Brendan's Eurovision crash out no surprise - what we need to do to win
Buoyed by a mixture of hope and hot air (courtesy of a gigantic candy striped balloon) Brendan Murray took to the Eurovision stage in Kiev last night.
He delivered a solid performance of single 'Dying to Try', but unfortunately he failed to sail into the Grand Final in Ukraine.
Speaking afterwards he described his time on stage as "the best three minutes of my life".
"Life is full of knocks but I am taking it on the chin and tomorrow is another day," he said. "I will always remember the experience."
RTÉ's head of delegation Michael Kealy said the result was "extremely disappointing".
"I'm not sure people appreciate how difficult it is to qualify these days.
"It's a completely different competition to how it was when we used to win back in the 1990s," he said.
Mr Kealy added: "Brendan couldn't have done more - he is a credit to Ireland."
While the result is undoubtedly disappointing, our failure to get to the final is in no way surprising.
Even Murray's mentor Louis Walsh admitted the Irish entry had not generated the same social media traction as others.
For example, Italian entry and favourite to win Francesco Gabbani's single 'Occidentali's Karma' has been viewed over 112 million times while Murray's official video was viewed 112,000.
Speaking before the contest, Walsh said: "People don't know much about him. He's very low-key, he's not fake, he's not a wannabe. He's not into the fame game.
"He loves music and singing and that's all he wants to do. He's a really nice kid."
The song was dated - there was nothing modern and fresh about it. There was also a serious lack of energy on the stage - even the balloon was stationary.
Over 200 million people will tune into the Eurovision final this Saturday night.
The contest has been embroiled in a good deal of controversy this year.
For the first time in 17 years, Russia will not be among the hopefuls.
Singer Yulia Samoylova was banned from entering Ukraine because she performed in Crimea in 2015, after Russia annexed the peninsula.