'You're a Star' no longer delivers Irish representative

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You're a Star, RTÉ's talent show which has been criticised for failing to produce stellar Eurovision Song Contest acts, will no longer be used to select Ireland's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. RTÉ will however air a fourth series of You're a Star in a revised format

The You're a Star history
You're a Star was introduced three years ago. The first Irish Eurovision Song Contest representative to have been selected through the talent show format was Mickey Joe Harte in 2003. With We've got the world tonight he finished 11th in Riga.

The next two You're a Star winners however weren't successful at the Eurovision Song Contest. A 23rd position was the result of Chris Doran's attempt with If my world stopped turning. This year in Kyiv, the sibling act Donna & Joseph could not qualify Ireland for the final.

No longer linked to Eurovision Song Contest
The reality show You're a Star will return for a fourth series in the autumn, in a revised format and with an alternative prize since the show will no longer be linked to the Eurovision Song Contest. “We are going to have to reinvent the wheel. You�re a Star hasn't delivered in terms of what the Eurovision Song Contest has wanted,” Larry Bass, the executive producer of You�re a Star, stated.

New Eurovision Song Contest selection procedure
According to RTÉ, a new Eurovision Song Contest selection procedure was imminent. “We are teasing out a lot of options on that,” said Julian Vignoles, RTÉ's assistant commissioning editor of music and entertainment programming. “It might not be a show, it might be an appointment. There are various ways of doing it and we have to look at it more fundamentally. We've tried different ways before, we tried the Eurosong Contest and You�re a Star, so we are looking at a few options.

Criticism overshadowed the show
Louis Walsh, manager of Westlife and one of the judges in the first series of the show welcomed the decision to separate the Irish Eurovision Song Contest selections from You�re a Star. “We need professionals not amateurs. You just can't send amateurs any more. You're a Star was an amateur talent competition for newcomers. Every other country is sending their best singer and best song.

Years ago we sent our best showband singers,” Walsh continues,”be it Butch Moore, Dickie Rock or even Johnny Logan. They were always our best singers and they had a professional writer like Brendan Graham or Phil Coulter. We have the talent here if we just pick a great song and singer.

Referring to Donna and Joseph McCaul, Walsh is convinced that “those kids were sent to the slaughter this year. It wasn't their fault because they were voted by the public and the songwriter was an amateur. We should try and get the song first and then match the song with a well-known, professional singer who knows how to deal with cameras and is full of confidence on stage.

With Love? Donna & Joseph finished 14th in the semifinal of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv.

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