Ireland failed to qualify for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest during the last two years, but this time, RTE has assembled a star-studded field for the Irish selection. Not only former Eurovision Song Contest winner Niamh Kavanagh will grace the field, we will also see Michael Graham from the successful band Boyzone being present with a self-composed song. Ralph Siegel - composer of the winning entry by Nicole in the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest has a song in the final as well which will be performed by Lee Bradshaw. Last, but not least, the field will also feature composer Marc Paelinck who wrote the 2004 Belgian and the 2009 Maltese entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The field this year looks like this:
The final five songs were chosen by a judging panel chaired by Eurovision Song Contest winner Linda Martin and included MD, Universal Music Ireland, Mark Crossingham, showbiz agent/choreographer, Julian Benson, RTÉ 2FM DJ andIrish commentator, Larry Gogan, and Diarmuid Furlong head of the Official Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club of Ireland.
The songs will be performed on a Late Late Show Eurosong special on Friday 5th of March. The winner will be decided by 50% regional jury vote and 50% public televote which replicates the recent change to the rules in the Eurovision Song Contest itself.
Ireland has been competing in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1965 and has won the competition an unbelievable seven times altogether, the last time in 1996 with Eimear Quinn's The Voice. During the last 10 years, the country has missed out on the final on four times though, also in 2008 and 2009. Will this year be more successful for the emerald island?