Ireland’s mentor: “Everyone takes Eurovision seriously except us”

Louis Walsh, the manager behind Brendan Murray, has made strong statements about Ireland’s recent past at Eurovision. Walsh would like former Irish winner Johnny Logan on board to help them qualify this year. 

In his interview with The Mirror, Walsh criticized previous participants for Ireland. “RTE need us to qualify this year because they have sent the wrong people in the past. But it is not so difficult. You have to send a great song and a great singer. Every other country in Europe sends their best singer and song, and takes it seriously. It’s not rocket science – if you can get a song with a great hook, it can work. Jedward came eighth, if they can do it, anyone can.”

RTE, the national broadcaster in Ireland, asked Walsh to mentor their singer Brendan Murray this year. In order to achieve success, Walsh would like one particular man to join the songwriting team. That man is 3 time Irish Eurovision winner (1980, 1987, 1992 as a songwriter) Johnny Logan.

He knows the formula and what works – There is no one out there better than him who knows how to win. I would Love if Johnny Logan would write a song for us. That would be great. If he doesn’t. I will get one from England from a great songwriter. I am confident about that.

– Louis Walsh, Manager of Brendan Murray, Ireland’s Eurovision representative for 2017.

According to the management of Johnny Logan, no official approach has been made yet by Louis Walsh or RTE. If that would happen, however, Logan would want to work with his current team and not on his own. “He is a very busy man, as a matter of fact, he has 5 live dates before Eurovision. In the event that Johnny Logan does agree to the project he would need to work around his live schedule. The first performance is on 28th January at Kristallzauber in Seefeld Austria, while the last date is 22nd April in Helsinger Denmark.”

Eurovision and Reality TV

In the same interview, Louis Walsh hit out at the current batch of popstars who think reality TV is the easy way into the industry.

Everyone wants to make it the easy way now by going on The X factor or The Voice. They don’t realise there is no easy way of becoming great. I know I am contradicting myself a bit, because I am a part of that machine, creating monsters and making people famous. But the problem is when they leave the show and start to believe the hype, and they are surrounded by ‘yes’ people who gravitate towards them and they end up ruining them. The X-Factor gives you a shot, but it is up to you to work hard and try to make the best of that shot.

Despite the above statement, there have been many Eurovision participants on various international reality singing shows. In Australia, Dami Im was on the 2013 series of X factor, and Guy Sebastian was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003. In the UK, Jedward participated in the 6th series of X factor in 2009, while Ruth Lorenzo, who represented Spain in 2014, participated in the 5th series in 2008.

As Louis also mentioned The Voice, Loic Nottet , who represented Belgium in the 2015 contest, came runner up in The Voice Belgique in 2014. Hadise, who represented Turkey in 2009, was in the Belgian version of Pop Idol, however she failed to make the final. Jessica Garlick, who represented the UK in 2002, made it into the final 10 of the UK version of Pop Idol. Joe and Jake, and Bianca Nicholas from Electro Velvet all participated on the UK version of The Voice.

Reality TV can also be seen as an aid to Eurovision success. Loreen, who won Eurovision for Sweden in 2012, participated in Swedish Idol in 2004, and Mans Zelmerlow participated in the same show the following year.