LAST November, I submitted my song, ‘Whispering Wind’, for the EuroSong Irish final on The Late Late Show. This was my first time entering the contest. The mentors to whom I submitted my song were also ‘judges’, in my opinion, as each was required to listen to all the entries and choose those they considered most suitable for the final.
A national, Eurovision song competition should be run fairly. But I have issues with three of the mentors.
The winning song, ‘Heartbeat’, which will represent Ireland at Copenhagen, was composed by four people, one of them being mentor Hazel Kaneswaran.
Another finalist, ‘Be Mine’, was composed by mentor Cormac Battle, and yet another, ‘Don’t Hold On’, was composed and sung by Patricia Roe, a sister to mentor Valerie Roe.
No mentor should have been involved in composing or submitting a song for the EuroSong Irish final, and no mentor should be allowed choose their sibling’s entry.
Normally, it is against the rules for any individual affiliated with a competition to enter themselves, and the same applies to family members.
I have never heard of a competition in which the mentors not only judge song entries, but are competitors themselves.
That leaves a very large number of Irish singers and songwriters to wonder if they ever really stood a chance.
Many spent weeks and months composing their entries for EuroSong. Writing lyrics, the melody and the instrumental arrangements is very time-consuming.
So where mentors are also in the final, it seems like a bit of an insult to the rest of us singer/songwriters who entered our compositions for Eurosong 2014.
Naturally, one expects that a very large number of songs were submitted for EuroSong. I assumed that if my song was not successful, I would not hear back from the mentors, due to the large volume of emails they would have received.
However, one mentor, Mark Murphy, took the time out to email me back to say that my entry was not what he was looking for, and he wished me the best of luck regardless. I thought this was very good and kind of him.
From what I have heard, he wrote back to each singer and songwriter who submitted songs to him.
For singers/songwriters, it is always good to get any kind of feedback and I did appreciate Mark making contact.
But EuroSong must see that the system is seriously flawed. The controversy surrounding Billy McGuinness, Louis Walsh and Linda Martin has proven this. I am surprised EuroSong didn’t foresee this happening.
Apparently, Ryan Tubridy had been aware of Billy McGuinness’s issues throughout the week. So it might have been an idea for the Late Late Show team to have allowed Billy make his points at the beginning of the show, before any finalist sang.
I do feel sorry for certain finalist singers, who seem to have been caught in the cross-fire.
I personally have nothing against EuroSong, nor am I connected to anybody within it, not the mentors nor the finalists. But the Irish Eurovision system could certainly be improved on
The system being used has not worked very well so far, which is a view shared by most of the Irish nation.
As we have seen, Ireland has not done very well in the Eurovision contest in recent years. This is not the fault of the singers who represented Ireland. But unless the system changes, Ireland’s future chances of winning are not strong.
I was asked during the week if I would give up on the Eurovision. My reply: “Unless the system changes, watch this space.”
Olive De Ville is an unsigned singer/songwriter from Co Cork who is working on her debut album.
She was a guest performer at the South West Music Awards, in the UK, in November 2013, the first Irish artiste to be so honoured.
Olive previously performed with the Cadillac Cowboys and the Time Lords.