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.”
Ireland's 2022 entry will be selected on a Eurovision #LateLate Show Special ???????
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) September 17, 2021
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!