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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
and we're out

Ireland is already out of the Eurovision

Nicky Byrne failed to make it through from tonight’s semi.

IRELAND HAS NOT made it through to the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne represented the country in this evening’s semi-final in Stockholm but missed out on one of the ten available places in Saturday’s final.

It’s now 20 years since the country last claimed Eurovision glory – following an unprecedented purple patch between the late 1980s and mid-90s.

However, since the advent of tele-voting in the late 90s our fortunes have been on the decline (votes are now split 50:50 between tele-polls and national juries). Since the introduction of the semi-final round Ireland has failed to make it out on six occasions.

This year’s result means we’ve failed to make it out of the weeknight heats three years in a row.

Eurovision Song Contest / YouTube

RTÉ decided to select a contestant and song without any preliminary national competition this year, in a break with the usual format.

Byrne’s track, Sunlight, was co-written with Wayne Hector (who has written for Britney Spears, amongst others) and composer Ronan Hardiman (whose credits include the soundtrack to Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance).

The folks at Montrose were clearly banking on Westlife fans across the continent casting their votes in his favour – but, as this evening’s results proved, the plan just didn’t work out.

Byrne had been rated at 80-1 to take the title outright by one bookmaker earlier this week – smack bang in the middle of the table of nations.

Former teen star Sergey Lazarev is favourite to clinch the overall prize for Russia this year, with the catchy ‘You Are The Only One’.

1 Thomas Hanses (EBU) The ten winners from the second Semi-Final on stage tonight. Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Here’s who made it through from tonight’s contest…

  • Latvia
  • Georgia
  • Bulgaria
  • Ukraine
  • Serbia
  • Poland
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Belgium
  • Australia (yes, Australia)

They join the ten finalists who went through from Tuesday’s heat. Sweden, who are hosting, are also automatically through.

Rounding out the lineup for the final are the ‘big five’: the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy always have automatic places in the decider as they pony-up most of the money for the event every year.

Read: Romania has been disqualified from the Eurovision

Read: The boss of this year’s Eurovision says Terry Wogan ‘spoiled’ the contest

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