There appears to have been genuine European-wide disappointment that Ireland’s Eurovision entry Brook Scullion failed to make the grade for Saturday night’s final in Turin last night.
raditional national rivalries were set aside after Derry girl Brooke (23) didn’t make the top 10 of the second semi-final in order to qualify, despite a stunning performance of her catchy pop entry ‘That’s Rich’.
Soon after the competition ended the word ‘robbed’ started tending on Twitter as disgusted fans across the continent expressed their dissatisfaction.
“Firstly well rub it in about the countries that didn’t make it and secondly Ireland was absolutely robbed,“ stormed one fan.
“And we couldn’t even vote for her which is ridiculous we should be allowed to vote for our own.”
“Brooke Scullion u still did us all proud, “added another. “Have we got over the shock yet? I haven’t. We were robbed, and so were San Marino.”
“Watched it last night and seeing the act that was washing her hands get through was a joke instead of Ireland, also Finland getting in.. really! Ireland were robbed, it’s not even a contest anymore, its more about voting for each other’s neighbour now,” one other tweeted.
“I can’t with this voting. It’s just chaos right now! Ireland and San Marino were robbed,” said one angry viewer.
A more sanguine Brook simply tweeted: “Beyond proud of this experience, thank you to my wonderful team. I will never forget.”
Her modest post attracted a deluge of well-wising comments including: “You did the country proud, whole Team did, and it was the best performance of an Irish entry in a decade so be proud of yourself.
“God knows what happened but onwards and upwards for you and your career. There’s a spot in the market for a new girl band in Little Mix’ absence.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better representative for the country, and while the final would’ve been great, you’ve already done enough to make us proud and prove that actually Ireland *can* do Eurovision right if they try,” added another.
“You are undoubtedly the best performer we’ve had this century without hesitating,” another added.
“What I do doubt is that there will ever be someone else to represent us who will ever top what you did tonight. Remember qualifying doesn’t define how u did, because it doesn’t, you were incredible!”
“You did Ireland more than proud and we love you, the best Irish artist we’ve sent in a decade! Can’t wait for what comes next, and you’ll always be part of Eurovision history,” one declared another.
The last Irish Eurovision winner, Eimear Quinn, congratulated Brooke on an “amazing job”, but added on Twitter: “I’m so disappointed for you.”
Niamh Kavanagh, winner of the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland, congratulated Brooke on a “fantastic” performance, adding that “you did us proud”.
Comedian Oliver Callan said: “I’m fuming here! Poor Brooke! Who was handling the votes?! Thierry Henry?”
It’s A Sin actor and musician Olly Alexander said Brooke “killed it” with her performance, while many were in agreement ‘That’s Rich’ was Ireland’s best entry to the contest in years.
It was the seventh time in the last eight contests that Ireland has not progressed beyond the semi-final stage.
Belgium, the Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Australia, Sweden, Romania and Serbia made it through to the final, where they will meet Tuesday night’s 10 semi-finalists, including contest favourites, Ukraine folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra.
Saturday’s final will also include the automatically qualifying founding countries France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, who are this year represented by Sam Ryder.
Brooke used her experience of featuring in The Voice UK, in which she finished third in season nine, to calm her nerves and deliver a strong performance full of energy and confidence.
She said she had been overwhelmed by the support shown to her in the lead-up to the contest, particularly from home.
A restaurant in her hometown of Bellaghy, Co Derry, even went so far as to name a pizza in her honour, the Brooke Special.
Derry Girls star Jamie Lee O’Donnell also reached out, offering words of encouragement.
Brooke said: “Us Derry Girls stick together, that’s epic.”
She revealed that former Eurovision winner Dana had been in touch with advice and had told her “how proud she was of me”, while pop guru Louis Walsh met 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 revealed she will soon be creating new songs with her mentor and All About That Bass star Meghan Trainor.
“My EP is dropping maybe the day after the competition,” she said. “I’m heading to LA to write with Meghan when everything calms down.
“You know, I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my life. It’s just so surreal.”
Speaking ahead of the competition, she said: “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, do you get nervous before you go on stage?’ And I’m like, ‘No’, because I’ve done the work.
“I know I’m ready. At this moment, this is exactly where I’m meant to be. And I’m thrilled to be here.”
Ireland last reached the final in 2018, but has only managed to make one final in the past nine years.
Jedward’s John and Edward Grimes were the last Irish entry to achieve a top 10 finish with their catchy number Lipstick.
Ryan O’Shaughnessy made the final in 2018 with Together and finished in 16th place overall.
Ireland is still the country with the most wins at the Eurovision with seven, followed by Sweden with six and France, the UK, Netherlands and Luxembourg all on five.
Ireland has made 54 appearances in total at the Eurovision, reaching 45 finals since the first entry in 1965 in Naples.
Johnny Logan remains the only dual winner of the competition with What’s Another Year (1980) and Hold Me Now (1987).
He also wrote Linda Martin’s winning entry in 1992, Why Me.
Other Irish winners of the contest include Dana with All Kinds of Everything (1970), Niamh Kavanagh singing In Your Eyes (1993), Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan with Rock ’n’ Roll Kids (1994) and Eimear Quinn’s The Voice in 1996.