Ireland – As time runs out on the Emerald Isle, there’s still little sign of anyone credible competition coming forward to take on the runaway favourites, Jedward, for this year’s national Irish selection event, Eurosong to be held on February 24th 2012. The energetic twins are still the only confirmed entry for the live selection event, with only weeks to go. Well known Irish singers who were asked to compete, have turned it down saying there’s no point going head to head against John and Edward Grimes, who are still riding a crest of a wave after finishing in 8th place in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf.
Nikki Kavanagh, backing singer for Niamh Kavanagh in 2010 and Irish national finalist in 2011, told Irish newspaper the Herald. “I’m definitely not going to do it now because the lads are at their peak. I would rather be in the competition where I could be on the same playing field. I am very surprised that RTE are even doing the show again.”
Many others in Ireland are also questioning national broadcaster RTE’s decision to have a competition at all, and believe the national broadcaster should have just picked Jedward to represent them, but allowed the Irish public to pick the song.
Sharon Condon also turned down the chance to enter, reportedly saying to Irish paper the Herald ”the problem is I would be going up against Jedward. It would be damaging to my career in the long run. I would lose against them.”
The only name to have been rumored so far is that of The Barbarellas, who consist of Edele and Keavy Lynch, former members of the successful girl band B*Witched. Edele would probably mentor the group herself.
Jedward, who are this year to be mentored by Eurovision legend Linda Martin, (who won the contest in 1992 and come 2nd in 1984) only narrowly qualified last year above Nikki Kavanagh. The twins were penalized when a sample of their entry, Lipstick, was uploaded onto the Amazon website too early by mistake.
Last year’s subsequent success however, after a full on jepic charm offensive, produced Ireland’s best result for ten years. After such success, and with no penalty against them this year, who will dare enter against them? Will the Irish soon be begging Dustin the Turkey or Johnny Logan to throw their hats into the ring?! Paddy Power have them as a dead cert to win Eurosong with odds of 1 /4.
The mentors that have not revealed their entrants yet are Julian Benson, show business agent and choreographer; Greg French, member of The Brilliant Things and music producer/songwriter; and Bill Hughes, an independent television professional. The entries are expected to be confirmed any time now.
Jedward say they have unfinished business with Eurovision. They have won over the hearts and minds of Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Estonia since exploding onto the European scene in Dusseldorf, and are about to embark on a tour of those countries this month. Can they win over the much needed Eastern European countries too this time with another charm offensive in Baku? At the moment it looks like the two Irish brothers will get the chance to find out due to the absence of any real competition in the Irish national final.
The Late Late Show Eurosong 2012 will take place in Dublin on Friday 24th February 2012 and will be broadcast online via RTE. The winner will be decided by a combination of public vote and regional jury.