Irish broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) has held it’s annual Eurovision Forum. Displaying their plans on what they want to do as they look ahead to the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Due to be held in Israel.
The event, that was the second of it’s kind was held in Dublin the Irish capital. Attended by key figures of the Irish Delegation such as the Head of Delegation for Ireland Michael Kealy, singer and songwriter of the 2018 entry for Ireland Ryan O’Shaughnessy. Also in attendance was editor and head of fellow fansite “Wiwibloggs” William Lee Adams.
What did we learn?
Time to change opinions of Eurovision.
Neighbouring nations, Ireland and the United Kingdom share common misconceptions that people and the broadcasters of the countries don’t want to win. Kealy stated that this was a “myth” in Ireland’s case and despite the broadcaster being a small one, is fully committed to winning and hosting despite calling a win an “existential crisis” in regards to funding. Kealy went on to say that Eurovision needs to be seen as a professional singing competition, not an amateur contest like current perceptions state. Even Ryan himself stated that he would like to keep with the Irish delegation as a songwriter in the future.
Young Irish people have the key.
The contest has a huge youth viewership. In RTÉ’s case it is viewed by four times as many young people than normal programming that RTÉ produces. Kealy believes that young people need to be considered when choosing a song. This is due to the fact they are more likely to access digital content such as Spotify streaming. They will also be more likely to consume online content on RTÉ’s website. This is key for the broadcaster.
A Eurosong return?
RTÉ has yet to finalise their plans for their 2019 selection process. But have conformed their return. It was highlighted that RTÉ like to create their own programmes. So as a result, if the quality of singers continues to hopefully grow, the chances of a National Final grow even more.
Made in Ireland.
Kealy told the attendees that he is not a fan of the use of mass produced “soulless” way of writing songs. A method that is used in Sweden and lots of other Eurovision nations. Therefore Ireland’s natural tendency to adopt a singer-songwriter approach to music is what RTÉ needs going forward.
Ireland at Eurovision.
Ireland have an impressive record at the contest. Statistically the best in terms of wins with 7. They have won in 1970, 1980, 1987. Doing the hat-trick in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Their last win came in 1996 when Eimear Quinn won with “The Voice”. Ireland also have the distinction of having a singer win twice due to Irish-Australian Johnny Logan winning in 1980 and 1987 with “What’s Another Year?” and “Hold Me Now” respectively. Furthermore, he also wrote Linda Martin’s 1992 winning song “Why Me?”
In 2018, after four consecutive Non Qualifications, Ireland sent Ryan O’Shaughnessey with the song “Together”. Ireland came in Sixth Place in the Semi-Final with 179 Points. Due to this they qualified for the Final. In the Final he came in Sixteenth Place with 136 Points.
Watch Ryan’s performance below.
What do you think Ireland should do in 2019 and beyond? Tell us in the comments or get in touch with us @escxtra on Twitter and Facebook.