Ireland has been knocked out of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne failed to make it through the semi-final round in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday, as one of 18 acts competing for the last ten places.The singer, who performed the track Sunlight, was understandably disappointed not to make it through to Saturday's final. "I really would have loved to represent Ireland at the final on Saturday, but sometimes things just don't work out the way you want them to," he told the press.
Ireland's Nicky Byrne was knocked out of Eurovision during the semi-finals
Nicky, 37, also took to Twitter to thank fans for their continued support, and apologised for letting them down. "Amazing time, amazing support, I gave it my all," he wrote. "I'm sorry I didn't get us there. I pass on the torch to someone else now next year."As one of the founders of the competition, the UK automatically qualified for a place in the final with act Joe and Jake. The other automatic entrants are the rest of the 'big five' – France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Sweden has also been given a direct pass to the final, having won last year's competition.
The Westlife star took to Twitter to thank fans for their support
The 10 countries to qualify on Thursday were Israel, Belgium, Australia, Latvia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia, Poland and Lithuania.They join Tuesday's semi-final winners – Azerbaijan, Russia, Hungary, The Netherlands, Armenia, Croatia, Malta, Austria, Czech Republic and Cyprus.Ireland is the most successful country in the contest's 61 year history, with a total of seven wins – but their fortune has waned in recent years. In 2007, Ireland came last for the first time ever, scoring just five points for Dervish's They Can't Stop The Spring. The last time they won the contest was in 1996, when Eimear Quinn triumphed with her song The Voice.