The first 'semifinal' of the Irish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, You're a Star, took place last night, hosted by Ray D'arcy. Following the disappointing result in Turkey with Chris Doran, the show itself suffered some changes concerning the previous editions of 2003 and 2004. And one had to be voted out last night…
These live shows, beginning on 9th January, will have an emphasis on contestants' ability to be versatile, perform up tempo material and 'sell' the songs on stage. Julian Vignoles said:“We clearly needed a new approach, we needed to 'shake the tree' all over Ireland and look for the type of acts that hadn't entered You're a Star previously. Having found them, we had to ensure as far as possible that they would be fit for the pressure that Eurovision places on performers”.
Five of yesterday's six acts were voted through to the next stage of the competition: Jade, Donna and Joseph McCaul, George, David Hope and Ann Harrington. David Hope from Shannon topped the poll, but 20 year-old Dubliner Sinead Hand was voted out of the show as she received the least number of votes.
The final change from previous years is that the songs, augmented by additional performers if necessary, will be presented by the You're a Star winning act in a separate show, ten days after the final, on 17th March.