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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Alamy Stock Photo
# Liverpool
Ireland's Wild Youth have crashed out of Eurovision at the semi-final stage
The group’s entry, We Are One, failed to make the grade when the ten finalists were announced.

LAST UPDATE | May 9th 2023, 11:31 PM

Daragh Brophy reports from Liverpool: 

IRELAND’S WILD YOUTH have crashed out of the Eurovision Song Contest at the semi-final stage.

15 acts were competing in tonight’s contest in the hope of snatching one of ten places up for grabs in the final. 

The Dublin group’s song, We Are One, failed to make the grade when the finalists were announced at the end of this evening’s show at the Liverpool Arena. 

The last Irish contestant to make it to the contest final was Ryan O’Shaughnessy in 2018.

Our last top ten finish was back in 2011 when Jedward’s Lipstick made it to 8th place in the final. 

It’s not yet known where Wild Youth finished in the leaderboard, but full results will be revealed in the coming days. 

In a change to the usual format, voting in the two semi-finals of the contest is being conducted solely by public vote with the professional juries only featuring in Saturday’s grand final. 

In another change, a voting option has also been introduced to give viewers in the ‘rest of the world’ a chance to have their say

The ten finalists from tonight are: Croatia, Moldova, Switzerland, Finland, Czechia, Israel, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia and Norway.

Eurovision Song Contest / YouTube

The head of the Irish delegation, Micheal Kealy, said in a statement tonight that they were “extremely proud of Wild Youth”. 

“They put on a brilliant performance and were fantastic representatives for Ireland.”

Outside the venue, Irish fans who spoke to The Journal were disappointed but the consensus was that the band acquitted themselves well in the contest. 

One fan said they were a little mystified at the result as the performance had gone over well in the arena. 

Several said RTÉ needed to change their approach to the contest, and called for an overhaul of the national selection process. 

alesha-dixon-julia-sanina-and-hannah-waddingham-from-left-host-the-first-semi-final-at-the-eurovision-song-contest-in-liverpool-england-tuesday-may-9-2023-ap-photomartin-meissner Alamy Stock Photo Alesha Dixon, Julia Sanina and Hannah Waddingham host the first semi-final at the Eurovision Song Contest. Alamy Stock Photo

The contest, being hosted by the BBC on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, had Ukrainian touches throughout tonight’s show. In an unexpected turn of events, there was also a cameo from a certain Irish turkey puppet, who was last seen gracing the Eurovision stage (with less than spectacular results) as our 2008 entrant

Kyiv-born alternative rocker Julia Sanina was among the three co-costs, alongside singer Alesha Dixon and actor Hannah Waddingham. Graham Norton will join the trio on stage as co-presenter for Saturday’s decider. 

As expected, favourites like Finland and Sweden generated some of the biggest responses from the capacity crowd on the night. 

Unicorn, by Israel’s Noa Kirel, and Croatia’s bizarre anti-war barnstormer Mama SC from veteran rockers Let 3 also seem to be going down particularly well with fans. 

The second semi-final takes place on Thursday night, when another 16 acts will compete for the remaining ten spots in the final. 

Six other acts go straight through to the final – last year’s winners Ukraine and the so-called ‘Big Five’ countries of the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy who always get a bye into the decider as they pay a greater share towards organising the contest each year. 

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