Ireland’s Eurovision woes continued in Turin last night as Brooke Scullion’s That’s Rich failed to reach Saturday night’s final.
Erry Girl Brooke (23) gave a stunning performance of her catchy pop entry but failed to make the top 10 of the second semi-final to qualify.
It was the seventh time in the last eight competitions that Ireland have failed to advance to the semi-finals.
Belgium, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Australia, Sweden, Romania and Serbia made it through to the finals where they will meet the 10 semi-finalists on Tuesday night, including the competition’s favourites, Ukrainian folk-rap -Group Kalush Orchestra.
There was shock and disappointment among Brooke’s fans when she failed to qualify despite an electrifying performance that many said was Ireland’s best in years, with the hashtag #robbed trending on social media.
Brooke later tweeted that she was “extremely proud of this experience,” adding, “Thank you to my wonderful team. I will never forget @eurovision.”
She added: “To the next.”
Last Irish Eurovision winner Eimear Quinn congratulated Brooke on a “fantastic job” but added on Twitter: “I’m so disappointed in you.”
Niamh Kavanagh, winner of the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland, congratulated Brooke on a “fantastic” performance, adding that “you have made us proud”.
video of the day
But another former Irish participant also had words of comfort.
Fans of Ireland’s participation took to social media to vent their anger that Brooke’s participation did not make it into the final.
One Twitter user wrote: “It will take me a while to recover emotionally from this,” while another said they are “going through the five stages of mourning Ireland”.
Kerry TD Brendan Griffin jokingly asked if Eimear Quinn “honked his horn at a funeral coming home from Eurovision ’96 or something?” Adding the hashtag #robbed.
Comedian Oliver Callan said: “I’m cooking here! Poor Brooke! Who handled the votes?! Thierry Henry?”
And Alison Spittle had a different plan for dealing with the disappointment.
Brooke sent the Eurovision audience into a frenzy and went even further at the end with a chorus of “Olé olé olé olé olé”.
It’s A Sin actress and musician Olly Alexander said Brooke “killed it” with her performance, while many agreed that “That’s Rich” was Ireland’s best entry into the competition in years.
Saturday’s final will also feature automatically qualifying founding countries France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, represented this year by Sam Ryder.
Brooke used her experience on The Voice UK, where she finished third in season 9, to calm her nerves and deliver a strong performance full of energy and confidence.
She said she was overwhelmed by the support she received leading up to the competition, particularly from home.
A restaurant in her hometown of Bellaghy, Co Derry, even went so far as to name a pizza in her honor called the Brooke Special.
Derry Girls star Jamie Lee O’Donnell also spoke up and shared words of encouragement.
Brooke said: “We Derry Girls stick together, it’s epic.”
She revealed former Eurovision winner Dana had been reached out for advice, telling her “how proud she was of me”, while pop guru Louis Walsh caught up with her to offer wisdom and grounding.
Brooke, whose Eurovision entry That’s Rich was co-written by her, Karl Zine and Izzy Warner, recently announced she will soon be writing new songs with her mentor and All About That Bass star Meghan Trainor.
“My EP might drop the day after the competition,” she said. “I’m going to LA to text Meghan when things have settled down.
“You know, I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my life. It’s just so surreal.”
Before the competition, she said, “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, do you get nervous before you go on stage?’ And I say ‘no’ because I did the work.
“I know I’m ready. Right now, that’s exactly where I’m supposed to be. And I’m thrilled to be here.”
Ireland last reached the final in 2018 but have only made it to the final once in the past nine years.
Jedward’s John and Edward Grimes were the last Irish contestants to achieve a top 10 finish with their catchy number Lipstick.
Ryan O’Shaughnessy made it to the finals with Together in 2018 and placed 16th overall.
Ireland is still the country with the most Eurovision Song Contest wins with seven, followed by Sweden with six and France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Luxembourg with five each.
Ireland have made 54 appearances at Eurovision and have reached 45 finals since first participating in Naples in 1965.
Johnny Logan remains the only double winner of the competition with What’s Another Year (1980) and Hold Me Now (1987).
He also wrote Linda Martin’s winning entry of 1992, Why Me.
Other Irish winners of the competition include Dana with All Kinds of Everything (1970), Niamh Kavanagh with In Your Eyes (1993), Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan with Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids (1994) and Eimear Quinn’s The Voice in 1996.