Fresh new format for Ireland in 2011

In a complete change of format, the Irish selection process for 2011 will involve five music industry professionals. These five people will each develop and mentor the five separate acts and songs to prepare them for Eurosong 2011 where the winner of the show will ultimately be chosen from a combination of public televote and regional juries.

It has been revealed that the five mentors will be Caroline Downey-Desmond who is a director and event producer, composer Ronan Hardiman, musical director and arranger David Hayes, the chairman of EMI Music Ireland Willie Kavanagh and finally composer and performer Liam Lawton.

Looking for an Irish winner

According to RTÉ 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 11.

Speaking about the new selection process, RTÉ Eurovision Song Contest 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."

Rich Irish history

Ireland remains the most successful country ever in the history of Europe's Favourite TV Show registering no fewer than seven victories. The most recent of these however came in 1996 when Eimear Quinn won with The Voice.

Since the development of the Contest in to the 21st century Ireland has struggled to match it's successes of the 1980's and 1990's and RTÉ are no doubt hoping that with their fresh new approach, this could pay dividends and bring back the glory days to the Emerald Isle.

Ireland finished in 23rd place in the Final of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest when former winner Niamh Kavanagh returned with the song It's For You.

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