The Irish Mirror and Irish Daily Mail has reported today that Irish pop mogul Louis Walsh will announce the Irish Eurovision entry on national broadcaster RTE’s chat show The Late Late Show tonight.
Walsh who has served as a judge on TV talent competitions The X-Factor (UK), Popstars (Ireland) and Popstars: The Rivals (UK) has had close ties with the Irish Eurovision for a number of years. He has mentored twin singing sensation Jedward who represented the nation in 2011 and 2012, he is good friends with 1984 and 1992 star Linda Martin and in recent years he has acted as a judge on the Late Late Show Eurovision special which acted as a national final for choosing the Eurovision act.
If rumours reported in the Irish press are to believed, then Louis Walsh has been given full power to select the Irish Eurovision representative who will be unveiled on the Late Late Show tonight Friday 16th December, which airs from 9.35pm and can be watched live here.
The reports suggest that Walsh has chosen a male artist who has ‘a big voice who can hit all the ranges and has all the contacts to get a winning song’. One person who has been ruled out is Johnny Logan as Louis wished to pick someone ‘more current’.
With this in mind we have racked our brains to think who Louis could possibly choose:
Eoghan Quigg has strong ties to Walsh having competed in the UK’s X-Factor show in 2008, finishing in third place. Quigg also competed to be chosen as the Irish Eurovision act in 2014, but ‘The Movie Song’ lost out to Cann Linn and Casey Smith’s ‘Heartbeat’, despite Walsh who served on the special guest panel backing Quigg.
Niall Horan would certainly fit the criteria that Walsh has set out. He is a hugely popular singer, having the backing of all the One Direction fans. He is certainly more current than Johnny Logan, and he has strong links to world class songwriters including Ed Sheeran and Ryan Tedder who have written songs for One Direction’s albums. As well as this with One Direction on hiatus and former members Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson having already launched successful solo careers, perhaps Horan is ready to follow in their footsteps?
Shane Filan/Markus Fehilly
Westlife singer Nicky Byrne was Ireland’s pick in 2016, and although ‘Sunlight’ failed to make it to the final, maybe it’s time for another Westlifer to give it a go? Shane Filan and Mark Fehilly from Westlife were the more accomplished singers out of the band and maybe with a better song they could succeed where Nicky Byrne wasn’t able to? Louis Walsh also is currently Shane Filan’s manager and Filan would be due to release his third solo album in 2017.
Other possibilities could be some of Walsh’s former/current management clients: someone from bands Boyzone, Hometown or Six, or someone from recent series of The Voice of Ireland.
While we await the announcement, we can be assured that Walsh will pick someone who looks like a pop star, sounds like a pop star and has the whole package and could be a real recording artist!