RTÉ has announced a new selection process for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Five music industry professionals have been enlisted to develop and mentor five separate song entries to compete in the Eurosong 2011, where the winner will be selected by a combination of public vote and regional juries.
Speaking about the decision RTÉ Eurovision Co-ordinator Julian Vignoles said: "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".
The five mentors are:
Caroline Downey-Desmond – Director MCD and event producer
Ronan Hardiman – composer (Lord of the Dance)
David Hayes – Musical Director and arranger (Tommy Fleming and Riverdance)
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 11th. As was the case last year, the winning entry will be selected by a combination of public vote and regional jury.
The winner will go on to represent Ireland in the 56th Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final in Düsseldorf, Germany, in May 2011. The ESC is consistently one of the most popular annual television events, both in Ireland and across Europe, with the final attracting an audience of 69 million last year.