Last November RTÉ nominated five mentors with proven experience in the Irish music industry and asked them each to select an act and a song which they believe has the potential to be a Eurovision winner. The five songs, (composers in brackets) and acts in presentation order are;
1. Mistaken ( Edele Lynch) sung by Celtic Whisper with Maria McCool. Mentored by Edele Lynch (singer/songwriter).
Lynch has created the act Celtic Whisper with Maria McCool for Eurosong. Maria McCool comes from County Donegal. Maria will be performing Mistaken which Lynch has written for the contest.
Speaking about McCool and her choice of song Barrett said: “I want my song and artist to be a representation of Ireland, and Maria fits that perfectly. She is a beautiful woman with a beautiful haunting voice and she fits Celtic Whisper perfectly. She has brought the song Mistaken to its intended life. When I wrote the song I knew I wanted a beautiful Irish vocal on it and the moment I heard Maria, I knew she was the one for me. In working together, we have created Celtic Whisper with Maria McCool."
2. Mercy (Marten Ericsson, Peter Mansson, Lina Ericsson and Bill Hughes) sung by Donna McCaul. Mentored by Bill Hughes. (Independent television producer).
Hughes has selected Donna McCaul as his act. Donna will be performing Mercy which was written by a Swedish production team along with Hughes himself.
Speaking about his act Hughes said “It’s a big dance track in the style of a club anthem. Mercy reflects the music of the current charts which is the main reason I have put it forward. It has been a pleasure working on the lyrics and we are all very happy with the result.”
McCaul is from Athlone. She has been singing most of her life and together with her brother Joe she represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in 2005 – their prize for winning You’re A Star. She has been a solo artist for the past few years and has been working hard to break into the Irish music scene. Hughes said “She is a powerful live performer and was described by the Swedish producers of the single Mercy, as having perfect pitch.”
3. Here I Am (Greg French) sung by Andrew Mann. Mentored by Greg French (Music producer/songwriter)
French is a music producer and a member of The Brilliant Things. He has selected Dublin singer/song writer Andrew Mann as his act. Mann will be performing Here I Am which French has composed for the Eurosong.
Speaking about his act French said “I wanted to bring something to the Eurosong competition that represented what I believe to be Ireland’s best musical genre "Rock." I accepted song submissions but none fitted the genre so I went about writing Here I Am myself. I selected Andrew as he’s a talented and hardworking rock singer whose voice tells a story without singing one word.
Dublin born Mann has been playing guitar and writing songs since the tender age of twelve. For the last 10 years he has been performing none stop around Ireland and Europe and released his debut album Hidden In Plain Sight last year. At the end of 2011 Mann wrote the soundtrack to an independent film called Eden which just won The International Award for Excellence at the Los Angeles film festival.
4. Language Of Love (Éanán Patterson and Julian Benson) sung by Una Gibney and David Shannon. Mentored by Julian Benson (Agent and choreographer).
Benson has chosen Una Gibney and David Shannon as his act; the duo will be performing Language of Love which Benson has co-written with Éanán Patterson.
Speaking about his act and song Benson said: “When I was chosen as a mentor by RTÉ for Eurovision 2012, I decided to write a song that specifically embraces the spirit of Eurovision and unites Europe. It is an anthem for Europe sending out a positive message through the universal Language of Love. With the times that are in it, I truly believe that it’s time to send out a positive image for Ireland. I sincerely believe that Ireland has a wealth of musical talent and now is the time to celebrate it on the European stage by sending genuinely talented singers and musicians to Eurovision."
"With their wealth of experience, Una and David are the perfect ambassadors to fly the flag for Ireland. I chose Una and David to perform the song as they are the perfect Eurovision package; they look superb, have phenomenal voices and most importantly have the experience of performing live on a worldwide stage."
“The song has been co-written between myself and the very talented composer, Éanán Patterson, son of the famous Irish tenor Frank Patterson, whom I have previously collaborated with on the critically acclaimed Celtic Rising – The Show.”
Gibney is an experienced performer who has worked with the likes of Michael Flatley, Christy Duignam, Something Happens, The Devlins and Red Hurley.
The name David Shannon is synonymous with the West End. He has played the leading roles in some of the most famous musicals including Valjean (Les Miserables) Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd) Jesus and Judas (Jesus Christ Superstar) Chris (Miss Saigon) and most recently The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera at her Majesty’s Theatre London.
5. Waterline (Nick Jarl) sung by Jedward. Mentored by Linda Martin (Eurovision winner 1992).
Martin has chosen Jedward as her act for this year’s contest. Jedward are hoping for the opportunity to repeat their success at last year’s contest in Düsseldorf when they came eighth in the contest.
Jedward will be performing Waterline written by Swedish songwriter Nick Jarl. The song was produced by Dan Priddy (ManneQuin) who wrote Lipstick and wrote and co-produced on their album Victory.
Martin said: “Waterline is a fantastic European pop song. Nick uses the word Waterline as a metaphor for falling in love. I loved it straight away and so did the boys. It’s one that will appeal to every age group. It has a very modern sound and I’m confident that it’s the perfect song for Eurovision.”
Ireland will compete in the First Semi-Final to be held in Baku on the 22nd of May.