Ireland crashes out of Eurovision semi-finals as favourites Sweden progress
Ireland’s hopes of competing at the 67th Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final were dashed on Tuesday (9 May) as they crashed out in the semis.
The first of two semi-finals kicked off in the host city of Liverpool tonight as 15 nations fought for a spot in the final.
As of this year, only viewers’ votes will decide which countries will make it through from the semi-finals to the grand final.
The 10 to progress included this year’s favourite, Sweden (Loreen singing “Tattoo”), Finland, Norway, Israel, Serbia, Portugal, Croatia, Switzerland, Moldova and Czechia.
Meanwhile, the five countries with the lowest number of votes and therefore out of the competition were: Malta, Latvia, Ireland, Azerbaijan and Netherlands.
Ireland was represented by the Dublin indie rock band Wild Youth and their song “We Are One”.
Ireland has participated in Eurovision more than 50 times and has a record seven wins, but has failed to qualify for the final since Ryan O’Shaughnessy entered with his song Together in 2018.
Frontman Conor O’Donohoe wore a green shamrock necklace and a sparkling gold jumpsuit as the band took to the stage.
But pyrotechnics and shimmering gold lighting were not enough to win over the voting public.
The evening kicked off with a short video featuring local famous faces including Wirral-born TV baker Paul Hollywood, actor Ricky Tomlinson and the late Paul O’Grady.
There was also a surprise pre-recorded appearance from the King and Queen, who unveiled the staging last month.
Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham hosted alongside Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina of the band The Hardkiss. All three wore extravagant outfits featuring an array of leather, giant bows and rainbow colours.
Waddingham joked they were “honorary Liver Birds for the evening” while Sanina welcomed viewers with a message in her native Ukrainian.
She later thanked “beautiful Liverpool” for welcoming Ukraine and its people “with open arms”.
The next semi-final will take place on Thursday (11 May) ahead of the Grand Final on Saturday (13 May).
You can find out more information about how to watch Eurovision here.
This year, Mae Muller will represent the UK. Find out all you need to know about her here.
Additional reporting from PA