Ireland: The results of the first show of Junior Eurovision Éire 2021
The first heat of the Irish Junior Eurovision 2021 national selection 'Junior Eurovision Éire 2021' took place this evening determinng the first two qualifiers to the semi final.
Ireland is returning to Junior Eurovision after a year of absence and will be selection its JESC 2021 hopeful for Paris through the national selection "Junior Eurovision Éire 2021". The show will unfold over six successive weeks with all show been taped previously in the RTÉ studios in Dublin.
The first pre-filmed episode was broadcast this evening on RTE with the show hosted by Louise Cantillon, successing Eoghan McDermott, who presented every edition of the show until 2019. Like previous year's a panel of judges includes two permanent jurors while the third spot is filled in by a guest judge every week. Namely, the two permanent jurors are:
- Niamh Ní Chróinín – Radio presenter, manager of Irish-language youth radio station Raidió Rí-Rá
- Fiachna Ó Braonáin – Member of Hothouse Flowers (interval act at Eurovision 1988) and has been serving as a judge for the Junior Eurovision Éire 2016-2018. Fiacha was also behind the composition of the Irish JESC 2019 entry “Banshee”
In this first show the third judge's seat was filled in by Niamh Kavanagh (ESC 1993 Winner, Ireland ESC 2010).
The 7 contestants of the night took the stage performing covers of well known songs in Irish. The three judges evalauted their performance by awarding up to ten stars to each performance. Once the performances were over the act with the most stars qualified to the final. The next two acts following competed in a sing-off round from which the judges selected the second qualifier to the semi final.
The acts that competed in this first round along with their repsective results are:
- Eva Norton : “This Is Me” – 28 stars (sing-off qualifier)
- Ronan Spencer: “Always” – 27 stars
- Lilyella Buckley: “Someone You Loved” – 29 stars (direct qualifier)
- Orla McDermott: “Ghost” – 28 stars –
- Katie Hardiman: “Catch and Release” – 27 stars
- Aimee and Grace Gillard: “Feel It Again” – 24 stars
- Saoirse Garrihy – “Shape of You” – 22 stars
Lilyella Buckley performing 'Someone you Love' with 29 stars won the first ticket to the semi final while Eva Norton and Orla McDermott went in a sing-off round which saw Eva advance to the semi final.
The Irish Junior Eurovision national selection will continue next week with the second qualifying round and another set of seven contestants. Once the national selection determine the next Irish hopeful the national broadcaster, RTE, will internally select the song for Paris.
Ireland in Junior Eurovision
Ireland has participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest five times since their first appearance in the 2015 contest. The Irish language broadcaster, TG4, is responsible for the country's participation in the contest, and uses the national final Junior Eurovision Éire to select the Irish entries.
Ireland debuted in the contest when TG4 participated in the 2015 contest in Sofia, Bulgaria, when the song "Réalta na mara" performed by Aimee Banks placed 12th in a field of 17 countries. Ireland has achieved one top ten placing, in 2016 when the song "Bríce ar bhríce" performed by Zena Donnelly placed 10th.
Despite having initially confirmed their participation in the 2020 contest in Warsaw, Poland in January 2020, TG4 announced in August 2020 that they would not participate in the contest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lets remember below Ireland's last participation in Gliwice-Silesia at JESC 2019 with Anna Kearney and her song "Banshee" which finished 12th receiving 73 points.