Eurovision 2021: ‘Gutted’ Lesley Roy criticises staging of Ireland’s eliminated song

Maps singer says cameras broke just as she was due to perform in Rotterdam semi-final

Lesley Roy, who represented Ireland in last night's Eurovision semi-final, has criticised the staging of her song Maps, which failed to qualify for Saturday's final.

The 34-year-old singer says she is “gutted and still a little confused as to what happened on the production side, with cameras breaking before we started”.

She added on her Instagram page: "We built something different because I believed that is what people wanted but there was always the risk of people not understanding it."

The staging of her song appeared to show her running through a paper forest. Some people on social media criticised it as confused. Roy’s performance got off to a faltering start when she was forced to wait for a technical problem with a camera to be resolved before she could take the stage.

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In her Instagram post she thanked RTÉ for allowing her to work with "a dream team of creative directors and backing vocalists". She added that she was "extremely grateful" to have represented her country, her family and the LGBTQ community. "I gave it my all for over a year and now I'm happy and proud to move on to my next adventure with my amazing wife."

A former head of the Irish Eurovision delegation, Julian Vignoles, says he thought the staging of Maps was quite interesting. He told Liveline, on RTÉ Radio 1, that the voting system is fair and the song failed because not enough people voted for it. He suggested it was time for "more established singers" to represent Ireland, although he acknowledged the professional risks involved – Nicky Byrne of Westlife, who represented Ireland in 2016, also failed to qualify for the final.

Roy’s elimination on Wednesday night means Ireland has failed to qualify for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest for the sixth time in seven years. This gives it one of the worst recent records; it once had the best, with seven wins.

Together, performed by Ryan O’Shaughnessy in 2018, and Only Love Survive, which was sung by Ryan Dolan in 2013, are the only two Irish entries to have qualified for the final since 2013.