Ireland’s Eurovision misery continues as it fails to qualify for 2022 contest

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<span>Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland has failed to qualify for the 2022 Eurovision final, in another disappointing year for a country with a rich heritage at the song contest.

Their entrant Brooke Scullion, performing the song That’s Rich under the name Brooke, said: “It didn’t go our way, but we are so, so happy with what we did.”

Ireland went out of the competition during the second semi-final along with Georgia, Cyprus, Israel, Malta, San Marino, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Albania, Latvia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark and Austria failed to qualify during the first semi-final on Wednesday.

Ireland dominated Eurovision in the 1990s, with four wins in five years and another two second-place finishes. They also won in 1970, and Irishman Johnny Logan remains the only artist to have won Eurovision twice, in 1980 and 1987. But since coming last in 2013, Ireland has only qualified for the final once since, with Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s Together placing 16th in 2018.

The UK qualifies for the Eurovision final automatically each year, as part of the “big five” – along with France, Spain, Italy and Germany – who all make the largest financial contribution to the show’s producer, European Broadcasting Union.

British entries have also performed poorly in recent years, with the lack of success blamed variously on poor songwriting, low-budget stage productions and antipathy towards the UK after Brexit. The UK has come in last place for the two most recent contests – earning the ignominious nul points in 2021 – and hasn’t managed a top 10 finish since Jade Ewen in 2009.

But hopes are high for this year’s UK entry, Sam Ryder, the country’s most popular musician on TikTok whose song Space Man is co-written by Ed Sheeran collaborator Amy Wadge. He is the bookies’ second favourite to win after Ukraine.

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