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"Heartbeat" co-written by Hazel Kaneswaran, Jonas Gladnikoff, Rasmus Palmgren, Patrizia Helander, with vocals provided by Kasey Smith and featuring Canlinn, led to a disappointing result for Ireland, failing to qualify to the grand final, finishing in 13th place, much to the dismay of the national broadcaster and an extremely large fanbase from the seven-time winning country.

The mentor-led system which Ireland has used in the past four years, has led to a mixed series of results, even though qualification was acquired between 2011 and 2013, twice with X Factor twins, Jedward. In 2015, Ireland is adopting a different approach, and is thus organising an open national selection, as had been previously stated by the Irish Independent.

Amongst the artists who will be putting their name forward are none other than former UK X Factor finalists; Jedward, who as mentioned above, have already represented the Emerald Isle on two previous occasions, as well as Mary Bryne. Signed to SyCO Records, the singing sensation released two studio albums, both of which reached the top ten chart in Ireland. Her latest release, a third studio album, on an independent record label, also managed to chart within the top ten, noting that her fan-base is well and truly alive. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fZhgF0Whsk

In recent days, escflashmalta.com caught up with Karl Broderick, the songwriter behind Bryne's entry for the Eurosong 2015, and he stated that one is to expect a "modern, timeless ballad that's a cross between 'Clown' by Emeli Sandè and 'Let It Go' by Idina Menzel. I was delighted to discover Mary is also a huge Eurovision fan and jumped at the opportunity to represent her country." We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Ireland and their plans for Vienna, Austria. 

Source: Irish Independent, Eurovision Ireland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j10q9WqFs6I

Monday, 28 April 2014 17:06

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Ireland

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #9, we catch up with Ireland (RTE) who will be represented by Canlinn ft. Kasey with the song Heartbeat co-written by Hazel Kaneswaran, Jonas Gladnikoff, Rasmus Palmgren and Patrizia Helander.

Kasey Smith is 23 years old and hails from the northside of Dublin. She is from a known family of singers going back to her grandfather who was a showband singer. She rose to fame with the BT Music Award nominated girlband Wonderland in 2010 under the tutelage of Louis Walsh and Westlife’s Kian Egan. After Wonderland, Kasey travelled to Nashville, Tennessee where she focused on her solo career, writing songs and getting as much on-stage experience as possible in the city’s vibrant music scene. Upon her return to Ireland, Kasey competed in the 2013 Eurosong competition where she finished third place with the song Kiss Me. In the 2014 contest, Kasey went one better, teaming up with traditional Irish music act Can-linn and winning the right to represent Ireland at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen.

Heartbeat is a passionate song ‘that shows why we are recognised globally as makers of fine music’ says Kasey’s mentor Hazel Kaneswaran. The song was co-written by Hazel, who sang for Dove in 1996 and has since presented numerous TV shows and performed around Ireland; Jonas Gladnikoff, who wrote two successful Irish Eurovision entries, Et Cetera in 2009 and It’s For You by former winner,Niamh Kavanagh, in 2010; Rasmus Palmgren, writer of the current Swedish Idol winning song, and Patrizia Helander, Swedish Idol 2007 finalist and experimental artist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9CC0sjTVgY

Ireland is known to be the darling of the Eurovision Song Contest, having been triumphant on no less than seven occasions, the last one being back in 1996 when Eimear Quinn performed The Voice which in turn has no co-relation to the current television series. Since the introduction of the semi-final system, Ireland has had mixed fortunes at the event, failing to qualify in 2005, 2008 and 2009 and having managed to make it through to the final for the past four consecutive years with acts such as Niamh Kavanagh, Jedward and Ryan Dolan. RTE is definitely banking on this act to continue their recent bout of qualification whilst hoping to improve on the result achieved in the final.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 63%

Greig Watts: I like the start and the vocal has grabbed me, so I am wondering where the song will take me. Is it going to be dance or heavy chorus??? I bit of a mix, and all there’s an irish fiddle or something in there too for extra value. I guess its one of the naturalist flowing songs so far (to my western ear), will this be a song that hasn’t got enough else to make an impact, if it was just a song contest it could do well, but not sure that’s the case. Like the song though

Joseph Zammit: Oh Ireland. Poor poor Ireland. The emerald isle with the beautiful songs, whatever happened to you? You used to produce beautiful ballads, strong songs, and smile inducing melodies. And now you give us this. The equivalent of what a fading pop star would write and produce to have one final shot at a hit for the clubs to play but fails miserably. 

But please dear reader, do not mistake this song as any Euro-dance track, oh no no. Because even though they do not fit with the rest of the song, she decides to throw in a fiddle and a flute  to remind us that deep down she is still Irish. All she needed to do was bring in a leprechaun to do a rap bit in the bridge. Apart from that it has a generic yet catchy chorus in the middle that unfortunately, makes it very easy for it to get stuck in your head.

Sharon Vaughn: This story holds the track and her performance is strong yet not over-done. The song is current yet remains true to its Celtic roots.

John Scott: Interesting instrumentation for the song. The chorus is good, but I liked some of the other folky songs better.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc14AzCXUgQ

Published in Editorials

Eurosong, the Irish national final proved to be the most entertaining selection process of the year with a lot of banter, several comments and ultimately a winner which is already being hyped up by the fan community,  an early boost in terms of positivity, despite the rebellious national final that took place over the course of the past two to three hours. Heartbeat, written by Hazel Kaneswaran, Jonas Gladnikoff, Rasmus Palmgren and Patrizia Helande is performed by Canlinn and featuring the vocals of Kasey Smith.

It triumphed in both the jury and the public vote. Competing alongside Malta in the second semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is the song Heartbeat, an uptempo track with traditional Irish elements. The staging for this performance has to be overhauled completely and Kasey needs to work on her vocals because there were quite a couple of pitch problems which need to be addressed. Otherwise, I believe it is a decent song which could also do well in the national charts. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: RTE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkP92okG6EU

Tráthnóna maith! Ireland will be making their selection for this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest during the course of the evening with five (5) acts competing for the right to represent the most successful country in the continental competition. The emerald isle won the event on seven (7) occasions, the most recent being back in 1996 with Eimear Quinn and her song The Voice. Nevertheless, since the millennium, the nation has strugged to get into the top ten (10) despite reaching the final round of the competition every year since 2009. RTÉ, the Irish public broadcaster will be airing the selection process through a webcast being transmitted on the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Irish public broadcaster made the announcement of the five (5) mentors back in October as they kicked off a journey to find a suitable artist with the best possible song. Ultimately, the search did end up with a couple of interesting names, some of which are known through talent shows, others who have already been a part of the process and even newcomers. The music industry in Ireland is thriving and has been known to produce some fine acts throughout the years including none other than; U2, Westlife, Enya and Keith Hanley. In the meantime, only one (1) of the five (5) competing entries has broken through the charts thus far, with Eoghan Quigg being a new entry at #99 based on iTunes sales.

The Show (Part 1)

An ABBA tribute act is in the audience performing Waterloo, winning entry of the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest. Our host of the evening; Ryan Turbidy is literally getting the audience ready for the evening. This year, it seems that Ireland is making more effort than usual with RTÉ commentator Marty Whelan responsible for the backstage interviews. A trip down memory lane as we will be getting to meet Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan and Johnny Logan.

A non-Irish poll was organised throughout the week to seek the most recognisable entries from the Eurovision Song Contest and ranking in number five is; Nicole with A Little Peace. A panel of professional experts are present to comment on the songs including none other than; Louis Walsh, Linda Walsh,  Owen McDermott and a Eurovision Fan who is present on countless occasions when it comes to the Late Late Show Eurosong. A short interview with each of our panel members, and this is turning out to be an interesting chat show to be honest.

Song 01: Don't Hold On - Patricia Roe

A female singer/songwriter, and former runner-up of Eurosong in 1992 and 1993. Patricia is standing on a platform wearing a beautiful black/silver lace dress whilst accompanied by two backing vocalists; a gorgeous lady and a dashing young man, a drummer and a pianist. This is your typical run off the mill ballad which would not stand out in the Eurovision Song Contest. Patricia is truly an oustanding vocalist and you could feel the emotion pushing through the boundaries. The sound is really good this year and it seems that RTE is putting in the effort. 

I cannot fault this performance, that is for sure and I have a very good feeling that this will be in the middle of the scoreboard and will finish in third place. Whoa! Those high notes are seriously brilliant but this is too too dated. Nevertheless, what a very good effort from Malta's backing vocalist back in the 1994 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXhahmlX88M

Song 02: The Movie Song - Eoghan Quigg

Second runner-up of the X Factor a couple of years back, Eoghan Quigg is back on stage wearing a bow-tie and sitting down on a stool playing the guitar. He is joined on stage by two male backing vocalists who are doing brilliant harmonies as well as two female violinists and a cello player. Eoghan is definitely enjoying his time in the spotlight and the performance is coming across brilliant, as if developed for the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest.

I am going to say this, the use of the lyric video is a fabolous idea, especially having also been used to full effect by Malta in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Eoghan is performing this brilliantly and it is going to be difficult for someone to take this away from him. Ireland have a strong entry with The Movie Song and they would be wrong to turn it away. Wonderful performance and that is something that Ireland does best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AENe3l7C5Vk

Song 03: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft Kasey Smith

.. in a beautiful green grown, Kasey Smith is off-key for the first part of the performance, whilst joined by two male dancers, two female backing vocalists and a female violinist. I can honestly see this on a stage at the Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, would lack in picking up votes, especially for the simple reason that Kasey is too stiff. This should have a vocalist who is dancing around the stage and not completely standing still doing absolutely nothing.

What I love about this performance though is surely the addition of the riverdance but instead of working the angle of using topless dancers, the dancers are fully clothes. The backing vocalists are in tune and the harmonies work well. Kasey and her vocals improved as the track went along but I am not truly getting the vibe of the song. I have no clue what they see in this one and why it is the bookies' favourite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo8P-5w5fA0

Song 04: Be Mine - Andrew Mann

A former participant on The Voice of Ireland, and also a runner-up of the Irish Eurosong a couple of years back, Andrew is clearly bringing in the rock element, somewhat required in any national final across the continent. His vocals are definitely on point and that is something which truly stands out in this song. Here I Am in 2012 was a much better entry but nevertheless, he is a brilliant performer. 

The staging of this song is completely appropriate but band type of songs never do well in the Eurovision Song Contest and Ireland should not do such a mistake. Well, this is the fourth song and presents an alternative type of entry. I mean, this is something which would not succeed in the international competition because it is more based on radio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7DLAbTmP9c

Song 05: You Don't Remember Me - Laura O'Neill

Billy McGuinness was seriously acting in a spiteful manner prior to the performance but nevertheless, I do not believe that he had any valid points considering that the expert panel does not have any say in the final vote. It would have been worse should those have been the actual jury. Laura is wearing a short red dress, maybe not the most flattering for her figure but nevertheless, the staging is seemingly done in a manner to compliment a James Bond genre.

Think Adele doing Skyfall, but required a little bit of work to be honest. It is a very good song and could do very well in the Eurovision Song Contest. I believe that this is one (1) of the two (2) songs which could do Ireland proud. I believe that this is one of the acts which has a very good chance of succeeding in the international market and create a career out of this evening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5jgSj8YH-M

The Show (Part 2)

Well, an extremely heated exchange between mentor of the fifth entry, Billy McGuinness and Louis Walsh and Linda Martin, for the simple reason that two of the acts were somewhat mentored by Louis Walsh. Nevertheless, Billy is livid and this is not looking good for Laura as it is reflecting bad for her. We have a recap of all of the songs performed this evening, a couple of adverts and now Johnny Logan who is back for a special guest performance.

He is performing Hold Me Now, winning entry of the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest .. and throws in a bit of Why Me? Johnny performing LIVE and sounding brilliant! Why cannot Ireland re-create their performances of the nineties? I still believe that Rock and Roll Kids could be a hit in the current format of the Eurovision Song Contest. Wonderful audience singing along to Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan's brilliant song. Standing ovation from the expert panel and the public loved it.

Voting

Galway: 12 points to Heartbeat

Cork: 12 points to You Don't Remember Me

Dublin: 12 points to Heartbeat

Limerick: 12 points to Heartbeat

Sligo: 12 points to The Movie Song

Public Vote: 60 points to Heartbeat

Winner: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft Kasey Smith

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 21:00

Ireland: Eurosong ’14 Artists Revealed by RTÉ

RTÉ, the public broadcaster in Ireland, and also the most successful in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest with a total of seven (7) victories made a much anticipated announcement earlier today with five (5) artists, representing five (5) in the hope of becoming the next Irish star at the international competition. In recent years, Ireland has successfully made it into the final, that being for four (4) consecutive years with Niamk Kavanagh (2010), Jedward (2011, 2012) and Ryan Dolan (2013) but the focus will be on improving the result whilst in that final stage.

As a matter of fact, RTÉ kept to their mentor system with five (5) professional personnel from the music industry picking out both the acts and the songs, eventually coming up with an interesting line-up made up of; Eoghan Quigg chosen by Mark Murphy and set to perform The Movie Song written by Karl Broderick (Ireland 2005); Can-Linn ft Kasey Smith chosen by Hazel Kanswaran and set to perform Heartbeat co-written by Hazel, Rasmus Palmgren, Patrizia Helander and Jonas Gladnikoff (Ireland 2010); Andrew Mann (Eurosong 2011 runner-up) chosen by Cormac Battle and writer of his entry Be Mine; Laura O’Neill chosen by Billy McGuinness and set to sing You Don’t Remember Me written by Don Mescall and Lucie Silvas; and last but not least Patricia Roe chosen by her sister Valerie Roe and set to sing her self-penned entry Don’t Hold On.

The general public will get their first opportunity to listen to the songs for the first time tomorrow afternoon on RTÉ 2FM from 15:00 CET on the Rick O’Shea show. In the meantime though, Derek Mooney has been enlisted to play the songs on his show at 16:00 CET through his programme on RTÉ Radio 1. Here at escflashmalta.com, we urge you to tune in to listen in to the songs, with former participants of Eurosong, The Voice of Ireland and UK X Factor all hoping to representing Ireland.

Source: RTÉ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tgtyl_5x5Y

RTÉ, the national broadcaster responsible for the participation of Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest took to the news yesterday evening to reveal details about the selection process that will see Ireland head to Copenhagen, Denmark. The five mentor system is set to return for yet another year following it's success in seeing the country qualify to the finals for three consecutive years.

Only Love Survives, co-written by Wez Devine and Ryan Dolan did not set the scoreboard on fire during this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest as Ireland finished last with just five (5) points in a similar fate to Dervish and their entry They Can't Stop The Spring back at the 2007 edition of the international competition.

Head of Delegation, Michael Kealy who is replacing Julian Vignoles stated that the broadcaster' wanted to again offer the Irish public a say in deciding who Ireland's Eurovision entry should be. We felt the last year's mentoring process was successful in delivering five strong acts which could represent Ireland. The five mentors this year represent a wide range of experience and talent and the songs and acts they choose will deliver a very thrilling and energetic Eurosong final in February.

Billy McGuinness (Guitarist), Hazel Kaneswaran (Singer/Songwriter), Cormac Battle (RTÉ 2fm Host), Valerie Roe (Band Manager) and Mark Murphy (Tour Manager) have been chosen as the five mentors for next years' Late Late Show Eurosong. Details of both the act and the song are to be sent into the broadcaster by the 3rd January 2014 whilst the final versions of the song should be in by the 3rd February 2014.

The final in Ireland is expected to take place on the 28th February 2014 and whilst a date of first airing has not yet been revealed, it should be on The Mooney Show on RTÉ Radio 1, a couple of days before. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Ireland's journey into the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Source: RTÉ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1cuimKLNpU

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 23:34

Ireland: Shayne Ward Rumour Garners Traction

Shayne Ward, a male vocalist who is best known for winning the second series of the X Factor in the United Kingdom is rumoured to be representing Ireland at next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The rumour started with Derek Mooney, a veteran radio host known for his programme Mooney on RTÉ Radio 1. During last nights' broadcaster, he said that he heard that Shayne Ward would be involved in the selection process in some way or another. This would be quite intriguing considering that RTÉ, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Ireland saw their representative Ryan Dolan and the entry Only Love Survives which he co-wrote with Wez Devine crash and burn, obtaining only five (5) points to finish in last place. 

Shayne Ward released three studio albums under the SyCO imprint, all of which managed to hit the top twenty in the charts within the United Kingdom and Ireland. Despite being English, he has been more successful in Ireland as his collections peaked at number #1 and #11 respectively. His most successful singles were That's My Goal, No Promises and Breathless, all of which are somewhat a mixture of pop and r'n'b with a slight hint of that typical classic ballad. It is yet unknown what type of selection procedure Ireland will be proposing for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, we encourage you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about this story.

Source: RTÉ Radio 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLphrgQFHUQ

In 1980, Johnny Logan gained fame for winning the Eurovision Song Contest with the track What's Another Year but little did he know that he would return to the international competition in 1987 with Hold Me Now and as a songwriter for Why Me? in 1992 to achieve a hat trick of victories. In recent years, he has been touring all across the world with his most recent destination actually being Malta having headlined the Għaxaq Music Festival as he performed with an eighteen strong piece orchestra led by Maestro Joe Brown. Upon his return in Ireland, his participated in the new reality television show; The Hit which saw release a brand new single.

RTE, the Irish national broadcaster created this reality television series where upcoming songwriters pitch their songs to renowned music stars including the likes of Brian Kennedy, Ryan O'Shaughnessy, Samantha Mumba and Johnny Logan amongst others. Should their song be chosen, it is then performed live and digitally released on iTunes with the hope that it turns into a hit. Weekly, there is a competition between two artists and the winner would then go onto the final where the song will compete alongside the winners of the other weeks. Basically, you are always guaranteed a charting position. The latest single by Johnny Logan is entitled Prayin and it is written by thirty (30) year old songwriter Alan Earls who was visibly stunned as the song was selected. You may listen to the song through iTunes here and purchase it should you reside in Ireland. At the moment, the track is at number #4 on the singles chart. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Eurovision Ireland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEMxYLpVVbY

Crashing Down, written by Robert Grace with vocals provided by Aimée was the clear favourite to represent Ireland at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but had to settle in the first runner-up position after missing out to Only Love Survives, a co-write between Wez Devine and vocalist Ryan Dolan. The jury selected the former but the public went for the latter. The decision was clearly wrong as Ireland finished in last place for only the second time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Since then, the female vocalist has been recording a host of cover versions.

One of the more recent cover versions she has recorded is none other than the latest Taylor Swift song entitled I Knew You Were Trouble co-written by Swift, Max Martin and Shellback. The track, which peaked at number #2 in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Israel and Scotland is a country ballad and it fit Aimée comfortably. Despite confirming their participation at the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the female vocalist has not been touted as a possible successor by Paddy Power. It seems that the public believes a male will do the job with Keith Hanley, Shane Filan, Jedward and Mark Feehily making up the top four contenders. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQXvM7yYxAM

In 1994, Paul Harrington alongside Charlie McGettigan won the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Rock 'n' Roll Kids. It meant that Ireland would have accomplished a hat-trick whilst also having the burden of hosting once more, something which they seemingly did effortlessly despite the tight budget. He did return to Birmingham as a backing vocalist to Dawn Martin as she represented Ireland in 1998 with the song Is Always Over Now? ultimately finishing in ninth place. This was an edition where he kept to the sidelines because the commentators did not even realise that he had taken up the position in a successful effort not to overshadow the lead performer.

Since the days of the Eurovision Song Contest, Paul Harrington has been working as a soloist, taking to the piano and performing covers or original songs. His last studio album release entitled Songs featured new recordings of tracks from favourite songwriters including Billy Joel, Lionel Richie and Paul Brady but nevertheless, Paul Harrington is back with an extended play of original material. Bearing the name, Grow Old With Me, it features the RTE Concert Orchestra as well as Bill Shanley on Electric/Acousting Guitars, Brass and Keyboards, Sean Devitt on Drums with Ciarana Byrne taking care of the string recordings and Fabin Murphy responsible for the string arrangement. You may purchase your copy of the extended play through iTunes. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news. 

Source: Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIgWYCIwwo

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