IRELAND – Executive producer Michael Kealy also revealed that RTE won’t be releasing exactly how much they paid Swedish creative director Fredrik Rydman to create the paper world stage set Lesley Roy used for unsuccessful Irish entry Maps, which ended up finishing 16th out of 16 countries in the first semi-final. Describing Ireland being last in the semi-final for the second year in a row as “disappointing”, the RTE boss said we needed to splash the cash like rivals.
“Other countries are able to invest significantly more money and resources in their selection processes, staging and support teams than a small chronically underfunded broadcaster like RTE, that’s, unfortunately, a fact of life we can’t ignore.”
However, RTE’s Eurovision’s costs in 2019 were €336,617 – an increase of more than €30,000 in 2018, with the station blaming additional costs on the contest taking place in Israel. Eurovision boss Michael reached out to disappointed Irish fans, promising a “virtual Eurovision forum” where they can outline their ideas for how Ireland can regain Eurovision glory.
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— OIKOTIMES (@theoikotimes) May 27, 2021
With RTE’s lack of cash becoming a factor, fans wondered why the station had shelled out extra money for Swedish creative director Fredrik Rydman to create Lesley’s Roy’s widely derided paper world stage show, widely criticised by Liveline callers the day after the semi-final.
However, Michael revealed RTE would not be revealing how much they paid Fredrik Rydman, the man behind the staging of Måns Zelmerlöw’s Eurovision winning song “Heroes” in Vienna in 2015.
“Naturally the fees which we pay to artists and creative director etc are confidential for sound commercial reasons but you can rest assured that RTE always seeks the best value for money possible.”
With Johnny Logan and other well known Irish Eurovision figures calling for a return to a National Song Contest to find Ireland’s Eurovision entry, the RTE boss conceded that the station had “mixed results” using their own internal selection method and so the public might get their chance to decide again.