Next Up: 2021 – Ireland

Despite still holding the record for the most wins in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, Ireland has certainly struggled to grasp what it takes to qualify in the modern day contest, let alone achieve another win. This year, they managed to secure a popular established artist in Lesley Roy, however, we will never know whether her song “The Story of My Life” would have reached the Eurovision final.

In today’s episode we look at Ireland in 2021. For a full review of their potential entry for 2020, check out this article on our partner website Eurovision Union. Check out our thoughts for next year below.

Key takeaways: Lesley Roy is Ireland’s biggest asset

Ever since the “Eurovision convention” in 2018, when RTÉ invited composers, press and Eurovision fans for a brainstorm session, Ireland have gone down the more independent path of singer-songwriters. While the first two attempts had very mixed results, I am sure this strategy helped them to convince a big name such as Lesley Roy to go to Eurovision.

The punk singer was Irelands biggest asset this year. “The Story of My Life” was a good song, however it was not very unique. Given Lesley Roy’s track record, it should not be too hard to imagine her writing a competitive song in the same genre for next year. Therefore, the potential is there to go down the same road, and perhaps even tweak a few things.

How to proceed with Lesley Roy

Perhaps it is wise for Ireland to pen down a song that is somewhat easier to sing in a live televised performance. Lesley’s gig at The Late Late Show showed that being in a studio to record the song, in seperate segments, is not the same as a full 3 minute delivery. Keep the genre, but keep it simple and catchy, would be my advice.

Another key aspect is motivation. It is one thing to get an established artist to do Eurovision, but to keep her fully engaged for another 13-14 months, is something else. Meanwhile there is plenty of work to do, not only in songwriting but also in creating the perfect stage performance.

Lesley Roy’s record label Jive Records could play an important part in this. Together with RTÉ, they could work out a timeline in which Lesley Roy presents an album and some televised performances alongside her Eurovision song. That way, preparations can be combined with a nice shot of publicity.

Exploring other options

If for some reason Ireland were to continue with another artist, it would still be wise to stick with their musical strategy of the last three years. There are plenty of other talented (semi)-independent singers in the Irish music scene.

One consequence of working with a younger, less experienced artist, is that he or she will rely more heavily on support from the delegation. This is where RTÉ still has to learn a few lessons. While the musical strategy has been clear for the past few years, they did not always get their staging right. Remember that hot air balloon that had nothing to do with Brendan Murray’s song? For 2021, the Irish have plenty of time to prepare. Whether they continue with Lesley Roy or with a young indie talent, it is important for them to use that time right.

This was supposed to be Ireland’s Eurovision 2020 entry

About “Next Up: Eurovision 2021”

In our series Next Up: 2021, we look ahead to the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. After the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, all participating countries now face the choice: Stick with their Eurovision singer, or come up with a new preselection or internal selection.

We make an analysis based on what we know so far. What will this country do, or most likely do? And is that the wise choice, looking at the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest remains a music competition?