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Ireland fails to qualify for grand final of Eurovision Song Contest

Wild Youth’s best efforts have not been enough to get Ireland into the Eurovision Song Contest grand final.

The Dublin-based indie rock group was among five acts that were eliminated from the first live semi-final at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool.

The 10 countries that have advanced to the final are: Croatia, Moldova (Swiss), Finland, Czechia (Czech Republic), Israel, Portugal, Sweden and Serbia.

Conor O’Donohoe of Wild Youth took the stage wearing a gold jumpsuit to help Ireland qualify to the grand finals for the first time in 2018.

Image: Wild Youth (the Irish entrant) leaving the Eurovision semi final after not qualifying

The stage was lit in gold, and Irish fans were waving the national flag. He also wore a green shamrock pendant and he sang the song We Are One by the group.

Ireland has participated in Eurovision over 50 times, with seven victories to its name. However, it has not qualified for the final since Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s song Together was entered in 2018.

The first of two semi-finals will feature 15 acts, with the top 10 only making it to the finals on Saturday.

Read on: Eurovision Week – all you need to Know about the contest seen by 160 million people

Wild Youth was up against a number Nordic countries, including Loreen, a past winner from Sweden, Kaarija, voted by fans as the favourite of Finland, and Alessandra, voted by Norwegians.

The evening began with a short video featuring local celebrities including TV baker Paul Hollywood from Wirral, actor Rick Tomlinson, and the late Paul O’Grady.

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The King and Queen then made a surprise appearance on pre-recorded video, revealing the stage last month.

Rita Ora performed her new single, Praising You, as well as a medley that included her number one hits I Will Never let You Down, Hot Right Now and How We Do.

Image: Rita Ora performing in the Eurovision Semi-final

Alesha Dixon, a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, and Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham will host the show alongside Julia Sanina, a Ukrainian singer from The Hardkiss. All three are wearing outrageous outfits with leather, rainbow colours, and giant bows.

Spice Girl Melanie C made a surprise guest appearance and introduced the show, the hosts and led the crowd to chant “Liverpool Liverpool.”

The performance comes just after Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who reunited after 36 years of separation for the Eurovision opening on Monday. They performed in front of an audience of over 30,000 people.

The second semi-final is scheduled for Thursday, 13 May.


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