Home / News / Is Ireland set to make an impact at Eurovision 2011? – Exclusive Interview with Niamh Kavanagh

Is Ireland set to make an impact at Eurovision 2011? – Exclusive Interview with Niamh Kavanagh

In Ireland the countdown is on. This coming Friday, February 11th, it will be decided who will represent the Emerald Isle in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. After 45 years of participation in the contest, in terms of wins, Ireland still holds the title as the most successful country in the history of the ESC, having won the contest seven times. In recent years however, the country failed to make an impact. After a 6th place in 2000 with Eamonn Toal’s “Millennium Of Love”, over the past decade Ireland managed to reach the top ten only once, was left out of the big final three times, and visited the bottom 5 on four occasions, most remarkably last year when former Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh came 23th singing “It’s For You”.

In an exclusive interview with ESC Radio, Niamh talks about her Eurovision experience and shares her view on Ireland’s current situation in the Contest. If you missed the broadcast on Wednesday, 9th Feb, at 15:00 CET, you can listen to it here: [audio:https://www.escradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Niamh-Kavanagh-Ireland-interviewed-by-Matthias-Petermann-Podcast2.mp3|titles=Niamh Kavanagh (Ireland) – interviewed by Matthias Petermann Podcast]

In Ireland the countdown is on. This coming Friday, February 11th, it will be decided who will represent the Emerald Isle in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. After 45 years of participation in the contest, in terms of wins, Ireland still holds the title as the most successful country in the history of the ESC, having won the contest seven times. In recent years however, the country failed to make an impact. After a 6th place in 2000 with Eamonn Toal’s “Millennium Of Love”, over the past decade Ireland managed to reach the top ten only once, was left out of the big final three times, and visited the bottom 5 on four occasions, most remarkably last year when former Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh came 23th singing “It’s For You”. In an exclusive interview with ESC Radio, Niamh talks about her Eurovision experience and shares her view on Ireland’s current situation in the Contest. If you missed the broadcast on Wednesday, 9th Feb,  at 15:00 CET, you can listen to it here:  [audio:https://www.escradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Niamh-Kavanagh-Ireland-interviewed-by-Matthias-Petermann-Podcast.mp3|titles=Niamh Kavanagh (Ireland) – interviewed by Matthias Petermann Podcast]

Ireland made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965 with Butch Moore and his beautiful ballad “Walking The Streets In The Rain”, coming 6th. A first triumph came in 1970 with Dana’s classic “All Kinds Of Everything”, followed ten years later by Johnny Logan’s first win at the 1980 contest in The Hague, Netherlands, with the song “What’s Another Year”. Johnny Logan returned to Eurovision in 1987 and won again, this time singing “Hold Me Now” which went on to become a massive international hit. In the early Nineties Ireland shone with a remarkable string of victories: in 1992 with Linda Martin (“Why Me”), in 1993 with Niamh Kavanagh (“In Your Eyes”), in 1994 Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan won the contest with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”, and in 1996 Eimear Quinn brought victory for Ireland with “The Voice”.

There were other successful contributions, as for example Liam Reilly’s “Somewhere In Europe” (ESC 1990, 2nd place) and Marc Roberts’  “Mysterious Woman” (ESC 1997, 2nd place). At the end of the 1990’s Ireland’s luck seemed to fade, and over the past decade the country struggled to make an impact at the Eurovision Song Contest.

For this year’s national selection, Irish broadcaster RTÉ has come up with a new format.

This coming Friday, Feb 11th, five entries will be performed  on The Late Late Show Eurosong 2011, on RTÉ One. Five professionals from the music industry mentor the acts and their songs:

Don Mescall – Talking With Jennifer (mentored by Ronan Hardiman, composer)

Jedward – Lipstick (mentored by Caroline Downey-Desmond, director of MCD and event producer)

Bling – Shine On (mentored by Willie Kavanagh, chairman of EMI Music Ireland)

The Vard Sisters – Send Me An Angel (mentored by Liam Lawton, composer and performer)

Nikki Kavanagh – Falling (mentored by David Hayes, musical director and arranger)

The winning act will be selected by a combined system of juries (67%) and televoting (33%).

For more info on the Irish national final 2011 please visit http://www.eurovision.tv

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One comment

  1. I love someone who talks passionately and articulately about Eurovision. Niamh is such a wonderful soul. I just wish her image had some form of an update. In fact, I think that is Ireland’s problem these days: image. One can go on and on about how it should be a SONG contest, since it is called the Eurovision Song Contest, and that is how it would be in a perfect world. Unfortunately, image is very important, too. It does not need to be anything sexualized, just identifiable.

    Niamh, you did great in Oslo, and a 23rd place does not take anything from your 1993 victory (even if image could use some tweaking).

    Love!

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