Entertainment & Arts

Eurovision Song Contest: Ireland knocked out

Brendan Murray of Ireland performs with the song "Dying to Try" during the second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ireland's Brendan Murray during his Eurovision performance

Ireland have failed to qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest for the fourth year running after getting insufficient votes at the semi-final stage.

Galway-born Brendan Murray, 20, had a hot-air balloon with him on stage in Kiev, but it was not enough to lift him into the all-important top 10.

Bulgaria's Kristian Kostov progressed to Saturday's grand final, along with acts from nine other countries.

Kostov, 17, is the youngest singer this year and is third favourite to win.

Austria, Israel and the Netherlands were among the other countries who saw their representatives remain in the competition.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kristian Kostov, from Bulgaria, will be in the final

Israel will be the first country to perform on Saturday, while Poland has been given the dreaded second slot in the official running order.

The slot is considered unlucky because no song performed second in the final has ever gone on to win.


Successful semi-finalists

  • Austria: Running On Air by Nathan Trent
  • Belarus: Story of My Life by Naviband
  • Bulgaria: Beautiful Mess by Kristian Kostov
  • Croatia: My Friend by Jacques Houdek
  • Denmark: Where I Am by Anja
  • Hungary: Origo by Joci Papai
  • Israel: I Feel Alive by IMRI
  • The Netherlands: Lights and Shadows by OG3NE
  • Norway: Grab The Moment by JOWST
  • Romania: Yodel It! by Ilinka ft. Alex Florea

Ireland have more Eurovision wins - seven - than any other country but have not won the competition since 1996.

They last made it to the final in 2013, when they finished in last place.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Nathan Trent will sing for Austria on Saturday
Image copyright AFP
Image caption OG3NE, from the Netherlands, also progressed to the final

The fates of the 18 countries involved on Thursday were decided by a combination of votes from national juries and viewers.

The 10 successful countries will be joined in the final by the 10 countries, among them Australia, that got the most votes at the first semi-final on Tuesday.

An additional six countries, among them the United Kingdom and host nation Ukraine, will also take part in Saturday's event.

The UK's hopes this year rest on Welsh singer Lucie Jones, who will be the 18th competing act to perform in the final.


Eliminated semi-finalists

  • Estonia: Verona by Koit Toome & Laura
  • FYR Macedonia: Dance Alone by Jana Burceska
  • Ireland: Dying To Try by Brendan Murray
  • Lithuania: Rain of Revolution by Fusedmarc
  • Malta: Breathlessly by Claudia Faniello
  • San Marino: Spirit of the Night by Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson
  • Serbia: In Too Deep by Tijana Bogicevic
  • Switzerland: Apollo by Timebelle

Singer Jana Burceska from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was another act sent home at the end of the semi-final, broadcast in the UK on BBC Four.

Yet the pregnant 23-year-old did have something to celebrate after receiving a marriage proposal from her boyfriend live on air.

Sammarinese performer Valentina Monetta also exited the competition after representing San Marino for the fourth time at the contest.

Russian singer Julia Samoilova had been due to compete on Thursday but was barred from attending by Ukraine, prompting Russia to withdraw from the competition.

Ukraine refused to allow Samoilova to perform because she made a 2015 visit to Crimea, the peninsula seized by Russia the previous year.

The diplomatic row followed Ukraine's shock victory at last year's contest with a song about Stalin's deportation of Crimea's Tatar population.

The Eurovision Song Contest final will be broadcast on BBC One on Saturday from 20:00 BST.


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