Battle is on for an Irish Eurovision hit to win in Vienna
THE battle to represent Ireland at this year's Eurovision song contest is under way.
Five acts have been whittled down from more than 300 entries and the finalists include a former competition winner, a 16-year-old self-taught musician from Tipperary and a Swedish songstress.
All five performances were aired for the first time on the Ray D'Arcy radio show this week and the public voting lines are now open.
The acts will perform again live at Eurosong on 'The Late Late Show' on Friday, February 27. The winner will then represent Ireland in Vienna on May 23.
Winner of the 1994 Eurovision competition Charlie McGettigan said his song 'Anybody Got a Shoulder', performed by Kat Mahon, was inspired by his first heartbreak.
"I was 14 at the time but I still recall the pain of it all," he said.
Competition comes from Erika Selin (23), from Sweden, who performs up-tempo pop song 'Break Me Up' while Nikki Kavanagh, who was part of Ireland's 2010 team, sings 'Memories'.
Also battling it out are Molly Sterling (16) from Tipperary, performing 'Playing With Numbers', and Zambian-born Alex Saint, singing 'She's So Fine'.
Ireland's entry will be selected by a combination of public and jury vote.