Wednesday 17 January 2018

'I've no regrets,' says Nicky after crashing out of Eurovision

Nicky Byrne on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm (AP)
Nicky Byrne on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm (AP)
Norway's entry Agneta performing 'Icebreaker' (AP)
Australia's Dami Im celebrates getting through to the final (AP)
Poli Genova representing Bulgaria performs their entry, 'If Love Was A Crime' (AP)
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

There was heartache in Stockholm last night as Ireland failed to qualify for the Eurovision final for the third year in a row.

Nicky Byrne delivered a strong performance of his single 'Sunlight', but it wasn't enough to get him to Saturday's grand final.

Speaking last night, Byrne said; "Obviously I'm disappointed - I really would have loved to represent Ireland at the final, but sometimes things just don't work out the way you want them to... I have no regrets."

Byrne's sister-in-law author Cecelia Ahern expressed her frustration with a succinct tweet. "What a load of b****x," she wrote.

Byrne's elimination is the latest in a string of disappointing Eurovision results for Ireland.

Kasey Smith failed to qualify for the final in Copenhagen in 2014, while last year in Veinna school girl Molly Sterling failed to make the cut.

This year, RTÉ decided to remove the public vote from the Eurovision selection process in a bid to improve our chances of qualifying for the finals. Clearly, it didn't work and RTE will now have to defend the controversial decision. The hot favourite to win the all-singing, all-dancing Eurovision final is Russian contender Sergey Lazarev with his song 'You Are the Only One'.

Lazarev started his music career as part of Russian group Neposedy, the same band that brought together Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova of pop duo t.A.T.u.

Aside from singing, Lazarev also runs a small business called Pudel Strudel - a confectionery shop for pets.

Earlier in the week, the Czech Republic's Eurovision entry, 'I Stand', which was co-written by Limerick songwriter Aidan O'Connor, made it through to the finals. The Eurovision final will feature a performance by US singer Justin Timberlake - who is hoping to bring 'Sexy Back' to the song contest.

Irish Independent

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