Ireland's Eurovision contestant Brooke Scullion has thanked people for their support after missing out on a place in Saturday's grand final.

The Co Derry singer lit up the stage at the PalaOlimpico in Turin during the song contest's second semi-final on Thursday with the song That's Rich but did not manage to break Ireland's run of bad luck at the contest.

Speaking on Friday morning, she said: "I am so proud of how far I've come and the support from home has been amazing.

"This Eurovision experience has been one I'll never forget and I hope is only a stepping stone to my career.

"Thank you to everyone for your support and love!"

Brooke Scullion performing in the Eurovision Song Contest semi-final on Thursday night - "I am so proud of how far I've come and the support from home has been amazing" Photo: Corinne Cumming / EBU

On Thursday night, Belgium, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Australia, Sweden, Romania and Serbia all progressed to Saturday's grand final.

Hotly tipped favourites Ukraine were among the ten countries who qualified for the final in Tuesday night's first semi-final, along with Armenia, Greece, Iceland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland.

They will join automatic qualifiers France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom in the final.

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final airs live on RTÉ One, the RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday from 8:00pm.

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The head of RTÉ's Eurovision delegation, Michael Kealy, said he thought Brooke Scullion did "everything possible to qualify" on Thursday night, and that he did not think she could have done any more.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Michael Kealy said a lot of work had gone into putting the act together and getting the staging right, with the Irish delegation thinking that they had something special that would resonate with the audience. Unfortunately, however, it did not go Ireland's way.

He explained that Eurovision is now a singing contest as much as it is a song contest - you have to send a top quality singer who can perform at a professional level.

He said Brooke Scullion had that, along with the ability to connect with the camera, and RTÉ will keep looking for someone who can do all of those things.

Michael Kealy described Eurovision as a much tougher competition than it was 30-40 years ago or even 10 years ago, saying the standard has risen to another level and countries are investing more and more money in staging and acts.

Michael Kealy said it is important to give the Irish public a say in the voting process when selecting the national song and that they really felt support from the public in Turin.

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