a very strong field. I think that what Ireland (and everyone else pulling a string… Read more »

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago
Reply to  Apollo

One big reason why Melodifestivalen is so big is because important, established acts enter year after year. The same with San Remo. It’s the content as well as the format. One without the other won’t work.

Irishfan
Irishfan
4 months ago

Its embarressing that rte financial troubles means no proper national final. The selection process on the late late show was wooden and inevitably involved Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh and the Rock and roll kids belting out (badly) dated eurovision hits and reminiscing yet again what it was like to win (30 years ago). In order to save the country from disgrace I think I might have a go myself next year. National final (aka tekevote with no live show) here I come. I am a bit stuck for cash though so I think my stage performance in Italy will involve… Read more »

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Irishfan

Lesley’s staging was planned out for quite some time, it also didn’t look that bad.
I also think referring to past Eurovision winning entries as badly dated Eurovision hits is unnecessary but perhaps we shouldn’t be asking those artists every year for their opinions for the songs we send.

I do think that we’ve sent poor to average Eurovision songs for the last two decades with some exceptions. We need to start taking the competition seriously and one way in which we can do that seek out upcoming talented artists to sing for us.

Zisk
Zisk
4 months ago
Reply to  Irishfan

We can split the bill. I do a mean pre-recorded saxophone solo.

Patrick
Patrick
4 months ago

Sinead O Connor seems to be interested in going?

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

In Ireland’s case, I don’t it was the case of the wrong song or the wrong performer. It was a case of the wrong staging. Practical backdrop was really ambitious, and hard to pull, but also looked a bit unfinished. The cutouts had no color, layers or details. The sudden shift in the third minute wasn’t needed, and Lesley being out of breath was definitely not helpful either. But overall, I am kinda disappointed that it finished last. Song-wise, it probably should have squeezed in, but even if we take all the problems I’ve mentioned, a borderline NQ would’ve been… Read more »

Zisk
Zisk
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I definitely think wrong performer was a part of it. Last year she had weak vocals live, this year during the song reveal she had weak vocals live, and showed no improvement by Eurovision itself. Yes the staging was ambitious but her breath control throughout was also massively questionable. I don’t think she really had it in her to give it the power it needed to connect live.

Darren
4 months ago

One thing I do know, RTÉ needs to stay away from the likes of Linda Martin and Louis Walsh.
The days of mid-tempo country/pop/rock hybrids and pub bands and “young lad with guitar” needs to end if we are to be taken serious.
We should be reaching out to the likes of Lyra, Denise Chaila, Flynn or basically anyone from the “Breath of Fresh Eire” Spotify playlist.

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

I think young lad with guitar can work if the lad in question has bucket loads of charisma and a good song. That kind of music has existed for so long it’s kind of timeless, and with it being rare at ESC, Ireland can do well if they send a very good version of it.

Fionn
Fionn
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

this is exactly what I’m saying. the breath of fresh éire playlist has so many options for RTE to ask: inhaler, Kojaque, lyra, Denise chaila, orla garland, jafaris, biig piig, laoise, lenii, cmat, soda blonde, Gemma dunleavy, monjola, jyellowl, shiv. Just a few suggestions, all of which would be a great choice for Ireland

Jake
Jake
4 months ago

Sorry but Lesley Roy had one of the worst stagings of this year’s contest…how can such a happy anthemic song whose music videos made me want to hop on the plane to Ireland turn into a clunky show of grays and blacks and non-cohesive storytelling…it’s as if we were looking at a test run for the staging and later on they were going to color in the set pieces…and poor Lesley had one of the fastest lyrical songs out there and they made her run and punch and move all over the stage–it was so awkward to see…she was too… Read more »

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Jake

I mean I would’ve liked colour and all but one of the worst staging in the entire competition? Really? I thought it looked cool, especially when the village popped up, I thought that was quite nice and also when she turned her head and the cutouts moved. They did have some technical issues apparently, so I’m not sure how much that would’ve affected the final product. If I’m not mistaken, I think Lesley and the creative director were working collectively on this project. She wanted a storybook theme and I think she wanted cutouts so it could be recreated by… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago
Reply to  Jake

She had bad vocals even when she wasn’t running. She seemed very content on stage, it didn’t look like somebody made her do something she didn’t want to do.

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Jake

It definitely wasn’t the worst. Very dramatic comment

Héctor
Héctor
4 months ago

I don’t really think the song was a problem this year. Maybe the staging was confusing and there was too much going on. The live performance was also a bit breathy. Anyway, Kudos to ireland because they tried to do something different and they didn’t deserved the last place in any case.

Ireland has some great artists and groups though that could take Ireland to the final and that aren’t necessarily famous.

Nate
Nate
4 months ago

I really want to see Ireland doing well again so please, fix whatever needs to be fixed (this said, I really liked Heartbeat and Playing With Numbers and I think they should have qualified)

XCF
XCF
4 months ago

There’s a lot of different ideas, but for example sponsorship might not be possible since some countries laws for the public broadcasters don’t allow that, I don’t know what the case for Ireland is though.

ESCCork
ESCCork
4 months ago
Reply to  XCF

RTÉ has about 200 ads every 15 minutes so I doubt that’s an issue

XCF
XCF
4 months ago
Reply to  ESCCork

Interesting, in some countries the public broadcaster isn’t allowed to have any ads or sponsors. If sponsorship is allowed then that could help with the budget

Timi
Timi
4 months ago

Send Sinéad O Connor, please. She said she wanted it.

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Timi

This is the arrogant UK mentality,you could still have upteen performers from europe could be better than her on the night,regardless of how well known she is

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  Timi

Sinéad O Connor would be a nightmare PR wise due to some of her political opinions and I can imagine Islamophobes across Europe would not vote for her unfortunately.

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Timi

Oh no, if the option was to send Sinead or withdraw, I would pick withdraw, everytime

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

She just needs to call up Sweden who I’m sure will have a “sexy diva bop” waiting on the production line for her. And she could be carried around the stage by those Croatian lads in their spacesuits.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 months ago
Reply to  Timi

her name is now legally shuhada’ sadaqat

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago

I think she’ll still perform as Sinead O’Connor though, right?

Hello hi
Hello hi
4 months ago

Funding in RTE . Joke . They have been over paying their presenters for decades . Some are paid more than BBC and many American networks . Yet RTE audience is only 4 million .
Disgusting broadcaster and the epitome of cronyism Ireland

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Hello hi

RTÉ is one of the worst broadcasters in Europe. Second only to maybe Malta’s MTV

paul
paul
4 months ago

These financial problems must have exsisted for a looooooong time,because you can count the decent songs on one hand in over twenty years.They could cut corners if they want,ironic thing is that mess of a song in the semi including all the associated costs hotels etc prob cost around 300.000 euro,you be better to withdraw than burn money like that. or sit it out for three years and spend the cash on something with a chance of getting to the final.Would be better than close to last in a semi final every year

paul
paul
4 months ago

how much does it cost RTE to show the British soap eastenders 3-4 nights a week when people can see it on bbc via sky anyway.I wouldnt imagine its very expensive,but every little helps!

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  paul

RTÉ forget that we actually have access to BBC here too lol

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

I wish I could have had access to Marty’s commentary on Saturday night!

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Jofty

Shame! Marty is an icon here. It’s like watching Eurovision with your Da, but not in the kind of making fun of it way the bbc do.

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Actually Norton wasn’t as bad as he could have been, it took a while before the usual shout-out to his sister! But then of course that witch came on, I mean Holden, not Carola. WTF?!

BOD
BOD
4 months ago

Some other countries include voting from international juries as part of their national selection process, which seems like a good way to counter the “parochial” voting so loved in Ireland which often scuppers the chances of the best song succeeding in a NF. Why not actually let some of Europe have a say in which song is liked by Europeans!

Liv
Liv
4 months ago

Wow, this is the most negative I have ever seen this comment section be. If the current system isn’t working, it makes sense to change it and give another a go. Personally I’d like to see a czech style nf in association with 2fm as they may be able to attract more acts. Worth a try.

Fionn
Fionn
4 months ago
Reply to  Liv

completely agree, I think they need to reach out to artists such as lyra, Denise chaila, Kojaque or basically anyone who’s featured on spotifys playlist “a breath or fresh éire”

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago
Reply to  Liv

what is not working isn’t the selection process, it’s the people behind it – they are the problem…

internal selections have proven to work great even for the countries that weren’t successful in eurovision before – Bulgaria, Malta, Cyprus, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium etc. for the countries where wrong people are on the top (Spain, UK, Ireland) nothing will work, national selection even less likely..

Samo
Samo
4 months ago

The key is to find someone who is authentic and has at least somewhat distinctive style. The trouble is that Ireland has been sending random artists with random songs that didn’t feel personal or carry any special emotion. If you look at Ireland’s entries over last couple of years, you could replace the artist with someone else and no one would have noticed. There are tons of talented musicians who write their own songs (or at least have a stable team who can write songs that are made for them) waiting for their turn in the spotlight. Eurovision would be… Read more »

Christopher
Christopher
4 months ago
Reply to  Samo

Case in point being that 22 was written for Ryan O’Shaughnessy and they just palmed it off to Sarah McTernan a year later! RTE are clueless hacks.

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  Samo

To be fair, at least Lesley had creative control over her entry.

Jamie
Jamie
4 months ago

It’s nice to see so many countries trying to do better.

Apollo
Apollo
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Ireland’s HoD has said he wanted a national selection every year for the last decade. He isn’t trying to ”do better”, he’s just trying to deflect the hate he’s been getting and turn it into hope.

Anhel
Anhel
4 months ago

I mean… I don’t know if that’s the problem? I think Maps was a great song, it was in my top 10, but what brough it down was the staging which looked like crap and the awful vocals (which might have been influenced by moving too much? I dunno). If they had had a national selection based on the music video or a less frantic live performance, who’s to say that they wouldn’t have still picked Lesley Roy to go?

Samo
Samo
4 months ago
Reply to  Anhel

Songwise, I find Maps to be the same category as Embers. Decent but forgettable. It’s not the kind of song people will remember after hearing it once.

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Anhel

I genuinely liked the staging, it was really creative and different. Yes, there were technical issues but to say the staging was crap is imo extremely harsh. I will agree that the vocals weren’t good. As I mentioned before though, many artists in the first semi had questionable vocals and some of them qualified. I think simple staging would’ve had a similar result if I’m quite honest. I’m not saying the final package was brilliant or anything but I don’t like that some people are incredibly negative with how it all panned out. It wasn’t close to being the best… Read more »

Anhel
Anhel
4 months ago
Reply to  Escfan

It was super creative and interesting, I just don’t think it translated well into the final product… It looked to me like a project a fifth grader would do, especially the part where there are two white sheets on both sides of her is so jarring. I think it would’ve looked a bit better in color at least? It’s totally just my personal opinion tho, I’m sorry that I didn’t emphasize that in my post. I was just disappointed since I really liked the song. ^ I definitely remembered Maps after hearing it once, It has great lyrics, lots of… Read more »

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Anhel

I actually agree about the sheets of paper on both sides being jarring and likewise, I was disappointed because it was the first entry Ireland sent in a number of years that I actually liked. 🙂

I was also expecting the cutouts to have some colour or effect on them to mimic the greenery of the country or something.
But yeah, I still really like the song and I’ll be listening to it regardless of the result :).

Cassandra
Cassandra
4 months ago

I’m not so sure a national selection would be good.
I can only compare it with Switzerland (also a small country).
We used to have a national selection and then the artists, who had the most friends won. Also the songs were all so boring.
Then everything changed 2019.
Since then we have a internal selection with 20 international juries and 100-panel audience.
They judge a lot of songs (many written in song writing camps) and the best represents Switzerland.
Maybe Ireland could do something similar, but I don’t know how costly that would be.

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Cassandra

Tbh, I’d love that, the last three songs Switzerland have sent (including 2020) were brilliant. Zibbz were also good.

I’d personally prefer that type of internal selection to a national final, especially with a country whose not had much success with national finals in past years. I don’t exactly know the process of internally selecting an entry in Ireland but it hasn’t been working very well.

Donal
Donal
4 months ago

Until Ireland as a nation and the culture of taking Eurovision seriously comes back then nothing will change. No serious artists are even considering eurovision as an option. Changing the format whether it be internal selection or public decision will still only attract amateurs and unexperienced performers. Other members of the Eurovision family have successful artists in their own country and regions, clamouring to represent their country because it is seen as a great way to further get their music out and also the eurovision is highly regarded throughout the continent. There’s a reason why Ireland and the UK have… Read more »

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Donal

donal well said thats the reality,thats the truth.At the end of the day if they cant come up with a good song via an internal selection,how are they going to fill a national final.

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Donal

Exactly

Pancake
Pancake
4 months ago

If they’re so concerned about having a tight budget, I think there are at least three options they could go to (with the first one being important) 1. Get a sponsor: Like, if Bulgaria can get a sponsor to cover their participation, then it should be easy for Ireland to the same. Plus, with this, they could do whatever they want (although send a good song is mandatory here and the others). 2. Use a reality competition: Like, some countries have use Idol as a NF, so what’s stopping Ireland to do this? Also, aren’t reality shows covered by broadcaster’s… Read more »

AM2PM
AM2PM
4 months ago

The first step for Ireland is SACK Michael Kealy. He took over as head of delegation and since then we have only qualified once and the only thing he seems to do is offer excuses rather than solutions. A national final would be good but there needs to be a bar set. Perhaps limit to only artists who have released music and have a set number of international performances under their belts already. Just spitballing ideas here. Otherwise we end up with complete amateurs like Sarah McTiernan. Also RTE needs to avoid a line up of 5 unknowns and one… Read more »

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  AM2PM

cyprus is a small country,but they largely have been buying imported songs via internal selections,but at least they got second in 2018,and its getting them out of the semis on a regular basis.Ireland has little to show for its internal selections

Fionn
Fionn
4 months ago
Reply to  AM2PM

yes! the amount of talented artists in Ireland is much more than many countries. so many Irish artists do so well internationally like dermot Kennedy etc. I’m not saying we should send him but I’m saying there’s no excuse for sending a completely unknown artist. I think RTE should look at some Spotify playlists of Irish music and just email all the artists and ask them lmao. a few are bound to say yes

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago

As an Irish person, the thoughts of a national selection does not enthuse me much. Although I always enjoy watching other countries national selections, I also remember watching some of our national selections in the early 2010s. The songs in the selections were pretty low quality all around and the strongest of the bunch represented our country between 2011-2015. I did like lipstick but tbh I didn’t like the others. Maybe we need a different approach to it and also different panelists judging the songs. In the past we had some television presenters, comedians and Louis Walsh on a panel… Read more »

AM2PM
AM2PM
4 months ago
Reply to  Escfan

Agree fully.

Richard Kimble
Richard Kimble
4 months ago
Reply to  Escfan

The mistake with sending Dustin was allowing him to enter in the first place. We basically as a country who proudly won 7 eurovison contests with some memorable performers made a laugh of the contest that nobody in Europe got. Personally at the time I thought it was a disgrace Dustin was funny as a kids entertainer but that was his limit. There is a way forward as someone else said sponsorship is an option. We are just coming out of a pandemic there would be many venues countrywide that would put on a internal contest I’m sure tickets would… Read more »

Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard Kimble

Oh, 100% agree with that. The only thing I’d say is although the decision to allow Dustin to enter the selection was very questionable (Dana also stated on the judging panel that it would be a disgrace to the competition and we have to take Eurovision seriously) it still annoys but doesn’t surprise me unfortunately that the public voted for him anyway. Like they could’ve not voted for him but ofc they leapt at the opportunity to make a mockery of themselves 🙁 . Hopefully though, the public have matured and if there is a song in a national selection… Read more »

IrelandESC
IrelandESC
4 months ago

I think the excuse of not having enough money is very poor (have you not heard of sponsors?), Michael Kealy’s record has head of delegation should be on the line at this stage, if he was in any other industry he would be on this ice. Ireland have one of the worst records in the contest over the last 10 years and it’s clear a change is needed. I absolutely loved Lesley Roy’s MAPS song this year when I heard the studio version. Lesley just didnt have the voice to pull it off live, the same thing with NIcky Byrne… Read more »

AM2PM
AM2PM
4 months ago
Reply to  IrelandESC

You’re right, Michael Kealy needs to go.

WestMids
4 months ago

The song was meh. But the performance was over complicated, frantic and yet still boring. Her vocals were awful and in the end she just looked a bit mad to be honest. Ireland need to forget working to a formula. It doesn’t need a big name or a “eurovision friendly” pop song. It needs to be authentic and the artist needs to be committed to it. Send a classic-style Irish folk group.

Last edited 4 months ago by WestMids
paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  WestMids

when you do an internal selection over multiple years,as in you can choose any singer or song you want,it should have been enough to make a difference at least to qualify some years.
so either whoever decides on the song simply hasnt got a clue,or they have nothing to choose from.
I welcome a national final,but to simply now blame internal selections that has worked well for so many nations,avoids the question. why could they not come up with a good song most of those years?

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  WestMids

Like Dervish you mean?!

Rifki
Rifki
4 months ago

again, as I have said for the UK, Ireland should redo their national selection, but of course it should have slick Eurovision-like production. as Ireland is not so big as a country, I only hope for one big final in a big venue (so far, only 3Arena is eligible for this).

Last edited 4 months ago by Rifki
Escfan
Escfan
4 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

Yeah, because when we had national selections in the early 2010s it was for one night, in the late late show with a very small stage.

Richard Kimble
Richard Kimble
4 months ago

Ireland has 7 wins and a great history in the competition so withdrawing is not an option. As for Michael Kealy he has questions to answer after presiding over our worse ever period. It’s bad enough coming last in the final but coming last in 2 successive semi finals is diabolical let’s be honest here. Excuses simply don’t wash because where there’s a will there’s a way. There is plenty of talent in the country to succeed at eurovison. You only have to look at the top 10 from this year 4 or 5 were very poor we can do… Read more »

Donal
Donal
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard Kimble

I don’t agree that 4 or 5 of the top 10 songs this year were poor. They may have been poor to you but juries and televote beg to differ. Maps never had a chance. It wasn’t current or risky…. It was safe and generic. Look at the top 10 in the final this year….. They were all very different and had great staging and live performances.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Donal

Well, “Maps” was 7th in top 10 in wiwi’s reviews along Malta 3rd, San Marino 4th and Cyprus 8th. All these entries share one thing and only one managed to end top 10 in the gran final.

I was shocked to find out that a song placed that high in one review could actually end up last in the semi.

Maldric
Maldric
4 months ago

Yes! Ireland need to make somes changes about their selection to Eurovision! For sure they will improve!
Go Ireland

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Maldric

most nations go from national selections to internal selections in order to change fortune as in netherlands etc.not the other way around
unless they come up with modern songs and singers it aint going to make a difference.
At least debate is taking place after countless years of non qualification

Maldric
Maldric
4 months ago
Reply to  paul

Portugal made a “upgrade” to their national final and improved their results and their entries. lets see what Ireland will do

Maldric
Maldric
4 months ago
Reply to  Maldric

Also in recent years countries like Belgium Austria Switzerland and The Netherlands improved a lot theirs results…Now its time for Ireland and UK do the same

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Maldric

most of it internal selections.
That proves my point,RTE now seem to be saying this is the reason for the bad results,I suggest the problem is who decided on the song behind the scenes

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Maldric

apart from the win in 2017 portugal have not done well from national selections over a prolonged period of time. as the host nation they where back bottom of the scoreboard in 2018,and did ok this year.

we shall see if ireland can change moving forward,but with so many failed internal selections where they could literally choose the song and singer behind the scenes,its quality of the song and singer that must be of importance not the format

Maldric
Maldric
4 months ago
Reply to  paul

But they changed the rules about their national selection and they have nowadays one of the most interesting national selections. The songs maybe not be the most competitive but they have strong personality even when they don´t sing in portuguese like this year. Yes they got last place when they hosted with 40 points I guess not bad in comparison with Israel(saved by corrupt votes from Belarus) or Netherlands when they hosted. If Portugal (the worst country in Eurovision in terms of results) changed and improved, Ireland who was so successful, can do it for sure!

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Maldric

but they need good songs! you seem to ignore that a country that have used an internal selection for so long failed to come up with anything of quality (give or take a few years) most countrys move from national selections to internal to improve results or because they have a song and singer they really want to use. yes any country can do well from national selections as well,but the quality has to be there in the songs. I remain sceptical due to Irelands failure to come up with anything from the internal selections. but we shall wait and… Read more »

Maldric
Maldric
4 months ago
Reply to  paul

I guess I understand you and I agree with you. The major point its good song and a good singer! But I think the situation changed or its changing. Because I remember when countries from west europe couldn’t even qualify for the Grand Final. And in nowadays we have a lot of west countries in the final and they even won!
In my opinion Ireland Uk and Spain are the countries who need changes urgently!

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Maldric

maldric with respect we know that,again you seem to be going off in all sorts of directions and actually proving my point. most nations that started doing well did so from internal selections,RTE now appear to suggest the internal selctions have been the problem No its the quality of the song that was put forward from the internal selection and not the concept in itself. now if they want to do a national final and theres nothing wrong with that I welcome that,so long as the quality is there comparable for example to norways mgp. Norway have reached good positions… Read more »

Maldric
Maldric
4 months ago
Reply to  paul

sorry my english is quite rubish I cannot explain myself properly :/ Im not defending a magic and infallible formula to do well on eurovision. Im ok with internal selection in the same way, Im ok with national selection. I never said Portugal has a great sucess recent story on eurovision. I just said they improved. Its only my opinion. I never voted for them until 2017. And i voted again in 2018 and 2021.Again, for me, its a great improvement. Did you saw the stages for festival de cancao 2019 and 2020? They really did an effort.(being the poorest… Read more »

Sot
Sot
4 months ago

I guess after 6 NQ’s, one last place and a surprise Q in the last 8 years, it’s reasonable to change your formula

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Sot

internal selections are largely successful in other nations,at least in qualification to the grand final.
RTE have been doing this and still coming up with bland dated songs and performers,that fail to qualify.
unless the problem is adressed diffrent formulas will only lead to the same non solution

IrelandESC
IrelandESC
4 months ago
Reply to  paul

I think we just need to get an established singer on board who is known in some parts of Europe and who can carry a song live, that would be a start. Give them a selection of songs for a televote/juries from around Europe to select the song and take it from there. I really dont think an established Irish artist would enter an Irish competition with other artists to represent the country.

Singer – internal selection
Song – televote/Irish and International juries

paul
paul
4 months ago
Reply to  IrelandESC

well said and take some pride in taking part,something they should cherish as a seperate nation. most Irish people just view stuff from Britain now,be good to have something for themselves,sure they are not that strapped for cash

paul
paul
4 months ago

The problem with this its maybe replacing one problem with another. internal selections are mainly done so a brooadcaster can go behind the scenes and submit a really good song and performer. but in Irelands case they normally send an average song and relitavely unknown performer,this now seems to be an attempt simply to blame the internal selection itself. many nations do internal selections and finish quite well if not one year at least the next. while the national selection may be a welcome change of direction,a low budget national final may still end up with the same result a… Read more »

Darren
4 months ago

We could even do a deal with Virgin Media.
VM creates and holds the NF, RTÉ looks after the act and getting it to Eurovision

Darren
4 months ago

We had a great format a few years ago, though it never was used as a selection method for ESC. But everyone was saying at the time that it could have been. It was called “The Hit”. Well known songwriters and singers submitted songs, performed live in front of an audience at the 3 Arena. People voted for the songs each week which accounted for 50% of the vote, the other 50% came from streaming if the song. It got the public and streaming platforms behind the song so it could work as an ESC selection. I remember the show… Read more »

esc1234
esc1234
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Literally that sounds like a (good) NF. They should definitely do that.

Sot
Sot
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Oh, you’re Irish!? The more you know…

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Sot

Haha yeah I probably said it here A LOT lol but there you go haha Irish guy here, from near Dublin

AM2PM
AM2PM
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Oh I remember that. The Hit was a great format. Samantha Mumba had a really good song on it.

esc1234
esc1234
4 months ago

Are they not aware of sponsorships?

ag89
ag89
4 months ago

If they do Late Late Night Show maybe it is better stay with internal selection.

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  ag89

Late Late Show is abysmal, with bad acoustics, the presenter would spend too much time talking about J Lo and the Irish heyday and the actual show itself is rarely watched by anyone under 40.
Big no to the late late

AM2PM
AM2PM
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

J Lo? As in Jennifer Lopez? You’ve lost me…..

Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  AM2PM

The original J LO, Johnny Logan of course

Ted
Ted
4 months ago

Perhaps some sort or radio show instead of television to start with. Podcasts etc. Filter this into a 5 min slot on the late show over a few nights would help generate interest. Stretch it out over a few weeks. Allow the artists more exposure and time to sell their song pre selection. It would be great to see Ireland doing well in the esc again. Plant the seeds and the songs will grow. As for respected artists not wanting to take part, the exposure that a national selection let alone the song contest itself can generate is not to… Read more »

Jamie
Jamie
4 months ago

Ireland needs some form of a National Selection next year. Period.