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Outsiders Ireland qualify for Eurovision grand final for the first time since 2013

Tuesday 8th May 2018

Ireland have qualified for the Eurovision Song Contest grand final despite being an outsider with the bookies.

Ryan O'Shaughnessy impressed fans watching at home with the song Together, about the end of a love affair, which featured two male dancers telling the story of a couple on stage.

He was around 3/1 to qualify—16th on the odds table.

Earlier today Reality Bite headed to the Eurovision Village to speak to fans about who they were backing—and Ireland was by far the most talked about despite bookmakers' position (see below).

The last time Ireland made it to the grand final was in 2013 when Ryan Dolan represented the country with the song 'Only Love Survives'.

After qualifying eighth in the semis, they came last in the grand final, which was held in Malmö, Sweden.

A total of 19 acts performed in the first semi-final in Lisbon, Portugal, with only the top 10—decided by both a jury of experts and the public—qualifying for Saturday's final line-up of 26 countries.

As well all Ireland, also qualifying are: Austria, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Israel, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania, and Finland.

The UK—one of the ‘Big Five’ countries along with France, Germany, Italy and Spain—are automatically put through to the grand final. 

Semi-final 2 odds

Host country Portugal also do not have to qualify.

Ten more places remain for Saturday's final, which will be decided on Thursday's semi-final 2.

Battling it out then will be Sweden, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Moldova, Russia, Latvia, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Georgia, Malta, Slovenia and San Marino.

The second semi-final will air on BBC Four on Thursday at 8pm.

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