Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009
|Eurovision Song Contest 2009|
|Selection process||Eurosong 2009
|Selection date(s)||20 February 2009|
|Selected entrant||Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy|
|Selected song||"Et Cetera"|
|Semi-final result||Failed to qualify (11th)|
|Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest|
It was unknown for some time how Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ), the Irish broadcaster would select the Irish entry for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. RTÉ had had plans to have a large-scale national final like that of last year's contest. However the current financial situation in Ireland have made this impossible, and it was debatable whether a national final would be held at all, with an internal selection by RTÉ to be held instead. Despite this, RTÉ were set to have a national final for their selection, which would be similar to that seen in 2006 and 2007, when the national final was held as part of popular entertainment show The Late Late Show. The provisional date was set at 20 February 2009.
Although a national final was to be planned, it was rumoured that RTÉ were in the middle of talks with three-time former winner Johnny Logan. It had been rumoured that, in exchange for his own television show, Logan would return to Eurovision and represent Ireland at the 2009 contest in Moscow. Logan had previously said that he would have represented Ireland at the 2007 contest, however a deal between Logan and RTÉ was not reached at that time. Eoghan Quigg, who came third in the 2008 series of The X Factor, has also stated that he would like to represent Ireland at Eurovision.
RTÉ officially confirmed that a national final, called Eurosong 2009, would be held to choose the Irish representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, and that no internal selection would be held. Like in 2006 and 2007, this was to be held on 20 February on a special edition of The Late Late Show.
Pat Kenny, host of The Late Late Show and of Eurosong 2009, revealed that six acts will compete in the contest, with the winner being decided by a mixture of televoting and the votes of regional juries from around Ireland. A jury selected six competing acts from those sent into RTÉ, which will be headed by former Eurovision winner Linda Martin. Over 300 entries were received by RTÉ before the deadline for entries on 2 February.
The first entry to be confirmed to be competing at Eurosong 2009 was "I Wish I Could Pretend" by Latvian singer Kristīna Zaharova. The song, composed by Lauris Reiniks and Gordon Pogoda, was initially included in the line-up of the Latvian national final, however was also entered into the Irish selection. Reiniks therefore decided to withdraw his song from the Latvian selection in favour for the Irish national final.
The complete list of finalists, as well as the running order, was released on 13 February 2009, one week before the show. The songs were first heard on The Derek Mooney Show on RTÉ Radio 1 on 19 February, one day before the final. During the show it was confirmed that both jury and televoting would be used during the show, in a 50/50 split. Four juries from around Ireland, in Sligo, Dublin, Cork and Limerick, would give 1 to 10 points to each song. Televoting would make the final 50% of the results, giving a maximum of 40 points to the favoured song.
During the show a panel was present to offer their opinions on the six songs. The three panel members, as revealed by RTÉ, to be Eurovision commentator Marty Whelan, the 1992 Eurovision winner and head of the selection panel Linda Martin, and famous American talk-show and talent show host Jerry Springer.
|2||Laura-Jayne Hunter||"Out of Control"||Derry O'Donovan||9||32||41||3|
|3||Lee Bradshaw||"So What"||Billy Larkin, Kevin Breathnach||10||16||26||4|
|4||Johnny Brady||"Amazing"||Tony Adams Rosa||20||4||24||5|
|5||Kristīna Zaharova||"I Wish I Could Pretend"||Lauris Reiniks, Gordon Pogoda||32||24||56||2|
|6||Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy||"Et Cetera"||Niall Mooney, Jonas Gladnikoff,
Daniele Moretti, Christina Schilling
|"Out of Control"||2||2||4||1||9||32||41||3|
|"I Wish I Could Pretend"||6||8||8||10||32||24||56||2|
It had not been planned by RTÉ to have a large promotional campaign of the Irish entry, due to budget constraints. However Sinéad and Black Daisy performed twice for an international audience; at the Eurovision Promo Concert in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 18 April, and also at the UKEurovision Preview Party in London on 17 April.
Before heading to Moscow, Sinéad and Black Daisy one again performed on The Late Late Show on 1 May. RTÉ also broadcast the EBU "Eurovision: Countdown" preview shows before the week of the contest.
Since Ireland was not one of the "Big Four" and is not the host of the 2009 contest, it had to compete in one of the two semi-finals. Sinéad and Black Daisy competed in the second semi-final on 14 May, where they performed second in the running order, following Croatia and preceding Latvia. The group failed to qualify Ireland to the final for the second consecutive time.
In the final of the contest, the Irish votes were presented by Irish TV personality Derek Mooney, who previously did the same in 2000. RTÉ released the names of the five jurors which made up half of the Irish votes in the final, along with televoting. They were former Eurovision winners Linda Martin (ESC 1992) and Paul Harrington (ESC 1994), producer Bill Hughes, singer and TV personality Emma O'Driscoll and singer/songwriter Luan Parle.
|12 points||10 points||8 points||7 points||6 points|
|5 points||4 points||3 points||2 points||1 point|
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- Eurovision Song Contest 2009