A few minutes ago, the opening heat of the new season of Ireland’s Junior Eurovision Éire, the country’s pre-selection for Junior Eurovision 2022, took place. Young artists from across the nation took to the stage to perform covers of popular Irish language songs. The lucky contestants to advance to the next stage of the process were Lara Gleeson and Clare Keeley.
The heat, which kicks off a marathon of six consecutive Sundays full of music, joy and fun, was hosted by journalist and radio presenter Louise Cantillon and newcomer Darragh Ó Caoimh, who is joining the format for the first time. The jury that determined the night’s results included Niamh Ní Chróinín, Chris Greene and guest judge Niamh Kavanagh
In the first round, Lara Gleeson made it straight through to the semi-final after being the highest rated contestant by the panel of experts. Consequently, Clare Keeley and Ella Kelly, the next two highest scoring contestants, have been re-selected to compete in a final showdown for the second and final place in the final
|Clare Keeley||I Will Always Love You||8+8+7=23||Final Duel|
|Harry Moriarty||This Is Me||8+7+6=21||Eliminated|
|Lara Gleeson||When The Party Is Over||8+9+9=26||Straight to the semi-final|
|Ella Kelly||Ghost||7+8+7=22||Final Duel|
During the final showdown of the show, Clare Keeley and Ella Kelly took to the stage once again to perform their respective songs in an attempt to win the judges’ favour. After some deliberation, Clare Keeley was announced as the last finalist of the night, after gaining more support from the panel of experts.
|Contestant||Votes in favour||Status|
|Clare Keeley||2||Advances to the semi-final|
The show will continue next Sunday at 21:30h with the broadcast of the second qualifying heat, where we will witness another night full of great talent and Irish tradition.
A NEW SEASON FULL OF CHANGES
Tonight’s show will kick off an extensive marathon of 6 consecutive Sundays full of music, fun and Irish tradition. After four qualifying galas and a semi-final, the format will face a spectacular final gala on 23 October where the sovereign public will determine the nation’s representative at Junior Eurovision 2022. Ireland’s TG4 and the undefeated performer from the competition will then search for the song that will represent the country at the European contest on 11 December, which will take place from Yerevan, Armenia.
During the various broadcasts, we will also enjoy the rotating presence of various former Irish Eurovision representatives as judges. One of the biggest additions to the line-up is undoubtedly Brooke Scullion, who will travel straight from the Eurovision stage in Turin to the Junior Eurovision Éire set to judge the performances of the youngest contestants.
The full provisional schedule for the Junior Eurovision Éire 2022 galas is as follows:
ABOUT JUNIOR EUROVISION ÉIRE
Junior Eurovision Éire was born in 2015 with the mission to select the Irish representative for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest year after year. The format, which has changed its mechanics over the course of its 6 editions, consists of a variable number of galas in which an array of young talents showcase their musical talents in front of a prestigious panel of experts and former Irish Eurovision representatives.
While until 2018 the contestants performed their own unreleased songs , from 2019 onwards the competition will be based on the performance of covers of popular songs in the Gaelic language. In this way the organisers aim to attract as many children as possible without the need for them to own a song, and to encourage the use and standardisation of the Irish language. Following the contest, broadcaster TG4 will ensure that an original song tailored to the performer’s needs is found to perform on the Junior Eurovision stage.
The format, produced by Adare Productions, is already a classic on TG4’s autumn schedule, with six editions having been produced since 2015. The show’s organisers aim to create a platform for showcasing the nation’s young talent as well as a space to showcase and normalise the Irish language, in line with the objectives of their respective broadcaster’s focus on producing Gaelic language content. The tour culminates on the Junior Eurovision stage, which gives the local language unrivalled international exposure and exposure.
We have a wonderful opportunity to bring Gaelic to the Eurovision stage through our young talentsLouise Cantillon (co-presenter of Junior Eurovision Éire 2022)
IRELAND AT THE JUNIOR EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
Ireland has a total of six Junior Eurovision Song Contest entries, joining the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 and participating almost continuously until today, only missing the 2020 edition. The country has a poor record in the competition, usually ranking in the lower-middle of the leaderboard. The nation’s moment of glory came just one year after their debut, when they made it into the top 10 of the festival with young Zena Donnelly and her catchy Bríce Ar Bhríce. The country would score a total of 121 points for a tenth place finish at the festival in La Valleta.
The Irish entry in 2019, which was one of the favourites of the event, is also well remembered by the fans of the Junior Eurofestival. The young Anna Kearny and her Banshee, a carefully crafted ballad with Celtic sounds, would finally only obtain a 12th position, which was too low but understandable given the high level of the competition that year
The last Irish appearance at the festival came from the last winner of the traditional national Junior Eurovision Éire pre-selection format, Maiu Levi Lawlor. His song Saor, an energetic, youthful uptempo track, failed to climb from 18th and penultimate place in the ranking, leading the country to its worst ever placing.
JUNIOR EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2022
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will be held in Yerevan, Armenia on Sunday 11 December. The Karen Demirchyan Complex will host the show in which artists aged between 9 and 14 from across Europe will battle it out to win the coveted crystal microphone, the trophy for victory at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The organisation of the show by Armenian public broadcaster ARMTV follows the victory of Malena and her “Qami Qami” on stage in Paris on 19 December, which sparked a collective euphoria in her homeland and made the whole country take on the challenge of organising the festival with great enthusiasm and responsibility, which promises to be more special than ever as it celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022. It will not be the first time that Armenia has hosted a Junior Eurovision, having had the opportunity to do so in 2011, also at the Karen Demirchyan Complex.
So far, 17 European broadcasters have already confirmed their participation in the festival, however, the ambition and efforts of the organisation do not close the door to the list finally expanding with the presence of more participants in this 20th edition of the junior festival. We already know the identity of 5 of the participants who will take the stage this December, all of whom will reveal their song in the coming months:
- Georgia: Mariam Bigvava
- Kazakhstan: David Charlin
- North Macedonia: Lara and Irina
- Portugal: Nicolas Alves
- Ukraine: Zlata Dziunka – ” Nezlamna (Unbreakable)”