Ireland: Johnny Logan brands RTE’s Eurovision formula “cheap and nasty”

by Eleanor Cooper 1,609 views

The man who has won the Eurovision Song Contest more times than anyone else, Ireland’s Johnny Logan, has called his home nation’s selection process “cheap and nasty”.

This year’s Irish Eurovision entry was announced in December that it will be sung by former boyband member, Brendan Murray. The song will be premiered on an edition of Ireland’s The Late Late Show in ‘early 2017’. Johnny Logan has criticised this, as he feels RTE have downgraded the Irish Song For Europe competition by having it only as a segment on The Late Late Show.

Johnny Logan, 62, made these comments after Louis Walsh, who is in charge of selecting the Irish act this year, publicly said he would like Johnny Logan to write a song for Ireland in Eurovision again.

I would love if Johnny Logan would write a song for us, that would be great. He knows the winning formula — there’s nobody out there better than him who knows how to win.

There’s nobody like Johnny Logan in Irish pop music or in Irish pop history. But he never got the respect or credit here he deserves.

But in an interview with the Irish Sun, Johnny Logan made his views on the matter clear.

I like Louis but he knows I would never have anything to do with our Eurovision entry the way it’s currently being done by RTE. Because at the moment, it’s cheap and nasty — that’s how it seems to me.

When asked what he thought of RTE putting Walsh in charge of Ireland’s 2017 Eurovision bid, Logan added:

I’m not surprised. They seemed to have tried everything else at this stage.

Logan has further snubbed RTE by refusing to appear on The Late Late Show for his Eurovision credentials. He publicly told them:

I’ve been booked to guest at a national song contest in another country, which ties in with a new album I have coming out in central Europe in April and May.

He believes Ireland’s only hope of winning the contest again is to give responsibility to a new generation of songwriters.

RTE should go down to the BIMM (British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Dublin) music college and find the best new songwriters to come up with songs. And they should have a show running for several weeks like they do in Norway, Sweden and Denmark to find a song for Ireland.

In response to the comments, RTE have said:

RTE is not in a position to invest in a series dedicated to a National Song Contest to select an Irish entry for this year’s Eurovision. By appointing Louis to help select a song, RTE can put all of the resources available into the production of the act for the stage show in Kyiv and, of course, get the benefit of the many years of experience Louis has.

Johnny Logan has won the Eurovision Song Contest twice as a singer for Ireland, in 1980 and 1987, and once as a songwriter in 1992.