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The Eurovision Song Contest 2012

RTÉ has announced the arrangements for Ireland's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May 2012.

Following on from Ireland's strong performance earlier this year RTÉ has decided to adopt the same mentoring procedure for the ESC 2012 as last year which resulted in Ireland achieving its best result for ten years.

This year we have appointed five new Mentors from different backgrounds in the music and entertainment business in Ireland. In the next months they will source songs and singers who in their view will compete to represent the country in the best possible way and bring the honour of an even better result than 2011.

They represent different aspects of popular music and are varied in age and expertise:

Julian Benson is a show business agent and choreographer. He has a keen interest in the ESC and has served RTÉ's song selection committee several times in the past.

Greg French is a member of The Brilliant Things and works as a music producer/songwriter and for television.

Bill Hughes has been an independent television professional for 26 years with over 1000 hours of music, entertainment and documentary programmes to his credit. Hughes, alongside Louis Walsh and Linda Martin, was a judge on Irish television sensation Popstars and has also done jury duty on a number of shows including RTÉ's You're A Star.

Edele Lynch is a successful singer and songwriter. She made her name as member of Bewitched, their album, which Lynch wrote, sold 6 million copies worldwide. Lynch has also written songs for Girls Aloud, Sugababes and more recently has been in the band Barbarellas and has written their album NightMode.

Linda Martin needs no introduction to ESC matters, having, as a performer, won the contest in 1992 and come 2nd in 1984. Linda also chaired the RTÉ Eurovision Song Selection Committee in 2009 to 2010.

All five entries will be performed for the first time on The Late Late Show Eurosong 2012 on the 24th of February, 2012. Once again the winner will be decided by a combination of public vote and regional jury.

Speaking about the decision RTÉ Eurovision Co-ordinator Julian Vignoles said "As was the case in previous years RTÉ wanted to offer the Irish public a say in deciding who Ireland's Eurovision entry should be. We felt the last year's mentoring process was successful in delivering five strong acts which could represent Ireland. This year our five mentors represent all aspects of the Irish music/entertainment industry and have already begun their search for the act which will deliver another strong performance for Ireland at the Eurovision. The mentors are currently sourcing their acts and songs and a number of acts including Jedward have been approached by the mentors to take part in the contest."

Details on the five acts and songs will be announced in the New Year.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2012