Due to the mixed results of Ireland at the recent editions of the Eurovision Song Contest, RTÉ has taken the decision to change the format of their national selection process in order to improve their chances of winning the grand-prix of Europe's most watched music show.
The open call for entries was suspended in favour of appointing five music industry professionals who will mentor five separate song entries competing in Eurosong 2011 with the winner being chosen by a mix of televoting and regional juries.
Here is the list of the mentors:
- Caroline Downey-Desmond – Director ofMCD and Event Producer
- Ronan Hardiman – Composer
- David Hayes – Musical Director and Arranger
- Willie Kavanagh – Chairman, EMI Music Ireland
- Liam Lawton – Composer and Performer
"Each of the mentors will source or commission the song and the performer, with all five entries to be performed for the first time on 'The Late Late Show Eurosong 2011' on February 11. As was the case last year, the winning entry will be selected by a combination of public vote and regional jury.", states the national broadcaster of Ireland, RTÉ.
Julian Vignoles, the Eurovision co-ordinator explains the decision of changing the selection format by the following words: "Given our mixed results in recent years, we felt it was our duty to look again at our selection procedure to see what method could improve Ireland's chances of winning on the Eurovision stage. Ireland has a vibrant and successful music industry and we want to find the best performer to represent our country. This year we have decided to suspend the open call for entries and instead harness the skills and experience of professionals in the Irish music business to source the talent and the song that has the potential to be a Eurovision winner. We are enlisting five people who each have proven success in different areas of the music industry so the public will have five strong entries to choose from in 'Eurosong 2011'."
Ireland is one the most succesful Eurovision participating nations bywinning the grand-prix seven times. This year, Niamh Kavanagh, the winner of the 38th edition held in Millstreet, graced one more time the stage of Europe's favourite music show. Although she qualified from the semi final, her ballad entitled It's for you didn't have the strength to convince the viewers and juries across Europe to name her once again 'queen' of Eurovision.
Have your say! Do you agree with RTÉ's decision to change their national selection format?