RTE, the Irish broadcaster, has decided to go ahead as planned with an one-hour special on Dervish, the group that represented the country in this year�s Eurovision Song Contest ending up last with 5 points from Albania. This decision has triggered off more criticism from the local press that complains now both about the choice of Dervish as well as the production of the forthcoming show.
This is a hard time for Dervish. The group’s performance on the night of the final is considered to have been “disastrous” and demands are being made by fans for RTE to change the way their Eurovision entries are selected. Caroline Crawford of the Irish Independent reports that the Irish public: “demands to know why TV bosses thought a traditional band singing about the former Czechoslovakia was likely to win a pop competition.”RTE also faces criticism on their decision to go on with the pre-commisioned TV special on Dervish. The show had been obviously agreed upon prior to the contest, the same as last year with Brian Kennedy- who placed ninth in Athens- but this year’s result has the public questioning the purpose of the project. It is also hinted that the broadcaster had not signed a written contract with the Trad band before announcing their participation, giving them, thus, more leverage in their negotiations with RTE. To this an RTE spokesperson answered: “It’s understandable that contracts can be signed after such an announcement. You don’t have to sign on the dotted line if you have a verbal agreement.”The broadcaster defends their choice to go ahead with the programme saying that they were not going to backtrack because of the group’s performance or the outcome of the contest. They were encouraged by the 15.000 downloads of They can’t stop the spring through their website as well as from enthusiastic comments from the public on the song and band.