Irish Broadcaster RTÉ have announced that they are to return to a National Final to choose their entry for next years Eurovision Song Contest.
The entry will be chosen in a special episode of the TV show ‘The Late Late Show’. The last time that the broadcaster used the format was back in 2015 when Molly Sterling won the show with the song ‘Playing with Numbers’, which didn’t make it to the Eurovision Final, finishing in 12th place. (You can see Molly performing the song below)
Speaking about the return to the National Final format, Ireland’s Head of Delegation Michael Kealy said:
“I am very excited by the return of a Eurovision National Final on The Late Late Show and the prospect of giving the public a greater say in selecting our entry for Italy.”
“Every year the Eurovision gets bigger and more competitive than ever and given the enormous exposure and huge financial rewards for the winner I’m hopeful that we will attract a very high calibre of songwriter and performer.”
“This year’s artist Lesley Roy has gained tens of thousands of fans all over Europe on the back of her involvement with Eurovision and her very strong social media presence. She’s currently on an extensive tour of the UK and Ireland.”
An exact date for the National Final is yet to be announced, however RTÉ says that it will take place sometime in early 2022.
The press release talks about how the broadcaster will be encouraging more established acts to represent them next year, adding:
“Although we wish to encourage and identify promising new talent for the future, this is probably not an opportunity for beginners or people with limited or no experience of performing in public to large crowds,”
The entries will be assessed by a panel of music and entertainment industry professionals and Eurovision fans. The assessment may also include an in-person audition at RTÉ Studios in Dublin.
The panel will select a shortlist of acts who will then perform at the Eurovision Late Late Show special.
Entries can only be submitted via RTÉ’s website, with the entry period closing on 22nd October.
Ireland have struggled at the contest recently, finishing in last place in the semi finals both last year and in 2019. Could the country turn things around next year?
Are you pleased to see Ireland returning to a National Final format? Let us know in the comments section below!