Outsider Brooke aims for Eurovision victory

Can Ireland make it to the final of the Eurovision contest this year? All will be revealed this week
Outsider Brooke aims for Eurovision victory

Brooke Scullion during her performance in The Late Late Show Eurosong Special. She represents Ireland in Thursday’s semi-final. Picture: Andres Poveda

CAN Ireland win a record eighth Eurovision Song Contest? All will be revealed when the annual musical jamboree takes place in Italy next Saturday, May 14.

However, before then, we have two semi-finals to navigate - on Tuesday and Thursday, May 10 and 12.

Only hardcore fans will want to see the first semi, but Brooke Scullion steps out for Ireland as the 10th act in the second semi live on RTÉ2 in the Italian city of Turin on Thursday from 8pm.

Her track, That’s Rich, was selected as Ireland’s entry following The Late Late Show Eurosong Special earlier this year.

Brooke is a rank outsider with bookies - who are offering 300-1 - but we’ll be crossing our fingers that she can emulate another Eurovision winner from that country, Dana.

One bit of good news for the Irish camp: The UK will be voting on Thursday, and traditionally vote well for Ireland.

Brooke, aged 23, from Derry, said on last week’s Late Late Show: “I know Ireland has a massive history with the Eurovision and for me, my main goal at this rate is qualifying. 

"To even get us back in the way of competing again would be my goal.”

Eurovision stalwart Marty Whelan will be in the commentary box in Italy, with his inimitable style taking viewers through the entries as they take to the stage.

You can also tune into RTÉ Radio One from 8pm on Thursday for live coverage, as Neil Doherty and Zbyszek Zalinski bring you the glitz, glamour, fun and drama of a Eurovision night.

From each semi-final, the ten acts with most votes will make it to next Saturday’s final, alongside the countries who automatically pre-qualify for the final — France, Germany, Spain, the UK and Italy, who would have qualified anyway as the host nation, having won the contest last year with Zitti e buoni, performed by Måneskin.

Ukraine, who perform in Tuesday’s semi-final, are the favourite to win the contest, helped by a wave of sympathy from voters across the continent following the invasion of their country by Russia.

However, Russia have been barred from taking part in this year’s Eurovision.

Other fancied songs this year are from hosts Italy, the UK’s Sam Ryder, and Sweden, who will appear in Ireland’s semi, and will draw level with us on seven wins at the top of the Eurovision pantheon if they win this year.

The three live Eurovision shows in the next week will be hosted by Italian TV presenter Alessandro Cattelan, singer Laura Pausini and Lebanese-British singer Mika.

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