Eurovision 2012

Eurovision Ireland Meets Julian Vignoles (Head of Delegation) – We Talk Eurovision and Jedward

Jedward - "Waterline"

Jedward – “Waterline”

Eurovision Ireland was fortunate to spend time yesterday with Mr Julian Vignoles who is the Head of the Irish Eurovision Delegation.

Who is JulianVignoles

Julian is the Assistant Commissioning Editor of Factual and Entertainment Programming at RTÉ (The Irish National Broadcaster).  Ireland’s participation at Eurovision is also part of his responsibilities and he has also spent 4 years as an elected member to the Eurovision Reference Group. We posed the following questions to Julian and spoke about Jedward’s REHEARSALS while we were at the RTÉ studios. You can see his honest and frank responses in our video below.

So what is the Head of Delegation Responsible for?

A lot of people think the Eurovision is just about the 3 minute stage performance from the artist at the Eurovision Song Contest. This could not be further from the truth as it is almost a yearly project for the Head of Delegation. Julian talked us through what he has been working on at the moment and the list is extensive. As Head of Delegation Julian and his team are looking at

  1.  The logistics of getting our National Act/Jedward to the host country – Azerbaijan
  2.  Ensuring that flights, hotels, visas etc are all organised and in place
  3.  The Stage Production for Jedward at the Eurovision Song Contest
  4.  The promotion of the Irish Entry at the contest

How does the EBU keep the Eurovision Song Contest current and relevant?

This is a challenge to any programme in any country. Now just think how this is further challenging when you are trying to maintain and grow interest in a television show that is one of the BIGGEST and most watched television programmes in the world?

Well this is what the Eurovision Reference Group is responsible for:

Members to the Reference Group consist of Senior EBU officials and also Television experts who are elected to the panel. Julian was voted onto the Reference Group where he was a member for 4 years. He talked us through some of the major decisions that have shaped Eurovision into what it is today. Some of the changes that Julian presided over while on the Reference Committee included the introduction of the 2 Semi Finals at the Song Contest and the 50/50 Jury/Televote scoring system.

Now for The Science:

How Ireland Selects our National Representative.

Each year Ireland uses the Eurosong National Final on the Late Late Show to select our Act and Song for Eurovision. This is a topic that always comes up for discussion amongst Eurovision Fans in Ireland and also Abroad in recent years. As Julian has been involved in the Swedish and Maltese National Selection Contests this year, we heard his views on

  •  Melodi Festivalen in Sweden
  •  The Challenges to maintain the youthful pop voters that have started following Eurosong in Ireland due to Jedward’s participation
  •  How the Mentor System came into place as part of the Irish Selection Process

Jedward 2011 and 2012

We could not pass up the opportunity to talk to Julian about Jedward and the impact they have had on Eurovision in Ireland. It may not have been a surprise to Julian that there was interest in Jedward last year and again this year, but the intensity of the reaction towards the twins he was not expecting. Julian, like so many others, has found working with their energy and positivity – “to be infections”. He talks to us about their professionalism and how their experience of singing on the large Eurovision platform, makes his job so much easier and enjoyable.

We get to hear

  • WHERE the boys are rehearsing and how the process works of recording their Eurovision Performance for the Azeri Broadcasters in advance of the contest.
  • More importantly Julian tells us WHEN you can see their first rehearsal video on line. Yes Eurovision Ireland got the details that everyone was asking us for.

Should Jedward Win Eurovision this year, how would RTÉ face the challenge of hosting the 2013 song contest?

Well for one thing it would be in The O2 in Dublin but we get Julian’s thoughts on how Ireland would create an entertaining while at the same time different contest from those of recent years. It is very clear that Julian and RTÉ are putting everything they have into Ireland’s/Jedward’s performance this year with the hope that they can go even further than Dusseldorf 2011. We would like to thank Julian Vignoles for his time and wish him and the Irish Delegation the best of luck at Eurovision this year.

A Question For You! If you faced the challenges of being the Head of the Irish Delegation at Eurovision, What might you do going forward? 

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