The lead singer of Ireland’s Eurovision entry has hit out at the contest after their act failed to qualify for this weekend’s event.
Malta, Latvia, Azerbaijan and Netherlands, also exited the competition, while Norway, Serbia, Portugal, Croatia, Switzerland, Israel, Sweden, Moldova, Czechia and Finland all made it through to the Eurovision grand final.
Wild Youth's frontman, Conor O'Donohoe donned a sparkling, gold sequin jumpsuit for the performance of their track 'We Are One' as the stage kept to the gold theme with its lighting, and fans waved the Irish flag in the crowd.
In a since-deleted social media post, O’Donohoe wrote: "We did everything we could. Michael Kealy [RTE’s Eurovision Head of Delegation] was amazing. But the truth is they never give Ireland a chance. Sorry if we let you down, we tried our best.”
Ireland's Eurovision commentator Marty Whelan also failed to hide his disappointment as he discovered his country wouldn’t be entering the final.
"Everything was absolutely perfect, they were fantastic," he said live on RTÉ One as the news was announced.
"There's things I want to say, there's things I want to share. You can probably get it from the tone of my voice, what I'm thinking, that this is... Ugh, this is just such a shame.
"But the votes didn't come. So we are not qualifying again this year from Liverpool when we had great expectations, as the famous book says."
Ireland hasn’t qualified for a Eurovision final since Ryan O'Shaughnessy got through with his song 'Together' in 2018.
Although the country has failed to get through eight out of the last 10 times, Ireland holds the record for the most Eurovision wins of any country, with seven in total.
This would be equalled by Sweden if they win the competition this weekend.
Kealy said: “We are extremely proud of Wild Youth - they put on a brilliant performance and were fantastic representatives for Ireland.”
The UK is hosting this year's Eurovision on behalf of last year's winner Ukraine, which is unable to hold the competition due to the ongoing invasion by Russia.
The semi-finals were hosted by Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham.
The second semi-final is set to take place on Thursday before the grand final on Saturday night.Featured Image Credit: Associated Press/Alamy