VIDEO: THE IRISH EUROGATE
DUBLIN, IRELAND – Eurosong selection process descended into chaos after an extraordinary spat live on air between Aslan guitarist Billy McGuinness and Linda Martin. Louis Walsh came under harsh criticism for his long-standing involvement in the competition from Aslan guitarist Billy McGuinness. The Finglas man had called for the X Factor judge to be no longer involved in the Eurovision selection process earlier in the week, and last night reiterated this claiming it was “not a level playing field, ” which raised the heckles of Linda Martin who was on the panel with Walsh.
He made reference to Louis Walsh formerly mentoring contestant Eoghan Quigg on the X Factor and his connection with fellow contestant Kasey Smith, who he once cast in girl group ‘Wonderland’. Jedward have represented Ireland twice in the Eurovision twice in recent years, another charge from Walsh’s pop stable. Louis Walsh opened the show refuting the claims made by McGuinness in the media, saying, “I know everybody.” This temporary peace was broken once again after McGuinness’s act, Laura O’Neill, took to the stage and the war of words erupted again.
Linda Martin then jumped to Louis’s defence, rising from her seat and approaching the mentor in the audience, calling him an “odious little man”. Addressing McGuinness she said: “You may not be used to dealing with women with brains, but I have a brain.” When escorted back to her seat by Turbidy, an irate Martin shouted “Gobshite” before composing herself. The stand-up row over shadowed the selection process which saw the group ‘Can-Lin’ chosen as the Ireland’s entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Butconfusion reigned over who the winner was, when a draw was announced, however host Ryan Tubridy quickly clarified that it was ‘Can-Linn’ and passed the scoreboard off as “a graphic error”. He said the band was a “clear winner” but it is not known by how many points they won. Dublin singer Kasey Smith sang the song ‘Heartbeat’, and was mentored by former popstar Hazel Kaneswaran who also co-wrote the song. It’s a case of second time lucky for Smith, who came third in last year’s competition. She said that the win felt “absolutely amazing”.