Well well well, national finals are usually a fairly mundane affair, with the majority of excitement coming from a wacky entry or a close result. Not a former Eurovision winner shouting down an industry mogul. But that’s what happened in Ireland’s Eurosong selection event last week.
The usual format includes Eurosong as a special edition of chat show “The Late Late Show”, with a panel of music-centric guests giving their opinions on the five finalists. The choice is made by a 50/50 split between six regional Irish juries, and the televote. The panel themselves have no direct contribution to the selection though. But each act has a mentor, someone music-related too who looks after them as an entrant. One mentor complained at length about how panelist Louis Walsh was linked to two of the acts (Kasey Smith was in a girlband Walsh managed, and Eoghan Quigg was on UK’s X-Factor where Walsh judged).
Former Irish winner Linda Martin fought Louis’s corner, at one point stalking up to the mentor, calling him an “odious little man” and a “gobshite”. Well I never! It didn’t seem to help the mentor’s cause, as one of the Louis-linked singers was eventually triumphant. But was it any good? We’ll see. Continue reading