Last night, our entry It’s For You, sung by former Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh, was fifth to qualify in the second semi- final.
It may have been described by one critic as “an average karaoke performance”, but Kavanagh, bedecked in a purple gown, and supported by backing singers, showed her winning flair amid stiff opposition from 17 other countries.
Kavanagh, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in Millstreet in 1993, was the 12th performer to appear on last night’s show.
When she won the Irish competition to represent her country, Niamh topped both the public televote and the regional jury vote delivered on the Late Late Show.
“I don’t pay any attention to speculation,” Niamh said when asked about her odds on winning the final.
“All I can do is relax and concentrate on my performance. It’s all I can control. You can have all the odds in the world, but in the end it’s between you and the camera when you’re standing there. I feel we can’t fail from that point of view.”
Paddy Power have tightened her odds to 14/1.
Red-hot favourites Azerbaijan qualified alongside Denmark and Armenia and remain the bookies choice at 6/4 to win.
Ireland, however, cannot be ruled out of the race after receiving a rapturous applause from the Oslo audience last night.
“Niamh Kavanagh gave a belter of a performance and the reaction from the crowd was amazing. We really do have a fantastic chance this year,” said Sharon McHugh, spokes-woman for Paddy Power.
William Hill have cut Ireland’s odds to win the Eurovision Song Contest from 33-1 to 20-1.