For the first time, the broadcaster decided to use five music professionals with a proven experience in the industry, in their national selection, called mentors. Read more about the Irish mentors in our article.
They had the opportunity and task to pick the artists andthe songs they would believe could be potential Eurovision Song Contest winners. So they did!
After showing a bit what goes on behind the scenes in a documentary and introducing the songs just yesterday, the final where all is decided, is broadcast.
The five mentors, their chosen acts and songwriters competing for the Irish ticket tonight are:
- Don Mescall - Talking With Jennifer - Written by Ronan Hardiman & Don Mescall - Mentored by Ronan Hardiman
- Jedward - Lipstick - Written by Dan Priddy, Lars Jensen And Martin Larson - Mentored by Caroline Downey Desmond
- Bling - Shine On - Written by Patrick Mahoney - Mentored by Willie Kavanagh
- The Vard Sisters - Send Me An Angel - Written by Liam Lawton - Mentored by Liam Lawton
- Nikki Kavanagh - Falling - Written by Christina Schilling, Camilla Gottschalck, Jonas Gladnikoff and Hanif Sabzevari - Mentored by David Hayes
Who are the participants?
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The most talked about participant in the Irish selection are the twin brothers, John and Edward Grimes aka Jedward. The duo shot to stardom after taking part in the United Kingdom X-factor show.
"I chose Jedward as my Eurosong act as I wanted to bring energy and fun to the competition and believe the rest of Europe will love them." - Caroline Downey-Desmond
Despite finishing only sixth in the idol search, they've managed to become hugely popular in Ireland, currently embarking on their first ever 75-already-sold-out-date solo tour. They've also released a debut album and three singles so far.
Don Mescall is another famous name in the showbusiness world, being mostly known for his song writing skills as he's written many songs for Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, Ronan Keating and other world-famous artists.
"Don is also an amazing singer, with a very distinctive voice and is a very experienced charismatic performer. - Ronan Hardiman, Don Mescall's mentor commented.
It's said that he's has been partly responsible for the sales of more than 4 million records worldwide.
He's also known as a singer in Ireland and his singles from the debut album Innocent Run, are A-list favourites on Irish radio stations and he's also a regular visitor in Irish TV-shows.
Bling is a newly formed quarter of young musicians, put together by the record label EMI. Not much is known about them as they were kept secret until the very last minute, previously dubbed as the mystery act.
"For Eurosong 2011 I wanted to create a brand new Irish act and use a new emerging Irish songwriter as I feel that new music is the essence of what the Eurovision Song Contest is about." - Willie Kavanagh
The Vard Sisters released their debute album already in 1997, full of classical and modern pieces. The album went triple platinum, selling in excess of 100,000 copies – unprecedented in Ireland for a new act.
By now the Vard Sisters have performed for celebrities such as George Best, Westlife, former United States president Bill Clinton and many more. Is it now time for the rest of Europe to hear them as well?
"We all need support and encouragement. There are hopefully always people around us who offer us this support /--/. The song celebrates such people" - Liam Lawton, their mentor added.
Nikki Kavanagh is a professional singer in great demand on the Irish music scene. She works regularly with The RTÉ Concert Orchestra & The Modern Gospel Ensemble and has toured extensively in Ireland, Europe and The United Arab Emirates.
She's also performed at some of the country’s most prestigious venues. As a side note, she has no relation to the Irish participant last year, Niamh Kavanagh!
"Nikki's vocal quality, her experience, her great looks, and amazing stage presence, will all culminate in an incredible presentation on the night." - David Hayes, the man behind Nikki's act explained.
But see for yourself, who will win the Irish ticket to Düsseldorf, to the 56th Eurovision Song Contest this year! Remember, the show starts at 21:35 CET!
Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest no less than seven times, the last being in 1996 with the The Voice by Eimear Quinn.
Last year, the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest winner, Niamh Kavanagh, represented her homeland once again. This time she ended up qualifying for the Final and placing 23rd with the song It's For You.