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

Ireland is returning to a national final. The country’s Eurovision 2022 artist will be selected in a special episode of The Late Late Show.

In its earlier forms, the national selection on The Late Late Show gave us Niamh Kavanagh’s “It’s For You”, Jedward’s “Lipstick” and “Waterline” and Ryan Dolan’s “Only Love Survives”, among others. And we can’t forget that infamous Linda Martin fight. The format hasn’t been used since 2015 when Molly Sterling won with “Playing with Numbers.”

Speaking about the return, Ireland’s Head of Delegation for Eurovision Michael Kealy said:

“I am very excited by the return of a Eurovision National Final on The Late Late Show and the prospect of giving the public a greater say in selecting our entry for Italy.”

“Every year the Eurovision gets bigger and more competitive than ever and given the enormous exposure and huge financial rewards for the winner I’m hopeful that we will attract a very high calibre of songwriter and performer.”

“This year’s artist Lesley Roy has gained tens of thousands of fans all over Europe on the back of her involvement with Eurovision and her very strong social media presence. She’s currently on an extensive tour of the UK and Ireland.”

Ireland has mixed fortunes with its earlier version of a national final held as part of The Late Late Show. While the contest took Ireland into the Eurovision top ten with Jedward’s “Lipstick”, it also gave the country a last-place finish in the grand final and two non-qualifiers.

Eurovision 2022 will be the first time Ireland has held a national final since 2015. All of its subsequent acts were chosen internally: Nicky Byrne, Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Brendan Murray, Sarah McTernan and Lesley Roy.

Only Ryan managed to make the grand final, placing 16th in Lisbon.

A date for the new national final is yet to be confirmed, however RTÉ says it will take place sometime in early 2022.

Ireland revives national selection on The Late Late Show

The press release makes it clear that they want accomplished songwriters to submit their work. This ain’t amateur hour.

“Although we wish to encourage and identify promising new talent for the future, this is probably not an opportunity for beginners or people with limited or no experience of performing in public to large crowds,” the broadcaster says.

RTÉ also has high standards for the singers. The broadcasters says they are looking for acts with “talent, drive, and ambition to compete at the highest level before a global audience of over 200 million people.” The artists should also “have intrinsic and obvious appeal to the core youth audiences who make up a significant amount of Eurovision viewers and fans.”

The entries will be assessed by a panel of panel of music and entertainment industry professionals and Eurovision fans. The assessment may also include an in-person audition at RTÉ in Dublin.

The panel will select a shortlist of acts who will then perform at the Eurovision special edition of the Late Late Show.

Entries can only be submitted via RTÉ’s website, with the entry period closing on 22 October.

What do you think? Is Ireland smart returning to a national final? What acts would you like to see compete on the Late Late Show? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Ireland Eurovision news here

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Bird Lover
Bird Lover
26 days ago

they just need to let their artists do what they want. 2009 was a perfect example and that deserved to qualify: it would have if it didnt perform second

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
26 days ago

I loved their 2021 entry. And their 2019 entry was good. The one is messed up by performance and the other one was just uncompetitive and not for Eurovision.

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
25 days ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

“Maps” suffered from overstaging that affected Lesley’s breath control and vocals,

Bird Lover
Bird Lover
23 days ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

yet you didnt vote. the irony of such comments

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
27 days ago

Oh dear. This national final will be no better than the national finals that were held in 2014 and 2015 when we had people like Linda Martin and Phil Coulter (who are somewhat nostalgic for “Old Eurovision” and who complain that it has since been corrupted against us since we last won it). Once again, it will also have an older audience with a warped idea of what Eurovision is, thinking that we’re so great because we won it seven times and have fond memories of Johnny Logan winning it, but believe that modern Eurovision is full of freak acts… Read more »

Michael crosse
Michael crosse
25 days ago

Yes well Phil coulter did say that molly sterlings song was good up to a point the rest of it was not of the required standard and Charlie macgetticans song was better he was probably right as results prooved

Michaelcrosse
Michaelcrosse
6 days ago
Reply to  Michael crosse

Just to add I was happy enough to send either song

Roo
Roo
27 days ago

I hope Linda Martin goes on a rampage again. Odious little men don’t stand a chance against women with brains.

Azaad
Azaad
27 days ago
Reply to  Roo

It’s always good to have former ESC participants being HODs/running ESC participation for their countries. Christer Bjorkman is the prime example and Linda sounds like she can do a good job as well.

Bird Lover
Bird Lover
26 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

bjorkman? the guy who almost finished last? LOL

Rashad
Rashad
27 days ago

Back to square one, another non qualifying country to ease up the competition for others.

Leo M
Leo M
27 days ago

Ugh, back to Late Late. Would’ve preferred a stand alone national final, always sound problems in the studio – it’s not meant for live performances

Darren
Darren
27 days ago

Oh for god sake! Can we just withdraw? I’m tired having to cringe behind the cushions when our act comes on.
Enough is enough.
Also, the age group they will be aiming our entry for don’t even watch the Late Late Sh!t Show.
It will be all Johnny jackets and Waterloo,..I can see it now.

Last edited 27 days ago by Darren
Jofty
Jofty
26 days ago
Reply to  Darren

Withdraw away boy. Otherwise what do you suggest? Surely this is a step in the right direction. The last three songs chosen by Late Late viewers; Only Love Survives, Heartbeat and Playing With Numbers were all good contemporary tracks. Unlike the drivel “selected internally” to the present day. As a former boss used to say, put up or shut up!

Darren
Darren
26 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

Believe me boy, there is nothing progressive about this.

Boozyfloozy99
Boozyfloozy99
27 days ago

Another lacklustre minimal effort from Ireland mind you, it’s more than what the BBC will do haha

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
27 days ago

The standard of Irish national finals in the last ten/twelve years hasn’t been fantastic, they’ve had decent performers/talent involved (like Maria McCool), but rather lackluster songs, and a lot of the same writers over and again. And of course the Late Late Show studio has poor accoustics and makes it all seem a bit amautirish. Somewhere like the Helix in Dublin or the Limerick University Hall would be ideal, much more suitable, but I understand RTE may not have the resources of funds for that nowadays (I hear it’s full of bias, corruption and nepotism!). Hopefully after two last places… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
27 days ago
Reply to  HarpyDarper

Yeah, I hope Ireland’s recent failures serve as a wake up call to shake up How Ireland’s been handling eurovision. It’s time for a change of approach For Ireland to improve its fortunes next year.

Michael crosse
Michael crosse
27 days ago

They could also give the songs a public hearing leading up to the final show perhaps on ray Darcy’s radio show with a few people that know a good song commenting on them so that people will have a better idea about the song quality

Totorino
Totorino
27 days ago

Well Michael Kealy is still their HoD so meh

Jake
Jake
27 days ago

I don’t understand why they must make it part of the late late show. Why not just make it a true National final during a decent hour for the entire family to watch together. Even if you want to keep it on the same set and just change the layout a bit. At least that would give it a bigger sense of importance.

Whisker
Whisker
27 days ago
Reply to  Jake

That’s right!

Liv
Liv
27 days ago
Reply to  Jake

The late late show is consistently the best watched irish programming every week. Having it be on the late late at least ensures there will be a large audience to create hype and promo with.

Una
Una
28 days ago

Great news from Ireland!! An Irish TV selection sounds amazing!!

What does “accomplished writers” mean? Should they be from Ireland – one of the most music-oriented countries in Europe – also a (former) music powerhouse in the *world*, or elsewhere (“mer ce nnary” writers welcome).

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
28 days ago

Ireland please, choose wisely

Cem Yildiz
Cem Yildiz
28 days ago

“this is probably not an opportunity for beginners”???
You either officially state that only established artists are allowed to participate or say the competition is open to everybody.
The weird statement means you will be biased against beginners and so it will not be a fair competition.

Michael crosse
Michael crosse
26 days ago
Reply to  Cem Yildiz

Yes if it’s a good song they should accept it and if the songwriter is an inexperienced performer then ask someone experienced to sing it plenty of good singers around would do a good job it’s a song contest Remember

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
28 days ago

After two consecutive semifinal last places, the island taking a different tactic to choose the revision entry. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t realized I don’t have use the national finals since 2015, so maybe next year this could change their fortunes around if they get some good songs for competition.

Ashton
Ashton
28 days ago

I wanna be optimistic but this is like UK going back to You Decide. Like were the internal selections working, no, but the national selection you did sure wasn’t working either. regardless, I hope I can be surprised

Liam Holton
Liam Holton
28 days ago

Excited! Bring it on!

58 Points (JE)
28 days ago

A cracking contemporary pop song as Gaelige with Sibéal on lead vocals would be grand.

fionn
fionn
27 days ago
Reply to  58 Points (JE)

look at moxie on youtube they’re also great!

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
28 days ago

Why can’t Ireland do a Melodifestivalen-style NF? Johnny Logan suggested that a few years ago. Or copy Switzerland’s internal selection process? Surely Ireland has the resources to do that as well.

58 Points (JE)
28 days ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

The broadcaster doesn’t. Compared to countries like Sweden, taxes in Ireland are low and for an EU country so is access to government funded services. Plus it’s been bleeding money in recent years and seen major job cuts.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
28 days ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

Melfest is a really big, expensive production, SVT’s flagship entertainment programme. If RTÉ were to take that route, they’d probably have to cut a lot of other local entertainment programming to fund it. But rather than having a six-week touring show, I could see something on a smaller scale working, like Denmark or Finland’s NFs – a one off show in a large TV studio with Eurovision-scale performances.

Alex
Alex
28 days ago

after so many failures with internal selections, it meant to happen but why that Late Night show again?? How come they can’t find sponsors/labels and cover any additional expenses for a proper national final? I can’t believe how countries like Moldova, Serbia, Croatia and Ukraine can host national finals and Ireland has to rely on a night show…. that small stage is so cringy, it’s like they are not in sync with Eurovision and how big of a contest it is now (seems like they are stuck in the 90s).

esc2022milan
esc2022milan
28 days ago

I hope not but I have a feeling that Jedward will participate in this selection

Paul
Paul
28 days ago
Reply to  esc2022milan

And theyd probably end up winning it again

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
27 days ago
Reply to  esc2022milan

I really hope not. They’ve had their moment on the sun, this should be an opportunity for someone new

Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago

I didn’t really think it would happen, but I was kinda hoping it would be Sinéad O’Connor. She was doing interviews for her new book recently and said she’s always wondered why she was never asked to represent Ireland. I mean, they can’t do any worse than 2021, so there is nothing to lose, and Sinéad isn’t the type of person to care about results anyway.

Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

P.S. Her version of “All Kinds of Everything” is good.

Bird Lover
Bird Lover
23 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

why would they ask sinead? she is already known and lives off of residuals from her one hit song. I think shes doing just fine. she doesnt need esc

Doir
Doir
28 days ago

Oh my god, I’m on cloud nine right now! All of the last ESC season I’ve been telling my friends how much I want a return to the national selection here and OMG have rte delivered. I can’t wait for the national selection show, it’s gonna be amazing!!

Last edited 28 days ago by Doir
fionn
fionn
28 days ago

“Every year the Eurovision gets bigger and more competitive than ever” says michael kealy after making the irish nf as small and pathetic as possible. what a joke.

Joe
Joe
28 days ago
Reply to  fionn

Probably the best he could do with the resources. RTE isn’t a huge broadcaster like ARD or the BBC. To have a NF at any scale is kind of a miracle. Whether or not it’ll be any good remains to be seen.

Erasmus
Erasmus
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

yeah, but it’s bigger than let’s say HRT, LTV or RTVSLO

Alex
Alex
28 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

exactly. how messy his statement is and inconsistent!!

Since Eurovision is a big event, why don’t they host the NF in a big stage?

James
James
28 days ago
Reply to  Alex

Perhaps because interest in Eurovision among casual RTE may not be as high as Sweden? Low interest also may mean it could affect the likelihood of big and promising names into submitting their names for consideration and may not be worth the expense of going full blast.

James
James
26 days ago
Reply to  James

*Casual RTE viewers.

hellohi
hellohi
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

The problem with RTE is that it spends its resources on staff salaries . It has the money but instead overpays its overrated presenters . Much more than the vast majority of other broadcasters

Joseph Mendy
Joseph Mendy
28 days ago
Reply to  hellohi

Exactly the same problems the BBC has and we here in the UK has had very shocking results from our recent national final (2019) and our recent internal selection (2021).

Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

They did a good job being responsible for four Eurovisions in five years, though. All different. I know that was a long time ago, but still…

Roo
Roo
27 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

It was a time when Irish music in general was very much in vogue.

fionn
fionn
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

i would’ve preferred an escz style online selection with music videos tbh. it would be much cheaper too

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

There are plenty of countries with small broadcasters that still do well at Eurovision though (Bulgaria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, etc.)

Bird Lover
Bird Lover
23 days ago
Reply to  Joe

sorry but RTE probably has more money than someone like serbia or croatia, and they still make a bigger effort than ireland

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
28 days ago
Reply to  fionn

I mean the late night show systematically rakes high viewing rates in Ireland so this might be a strategic way for RTE to keep down costs and at the same time create buzz around the eurovision selection.

By the way a small selection does not equal faillure at eurovision. Only the song + end product on the eurovision stage will count in the end.

Last edited 28 days ago by Frisian esc
Joe
Joe
28 days ago

Excellent! While you could argue that this format has seen mixed results, we can also definitively say it’s at least gotten more acts to the final than internal selections have (literally only one internally-selected song has ever gotten Ireland to the final, two more have bottomed out their semis – coincidentally, the last two Irish entries). They’re strongly wording the announcement to appeal to big performers and songwriters, so hopefully that’ll get folks to turn out. And when push comes to shove, I’m always happier to see a national final of any quality than be left hanging unless I know… Read more »

Joe
Joe
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

We know for sure that it’ll be the first NFs since 2020 (at least to pick both a song and an artist) for Australia, Iceland, Latvia, San Marino, Serbia, and Slovenia (as well as the Czech Republic and Ukraine if they go that route). It’ll be the first since 2018 for Malta (if we don’t count The X Factor Malta) and the first since 2015 for Ireland.

Sabrina
Sabrina
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Do you know in which year there were more national finals? Even if 2022 doesn’t break this record, this will probably be the year with more hours dedicated to national selections, since Norway is keeping their multiple weeks format, Spain will have 3 nights in Benidorm and Estonia has now quarterfinals. From those we still don’t know what will do, I hope at least Czech Republic and Ukraine confirm their finals.

Joe
Joe
28 days ago
Reply to  Sabrina

The year I got invested in Eurovision was 2018, and that was a banner year for NFs. We got Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. All but Israel and Finland to select both the artist and the song. Of course, quantity didn’t mean quality, and Switzerland has been better off since going internal, but it was an exciting to get into Eurovision with that many selections all at once.

Sabrina
Sabrina
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

I believe it was also my first year trying to watch as many national finals as possible. 30 countries doing national finals in just one season was remarkable. I even forgot I watched the Montenegrin and the Polish ones.

Joe
Joe
28 days ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Also the usual marathons at Sanremo, Melfest, and FiK

NickC
NickC
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Lithiqnia And Eatonia are marathons too.. so as MGP

Maya G
Maya G
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Also first Israeli NF since 2016 to pick both a song and an artist