Friday 23 June 2017

Ireland fails to make it through to the Eurovision final

Singer Molly Sterling representing Ireland and last year's winner Conchita Wurst (R) of Austria react during the second semifinal of the upcoming 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest In Vienna. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Singer Molly Sterling representing Ireland and last year's winner Conchita Wurst (R) of Austria react during the second semifinal of the upcoming 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest In Vienna. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Singer Molly Sterling representing Ireland performs the song "Playing With Numbers" during the second semifinal of the upcoming 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest In Vienna, May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Independent.ie Newdesk

Ireland's entry to the Eurovision has failed to make it through to the final of the song contest for the second year in a row.

Ireland’s youngest ever Eurovision entry, school girl Molly Sterling (17), performed ballad ‘Playing with Numbers’ to an ecstatic crowd, but did not make the cut for the grand final this coming Saturday.

The Czech Republic, Iceland, Malta, Portugal, San Marino and Switzerland also failed to qualify.

Sterling tonight described performing in the semi final as "a privilege".

"I've had the time of my life," she said. "To be in the final would have been a bonus but to get to Eurovision and represent my country in the first place has been a privilege."

Read more: Molly Sterling: ‘I wasn’t a Eurovision fan before, but I am now’

RTE's Head of Delegation, Michael Kealy, added; "I think I can speak for the whole country when I say how proud we are of Molly," he said. "It was an absolute pleasure to work with this talented young songwriter and it goes without saying that she has a fantastic future ahead of her."

RTE Eurovision expert, Marty Whelan, has been on the ground in Vienna for the past week.

Singer Molly Sterling representing Ireland performs the song
Singer Molly Sterling representing Ireland performs the song "Playing With Numbers" during the second semifinal of the upcoming 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest In Vienna. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Whelan believed the second semi final was a particularly challenging heat.

“It was definitely the toughest one,” he said. “There are so many great songs this year. It’s fantastic being in Vienna for such a historic year; it’s the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision and Ireland’s fiftieth year of competing.”

The top ten countries voted through tonight – in no particular order - were: Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia,  Sweden, Norway, Montenegro, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Israel.

Seven countries are already through to Saturday night's final including host country Austria, the five biggest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom; and guest nation Australia.

The ten countries which qualified in Tuesday night's first semi-final were: Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Estonia, Hungary, Russia, Albania, Romania, Georgia and Serbia.

Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw is the hot favourite to win. His Avicii-esque dance track ‘Heroes’ has been a hit with Eurovision fanatics.

Russia’s entry, ‘A Million Voices’, performed by Polina Gagarina is another frontrunner.

Despite the catchy tune, Russia’s chances of winning could be hit by its stance on gay rights and the crisis in the Ukraine.

Molly Sterling with Marty Whelan and Niamh Kavanagh in Vienna
Molly Sterling with Marty Whelan and Niamh Kavanagh in Vienna

Organisers have implemented “anti-booing” technology to prevent Gagarina from being heckled during her performance.

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