TV Extras

Eurovision 2010

The closing date for applications has now passed and the five Eurosong finalists will be announced shortly.

RTÉ is pleased to announce that Ireland will again be taking part in The Eurovision Song Contest - the 55th - in Oslo, Norway, in May 2010. The ESC is consistently one of the most popular annual television events, both in Ireland and across Europe.

This year's Eurovision, hosted by Russia in Moscow, attracted a total of 124 Million viewers - a 17% increase on 2008. The stage, design and lighting were the most ambitious ever undertaken and reaction to the shows was overwhelmingly positive.

The decision to have the winner chosen by a 50/50 combination of jury and televote was a well received development and appears to have answered the criticism often levelled at the voting section of the show. In 2010, this 50/50 system will apply to both semi-finals, on the 25th and 27th of May, as well as to the Grand Final itself on Saturday the 29thof May.

We are confident, following the improved results in this year's contest for western European countries, particularly those who sent high-profile artists - like the UK and France - that talented artists and songwriters will rise to the challenge of competing in this unique European event.

RTÉ has reviewed the selection procedure for this year's contest, considered alternative models and discussed the issue with interested parties in Ireland and abroad. We have decided that for 2010 the selection process will have some important and necessary modifications.

We have listened to the comments and conclusions of the 2009 expert judging panel and based on their work on Eurosong 2009 and the knowledge they gained from the process, RTÉ has decided to re-appoint the same five members, chaired by Linda Martin. All five reflect different expertise both in the music industry and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. The other four members are: Julian Benson, choreographer; Mark Crossingham, MD Universal Music Ireland; Larry Gogan, broadcaster and Diarmuid Furlong, ESC expert and fan.

We have also decided, in response to the panel's observations, to give them more flexibility in relation to the selection of songs and the pairing of songs with performers. We believe that for an improved performance by Ireland in this highly competitive event, serious and detailed deliberation is required by the judging panel on all the possible options. This is reflected in the rules.

The competition will be called Eurosong 2010. It will be a Late Late Show special on a date to be confirmed in early March, where five songs will compete to decide Ireland's Eurovision entry.

Therefore, in the first part of this process, RTÉ is inviting entries that include the song, the proposed performer(s) and any proposed performance/staging details, for consideration by the judging panel. The judging panel and RTÉ will have final decision on the performer of any song selected by the judging panel for Eurosong 2010 final and the judging panel will be entitled to engage in discussions with any songwriter or performer or combination of these in respect of any entry, with a view to selecting the strongest possible combination of song and performer for the Eurosong selection and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. This includes the possibility of matching a song entry with a performer selected by the judging panel who is different to the performer that performs on the recording submitted with the song entry and also the possibility of matching a performer of a song entry with another song entry.

The closing date for entries will be at noon on Monday, the 1st of February, 2010. Entries should be submitted to Eurosong 2010, RTÉ Entertainment, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

It is a condition of entry to Eurosong 2010 that song entries and their songwriter(s) and performer(s) must at all times comply with the rules listed below and also with the ESC 2010 rules published by the EBU (which are available at the following website: and all songwriter(s) and performer(s) that enter are deemed to have read and agreed to accept and abide by the rules. In the event of any failure to comply with the rules listed below and/or the ESC 2010 Rules the relevant entry (and songwriter and performer) may be disqualified by RTÉ and/or the EBU.

The judging panel, having considered all the entries (which as indicated above may include meeting with songwriter(s) and/or performer(s) to discuss the matching of song entries with performers selected by the judging panel who is different to the one that performs that entry on the recording submitted with the song entry), will make their five selections employing the following criteria:

a) Suitability of the song for the ESC
b) Quality of the performer(s)
c) Suitability of the proposed song/performer combination

Ireland's entry for the ESC 2010 will be selected from the five finalists by a combination of regional jury and public televote to be held on the night of Eurosong 2010, the winning entry to be the one that gets the highest number of combined votes on the night.

Following selection of the winning entry, RTÉ will work with the songwriter(s) and performer(s) to prepare the performance of the winning song for the ESC in May 2010, it being recognised by the songwriter(s) and performer(s) that while RTE will obviously consult with them in this respect, RTÉ is obliged to retain final decision and control over the arrangement, performance, staging and recording of the of the winning entry for the purposes of ESC 2010.

The Rules for Eurosong 2010

  1. All song entries must be submitted on CD and be accompanied by six written copies of the song lyrics, details of the proposed singer(s) (including written confirmation of their availability to sing/perform the song in accordance with these rules and the ESC 2010 rules should they be selected by the judging panel to perform the song on Eurosong 2010 and the ESC), and any suggestions for staging of the song. If it is proposed that there will be people on stage in addition to the singer e.g. dancers, this should be specified (it should be noted that RTE will have final approval over any such additional people). Submission of a video or DVD of a performance of the entry by the relevant singer/act showing proposed staging would be helpful but note that such DVD's will only be viewed by the jury if the song is one they wish to shortlist for potential inclusion as one of the five songs to be performed at Eurosong 2010. Note that performers will be required at both Eurosong 2010 and the ESC to perform live on stage, accompanied by a recorded backing-track which contains no vocals of any kind or any vocal imitations.
  2. The song entry must be performed on a professionally recorded backing track which must be available to be used by the performer(s) on The Late Late Eurosong special should the performer(s) be selected to perform the song.
  3. The judging panel reserves the right to engage in discussion with songwriters and/or performers regarding the structure of the song, the proposed singer and song combination and to select, in consultation with the songwriters, alternative performer(s) for song entries.
  4. Songs cannot exceed 3 minutes in duration.
  5. The song (lyrics and music) must be original to, and written solely by, the songwriter(s) named in the entry.
  6. Each composer can only enter a maximum of two songs (including co-writes).
  7. The song (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released and/or publicly performed, in full or in part, before the 1st October 2009.
  8. The lyrics and/or performance of songs must not bring the Late Late Show Selection or the Eurovision Song Contest into disrepute and no lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature are permitted nor will swearing or other unacceptable language be allowed in the lyrics or in the performances of songs. In addition, no commercial messages of any kind shall be allowed in the lyrics or in the performances of the songs.
  9. Each songwriter and performer must be a citizen of Ireland or alternatively have such citizenship and/or valid visas as shall allow that person to travel to and attend (and in the case of the performer perform at) the Eurosong 2010 in Ireland and, if selected as the winning entry of Eurosong 2010, the ESC 2010 in Norway. In the event of any issue regarding compliance of any songwriter or performer with this requirement the decision of RTE shall be final.
  10. Each performance may consist of a maximum of six people on stage.
  11. All performers must be aged at least 16 on the day of the relevant Semi-Final of the ESC 2010.
  12. Songwriters and performers may not approach members of the judging committee about entries or discuss entries with the judging panel unless invited to do so by the judging panel.
  13. In consideration of the opportunity to enter the competition each songwriter and performer agrees to grant (and to procure where necessary from any relevant music publisher and/or record company) all necessary rights, consents and waivers that will be required by the EBU under the ESC 2010 Rules including without limitation the following rights as they are defined in the ESC 2010 Rules: Broadcasting Rights, Public Performance Rights, Preview Rights, CD, DVD Compilations and Digital Releases Rights; Extract Rights; National Selection Extract Rights; Authorizations as set out in Section Six part 2) including without limitation authorization to reproduce, translate and use lyrics for informational and promotional use and for the karoake on-line competition; authorization to use, reproduce, print and publish their name, likeness, voice, photographs and biography in connection with the promotion, broadcast, and/or commercial exploitation of the ESC 2010 programmes by any and all means and in all media, whether now known or hereafter developed, for an unlimited period of time, and the agreement of the singer/performer to go on a promotion tour if they win the ESC 2010.
  14. Each songwriter and performer agrees to be available for promotional activities as may be required by RTÉ and the ESC and that their performances, recordings, name, likeness, photograph, and biographical information may be used in connection with the Eurosong 2010 competition and the ESC 2010 and in any advertising and publicity relating to such events.
  15. In the event that the performer selected to perform a song chosen as a finalist for Eurosong 2010 or as the entry to the ESC 2010 is unable to perform at Eurosong 2010 or the ESC 2010 due to illness or some other reason then RTÉ may in RTÉ's sole discretion select a replacement performer to perform the song or disqualify the song and replace it with a different entry.
  16. RTÉ shall have the right at any time to disqualify any entry where that entry or any songwriter or any performer of that entry breaches any rule of this competition and/or any rules of the ESC 2010 and in the event of disqualification prior to Eurosong 2010 of any of the five finalist entries selected for Eurosong 2010 RTÉ shall have the right to replace the disqualified entry by another entry selected by the final judging committee and in the event of disqualification of the entry voted in Eurosong 2010 as the entry to ESC 2010 RTÉ shall have the right to replace that disqualified entry by the entry that got the next highest number of votes in Eurosong 2010 unless the disqualification is decided after the Meeting of the Heads of Delegation for ESC 2010 in which case under ESC 2010 Rules RTÉ may be prohibited from submitting a replacement entry. This rule 16 is without prejudice to the EBU's separate right to disqualify entries under the ESC 2010 Rules.
  17. Any current employee of RTÉ or any person who is currently contracted to RTÉ under a contract for services that is of a duration of 6 months or more, and their immediate family members (i.e. husband, wife, current partner, child, mother, father, brother, sister) are excluded from entering Eurosong 2010 as a composer and/or performer.
  18. RTÉ's decision on all matters regarding the interpretation and application of the rules of the competition will be final. These rules are governed by Irish law and the songwriter(s) and performer(s) of each entry each agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Ireland.

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