Lucky charms tend to come from Ireland and when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, they have a tendency to offer some opinion over selecting a winning entry noting that they have been successful on seven previous occasions. Despite the fact that their most successul music genre has been the ballad, which is also extremely mainstream when it comes to Ireland, they are no slouches when it comes to creating a pop track and for the third year in succession, the country has indeed selected one. Ryan Dolan will be representing the Emeral Isle with Only Love Survive co-written with Wez Devine. They will be performing in the second half of the first semi-final.
The very first rehearsal of the track took place yesterday afternoon considering that they are performing quite late in the draw and have received a mixture of reviews, from positive ones to those less positive. It has been well regarded though as to having a strong presentation, something that could help it hover across the finish line. On stage, Ryan is joined by a couple of female backing singers including Leanne Moore, winner of You're A Star a couple of years back, and twice accompanying Jedward within the same role. Our team present in Malmo had the opportunity to have a chat with Ryan on the preparations, his thoughts on the first rehearsal and the way to go forward. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
The editorial board encourages the public to select their favourite ten qualifiers on the right hand side of the screen but in the meantime, three professional individuals from the music industry showcase their opinion about the competing entries. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Ireland will be performing in slot number thirteen (13) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. RTE, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Only Love Survives co-written between Wez Devine and Ryan Dolan, the latter will also be providing the vocals for the entry.
Ryan Dolan is a young singer-songwriter from Strabane in Co. Tyrone. He has played support to many acts over the years including Tinchy Stryder, Jedward and many more. Dolan has been described as one of the most exciting homegrown musical talents to be discovered in Ireland in recent years. His YouTube channel has received over 800,000 hits. Dolan said, “I am thrilled to have been chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. I’d like to thank my family, friends and my mentor Stuart for all their support over the last few months. It’s such an honour to have been chosen to represent Ireland at Eurovision. I can’t wait to perform in Malmő in May.”
Co-composer Wez Devine is a 34-year-old songwriter/producer originally from Malahide, Co. Dublin now based in Lifford, Co.Donegal. So far the fruits of their labour include being featured on BBC Radio1 in the UK in 2012 – their track titled The Secret by Zenemy DJz featuring Dolan found great support and was daytime play-listed by the giants of the station Sara Cox, Hugh Stevens and Scott Mills. They are hopeful that their latest composition Only Love Survives will bring Eurovision back to Ireland for the eighth time. Dolan's Eurovision mentor is Spotlight Productions director Stuart O’Connor. O'Connor is the man behind all Jedward's live tours in the last three years. He devised the performance of Waterline at last year’s contest.
O'Connor recently produced and directed The Best of Eurovision Show with six previous winners Johnny Logan, Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Dana, Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington. He was a judge on RTÉ's Supercrew and choreographed the highly acclaimed RTÉ Big Music Week Lipdub YouTube video. Ireland decided to keep the format of their recent preselections following the success achieved in the international competition with five mentors selecting the artists and their respective entries. There were three genres represented, including the stunning ballad which is very much popular in Ireland especially one involving a young female with a guitar. As a matter of fact, Aimee was the first runner-up with her song Crashing Down.
Ireland is known in the fan circles of the Eurovision Song Contest as royalty, having managed to achieve victory on a record breaking seven (7) occasions. It is important to point out here though that their last success was back in 1996 when Eimear Quinn had managed to stun everyone with her crystal clear vocals in a stunning rendition of The Voice. Since then, it has not been pretty positive for Ireland and even more so, since the millennium, the top ten has only beckoned on three occasions, in 2000 with Millennium of Love, 2006 with Every Song is a Cry for Love and in 2011 with Lipstick. Qualification has also been troubling but has been achieved since 2010 and Ryan Dolan will hope to do so once more in 2013 as he takes to the stage in Sweden.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Magnus Kaxe: Is this Swedish House Mafia? No, but this will also move the dance floors around Europe this summer. It's an elegantly written track with positive and energetic vibes. Ryan has a good voice in the video and I really hope he can perform well on stage too. Not only love survives - Ryan Dolan will also survive - at least to the final.
Lina Eriksson: One of the more modern songs this year. Even if it doesn't sweep me off my feet I'm guessing it'll do just fine in the semi and on the ESC-dancefloors.
Matt Mercieca (Muxu): This one is super cool, I love the beat, and its super current, not completely in love with the lyrics, but I see this one doing well, if not on eurovision, even radios, the chorus is much better then the rest of the song, but its super good! very catchy.
One of the most anticipated national finals this season seems to be the one taking place in Ireland and this is due to the fact that it is somewhat wide open with the artists gathering endorsements from renowned personalities in the entertainment industry to garner public acknowledgment and indeed, support. Zoe Alexis is one of the five artists competing for the right to represent the country in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest having been selected by mentor and songwriter; Niall Mooney to perform the song Fire which he co-wrote alongside Lauren White and Willie Weeks. escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to have a chat with her prior to the actual final which is taking place tomorrow evening.
Ireland has managed to come out on top at the Eurovision Song Contest on an astonishing seven occasions, but nevertheless, the last time that this happened was way back in 1996 with Eimear Quinn and her track The Voice which had followed the success achieved by Dana, Johnny Logan, Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington. Looking back at what each of the winning entries presented to the competition, do you think that you can bring something different and which of the artists mentioned above do you most admire?
I definitely feel I can bring something different to the Eurovision. I love to give my audience a real show and I want to give Ireland a pop star; everything from my song and style is exciting, young and different. The Irish Eurovision entry I admire the most has to be Niamh Kavanagh. I love her voice and her performance still to this day is one of my favourites.
As per the selection process established by the Irish broadcaster, RTE in recent years, you were sought by a mentor, in the form of Niall Mooney. Now, this songwriter has been to the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions already whilst he has made it through to selections in Europe as well, so his experience might have swayed you to take up this showcase. What was the initial idea behind competing in the Late Late Show Eurosong and what could you tell us about your entry The Fire which is co-written by Niall Mooney, Lauren White and Willie Weeks?
I was very excited and humbled when I was first approached. It’s been an amazing experience so far and I can only imagine what it would be like to go to Sweden if selected. Fire is an all-round great pop track. It is something the younger and older audience will like. I believe this this song has the ability to do well in Ireland and across the world. Not one person I’ve meet has been able to get the song out of their heads. It is everything and more I could have hoped for in a song!
For the past two years, Ireland has received a lot of international attention from the media due to the fact that Jedward had taken the role of representatives but nevertheless, this proved to be quite a positive element with a younger demographic somewhat intrigued about the growth in popularity with regards to the Eurovision Song Contest. What did you make of the performances of Lipstick and Waterline and did you believe that it was the right choice for the jury and the public to select them on two consecutive years?
I think Jedward were great. They really opened the door to the pop world in Ireland. Although I think it would have been nice to have another act given a shot the second time round they still performed well and gave it everything.
During the performance of your entry Fire, you will be joined on stage by two experienced performers, in the form of Donna McCaul who was the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 alongside her brother Joe as well as Nikki Kavanagh who was the first-runner up of the Eurosong competition with the song Falling, two years ago despite having won the support of the regional jury. I have no doubts that the presentation will be of the highest standard with such professionals around but what advice have they given you in the lead up to the evening?
Yes I will be accompanied by Donna and Nikki. It’s a pleasure and honour to have the support of the ladies. They have helped and given me such great advice, I feel very lucky to have them on my team this year.
There has been a lot of talk with regards to the entries competing to represent Ireland at the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and whilst it has been mixed, one could denote that there has been a somewhat positive perception. The interest in the competition seems to be growing and the mentors are taking it extremely serious. Name one of the other four entries competing against you on which would not only secure qualification for Ireland but achieve the potentially best result in years, even better than the recent eighth place achieved by Jedward?
As much as I would love to name just the one, I find it nearly impossible. The acts this year in my opinion would all qualify. Every song and act have a certain something that could be brought to the table. I think Ireland is tired of last few unsuccessful wins and this year’s contestants really show how serious we are taking it.
In recent days, it seems that you have been quite busy with rehearsals of the performance of Fire whilst in the meantime, artists from all around the country and beyond have come to your aid endorsing your participation and granting you the possibility of gaining momentum. Amongst the acts who have come to your aid, there have been Michelle Heaton from Liberty X, Niall Horan from One Direction and Niall Breslin. What can we expect out of the performance on Friday night and what does such support mean to you personally?
You can definitely expect a show and it’ll be something you won’t forget! The support means everything to me. From growing up listening to some of these artist and admiring them to now having their support is beyond anything I could ever think of and having Bressie and Niall show their support is so appreciated. I really respect these guys.
One of the key moments in history for Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest was the noteworthy twelve points given back in 1993 which lead to the victory of Niamh Kavanagh with the track In Your Eyes with the nations having a successful relationship since then. This year, the country has selected a newcomer by tha name of Gianluca Bezzina to head to the competition with the track Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. What do you make of it's chance to succeed within the second semi-final?
I think Gianluca has as much of a great chance of winning as everyone else. It really depends on what the people genuinely like but as we know all will be revealed on the night.
Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers at escflashmalta.com?
That I’m so thankful for all the support you have given me and I will do everything to make you all proud.
The 2013 edition of the Late Late Show Eurosong special will be taking place on Friday, 22nd February 2013 and will be hosted by Ryan Turbidy on RTE 1. This has been the setting for the national final for the past couple of years, excluding the 2008 process which took place in a more formal environment hosted within The Helix, which nows plays as the venue for The Voice of Ireland. John and Edwards, more commonly known as Jedward have represented Ireland for the past two years, with Lipstick and Waterline, qualifying to the final and achieving an eighth and twentieth place respectively. The profile of the competition in Ireland is on the rise and major stars in the industry have already started to voice their support from the competing artists.
British X Factor Judge, Louis Walsh who is the manager of Ronan Keating and Boyzone whilst having headed the careers of Girls Aloud, Samantha Mumba and Westlife, has publicly gone onto support Kasey with the track Kiss Me There. This is not a total surprise considering that Kasey was one of the vocalists in the band Wonderland managed by the aforementioned Louis Walsh in unison with Kian Egan, former member of Westlife who is now a mentor of The Voice of Ireland. In the past two years, Louis Walsh, manager of the group Jedward was very much outspoken about the Eurovision Song Contest and it is quite intriguing to see that his involvement from the days of Johnny Logan and Linda Martin hasn't really dwindled.
Michelle Heaton, one of the performers within the successful British group, Liberty X has also spoken out about the Irish Eurosong special, in favour of none other than Zoe Alexis Bohorquez who will be taking part with the track Fire co-written between Niall Mooney, Lauren White and Willie Weeks. The song, which is being said to be one of the favourites has attracted the support of the star, as she currently participants in the show known as The Big Reunion airing on ITV2 where the nineties girlbands and boybands have come together for another hurrah so to speak. With experienced, Niall Mooney behind her, Zoe might be a shoe in for the position, and people will be able to buy the song on iTunes soon enough. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest.
Source: Eurovision Ireland
RTÉ, the Irish broadcaster responsible for the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has always seen the competition from a positive point of view and considering that their most recent results have been rather well, renewed interest in the people has also been noted. The brotherly duo known as Jedward were selected through a public and a jury for the past two years, first time round with the track Lipstick which finished in eight place and second time round with the song Waterline which could only manage twentieth place. Nevertheless, qualification from the semi-final has been achieved for the past three years and the selection process featuring five notable mentors will be used in 2013 as they hope that their successful streak does indeed continue.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the mentors for the 2013 edition of the Late Late Show Eurosong special will be none other than Mairéad Farrell, Shay Healy, Mark McCabe, Niall Mooney and Stuart O’Connor. Each individual brings a vast amount of experience on board whether through radio, production or songwriting. There have been a number of names mentioned thus far although some are pretty unlikely at this point in time due to other commitments in music. Amongst those which are heavily tipped to be joining the list are none other than Leanne Moore and Rebecca Creighton who backed Jedward in the past two years at the Eurovision Song Contest, Sharon Condon, a former member of the girlband known as Wonderland and former runner-up Nikki Kavanagh who seems to be showing interest once more. Outsiders for the showcase are seemingly former Westlife members; Shane Filan and Mark Feehily whilst the strong rumours surrounding Shayne Ward have also died down because of his commitments to Dancing on Ice. The revelation of the artists will be made in the next couple of weeks so make sure to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from Ireland as they try to conquer the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.
Source: escXtra, Paddy Power
The Irish music industry has never been demeaning in any manner and therefore, it has well reflected at the Eurovision Song Contest on several occasions noting that their past three entries being It's For You by Niamh Kavanagh in 2010, Lipstick and Waterline by Jedward in 2011 and 2012 respectively saw them make it through to the final and in one particular instance, even reach the top ten for the very first since since Every Song is a Cry for Love was performed by Brian Kennedy on behalf of The Emerald Isle in 2006. Several names are being rumoured at the moment with the mentor system still in place and in recent days, one of the artists who seems to have been contacted was none other than Shane Filan, the lead performer of the recently disbanded Westlife whom many will recall to have released ten studio albums and two compilations.
The popular group was signed to Syco Music for a relatively long period of time under the management of Simon Cowell, the mastermind behind the X Factor and Got Talent franchises as well as Louis Walsh who is a judge on the British Version of the X Factor and has worked with the likes of Boyzone, Girls Aloud, Jedward and Mary Byrne. In fact, the same Walsh pushed Jedward into doing the Eurovision Song Contest having mentored acts such as Johnny Logan and Linda Martin who scored victories at the renowned showcase in 1980, 1987 and 1992 respectively. Nevertheless, Shane Filan who is currently at 9/2 on a leading betting website known as Paddy Power had publicly declined his participation through social networking website; Twitter by virtue of stating 'guys the rumours today about me representing Ireland at the Eurovision are not true .. best of luck to whoever does'. This has been an intriguing tactic noting that Pastora Soler declined her participation this year when asked whether she would be representing Spain as did Anouk when asked whether she would represent The Netherlands next year. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: Shane Filan Twitter
The nineties proved to be one of the most successful decades for the Republic of Ireland due to the fact that there were a number of positive results including a total of four victories and a first runner-up finish which would definitely not go unnoticed in the Eurovision Song Contest but as a new decade swept in, the millennium will be widely remembered as wiping the slate clean because there was a drastic change in the fortunes of the nation which was hitting the mid to lower table every year from 2001 onwards apart from some exceptions brought about by an eleventh finish in 2003 thanks to the track We've Got the World performed by Mickey Harte and a tenth place result in 2006 with the aid of Brian Kennedy and his heartfelt performance of the song Every Song is a Cry for Love. For the past two years, Ireland has decided to change their system of selection or rather alter it by virtue of introducing five mentors who select the acts that would compete in the national selection and both years, the outcome has seen none other than the group Jedward winning the ticket.
Jedward have already ruled themselves out of the running following their appearance in the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest where their entry entitled Waterline finished in nineteenth place within the final. This time round, it seems that the Irish broadcaster; RTÉ have purposely chosen the mentors in a manner where there could also be a generation gap in terms of music. In fact, the chosen individuals are as follows; Mairéad Farrell (Television and Radio Presenter), Shay Healy (Songwriter of What's Another Year), Mark McCabe (Radio Disc Jockey and Producer), Niall Mooney (Songwriter of Et Cetera and It's for You) and Stuart O'Connor (Producer). This Late Late Show Eurosong 2013 special will be taking place on the 22nd February 2013 and it seems that there will be an intriguing set of acts hoping to represent the Emerald Isle in the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmo, Sweden. There are a number of people who are being rumoured to be entering the selection process including former You're A Star winner; Leanne Moore as well as X Factor contestant; Melanie McCabe. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about the Irish selection in due course.
RTÉ, the Irish broadcaster, has confirmed its participation in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Sweden. With Ireland, the full list of confirmed participants has risen to thirteen (13 - Albania, Austria, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden (the host country) and Switzerland).
Julian Vignoles, Assistant Commissioning editor for factual programmes at RTÉ, confirmed that there will a ‘potential change of approach’ to the Eurovision Song Contest, and this, shall be discussed in the coming few weeks. Perhaps Ireland will try to comeback with a bang in the coming contest and perhaps, with a more ‘professional’ artist, namely MARY BYRNE. Mary Byrne (born 3 November 1959) is an Irish singer-songwriter from Ballyfermot, Dublin. She rose to fame in 2010 after becoming a finalist on the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010. Following her elimination in the live semi-final, she signed a record deal with Sony Music Ireland. Byrne and her fellow The X Factor finalists gained a number-one single on the UK Singles Chart and the Irish Singles Chart after releasing "Heroes" a cover of David Bowie, in aid for Help for Heroes. Her debut single, "I Just Call You Mine" was released on 4 March 2011. Mine & Yours, Byrne's debut album was released 28 March 2011 in the UK.
The album was produced by hit-maker Nigel Wright. In June 2011, Byrne was asked to perform at a special gala performance in Dublin to mark Queen Elizabeth II's visit to the Republic of Ireland. She was also Neil Diamond's special guest at the Aviva Stadium, where she performed in front of 55,000 people. August 2011 saw Byrne appear in GREASE: The Musical at the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin. She began work on an autobiography, This Is My Life, and was released on 21 October 2011 in the UK and Ireland. Mary decided to leave Sony Music as she accepted a new record deal offer with Decca Music and Universal Music, who are confident they can 'get her music career up and off the ground'. She has produced her second album, called “...with Love”. After this ‘huge’ success, she may be Ireland’s lucky charm for the next contest, but obviously, competition is big and no one can really predict what will be the eventual outcome result.
Vignoles added that Jedward not winning the contest was a slight relief for RTÉ. If Ireland had won the contest, they would’ve had to host in 2013. Vignoles said that would’ve been a ‘headache’, but also a ‘privilege’. One of the issues with hosting would’ve been finding a venue, as Ireland has a lack of indoor arenas as big as the Baku Crystal Hall or the Düsseldorf Esprit Arena. Jedward finished in a ‘quite disappointing’ 19th position with their song Waterline in Baku. They ‘made a hit’ in Baku and during Eurovision parties and conferences, but that was not enough to at least finish at last year’s 11th position in the final night, after making it through quite an ‘easy’ semifinal. Many infact, insisted that the twins’ song last year, had a better ‘feel’. Nevertheless, Jedward will surely not be given a ‘3rd chance’, since chances are that they will either do worst, or stick once again to this position, and let’s face it, we’ve had enough of the blonde Irish twins! ;)
Source: escXtra, RTÉ
Another day is over in Baku, and today, Israel had the honour of opening the rehearsals for the day being the tenth country in the running order. Seventeen countries (17) countries have now rehearsed for the very first time noting that that they happened to be the ones competing in the premier semi-final to take place on Tuesday, the 22nd May. Tomorrow will mark the first day of rehearsals for the entries in the second semi-final including the Maltese representative, Kurt Calleja and his band with his track This Is The Night. Perhaps today’s most ‘satisfying’ rehearsal was from the Irish twins, Jedward. I am giving importance to the term actually since I did not really hear the vocals at their best, maybe it’s just because it was the very first rehearsal although to give them credit, they still sounded in key and well prepared. For the second year in a row, Jedward are representing Ireland. This year they perform the song Waterline written by Nick Jarl and Sharon Vaughn who have written for the likes of Agnes Carlsson and Westlife.
They are hoping to do as well, if not better, than they did last year with Lipstick. The twins were dressed in bright blue sparkly tailcoats and I think that this will actually be their look on Tuesday. Their choreography had similar elements to their 2011 entry, and they displayed the same energy as they showed a year ago. A particular note in this year’s setup is surely the colour blue and the ‘water’ theme. Infact, the Irish team have opted to insert a small water fountain as part of the choreography. I’m not 100% sure if it really worked as planned, especially during the very first run through. I think that the twins will eventually be encircled by the water in a particular moment of their performance, and it seems that during the final rehearsal, this, in fact, made an impressive effect. made for a very impressive effect, and everyone looked much happier at the result. Pyrotechnic effects are also expected.
It should be a wonderful performance, thanks to all these ‘touches’, but surely, the twins need to improve their voice performance, together with their 4 backing vocals and also, perhaps be a little bit more synchronized in their simple choreography. Ireland is the most successful country in the Eurovision Song Contest. They first took part in the 1965 Contest in Naples, participating in every subsequent Contest but two: the 1983 Contest in Munich and the 2002 Contest in Tallinn. Ireland won the Contest for the first time in 1970 with Dana performing "All Kinds of Everything". In total, Ireland has won the Contest seven times, more than any other country, including an unprecedented three consecutive victories in the 1990s (1992, 1993 and 1994 - the most consecutive wins accumulated by a country to date). The decade also saw yet another victory in 1996 and two second place finishes (in 1990 and 1997), which gives Ireland the best overall performance by any country in the history of the Contest.
The most noteworthy participant in this years' Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan is surely Engelbert Humperdinck, one of the biggest stars of the olden days with a large number of hits including tracks such as Release Me, The Last Waltz, A Man Without Love, and After the Lovin' amongst others. The selection of the British Broadcasting Corporation did not go without any criticism from the British and the foreign press actually but nevertheless, he has somewhat been tipped as one of the favourites with the United Kingdom being almost at the top of the list in terms of the Betting Odds ranking in position number #4 at the current moment. It will be quite interesting to see how the performance of the track Love Will Set You Free will go down with the rest of the continent.
Engelbert is currently signed to Conehead Records which is an independent recording label to which stars such as Peter Andre, Stacey Solomon and Rhydian Roberts are also signed. The single was released last Monday and it seems that Engelbert was out to promote the track prior to leaving to the Eurovision Song Contest making appearances on the Graham Norton Show on BBC1 in the United Kingdom and also on the Late Late Show on RTE in Ireland where Jedward where also guests. In both shows, the legendary performer decided to perform his track LIVE for the very first time and despite the age, his performances were still above average yet not perfect and might require some work before going to Baku, Azerbaijan. Stay tuned to all of the latest news from the Eurovision Song Contest with our live coverage on escflashmalta.com thanks to our team on location including Juergen Boernig, Garrett Mulhall, Patrick Strouk, Šira Carolyn Bezalel and Lilian Brunell along with our collaborators including Luke Fisher of escXtra and Keith Mills of All Kinds of Everything.
Source: BBC, RTE