Crowds of colourfully dressed fans from across Europe and further afield have gathered at the Expo Tel Aviv for the second of two Eurovision Song Contest live semi-finals.

And while the UK is not competing, its neighbour Ireland is.

Sarah McTernan was performing her song 22 in a bid for a place in Saturday night’s grand final.

The Press Association asked fans outside the venue who they were backing and what they thought of UK entry Michael Rice.

Eddie, 36, from Brighton, UK

Eddie, left, and Michael from the UK outside the Expo Tel Aviv (Alex Green/PA)


“It’s my first time at Eurovision and in Israel. It’s very overwhelming but we are having a good time.

“We went to the (fan event) Wiwi Jam last night and saw some of the semi-finalists singing, and that was fantastic. That gave us an idea of what to expect tonight. It’s been good so far.

“All the good entries are tonight. There’s going to be a lot of upsets. It’s going to either be total joy or disappointment for certain acts. It is a tough semi-final and anything can happen.

“(Rice) is not a joke act. It’s someone to be proud of. He’s a fantastic ambassador for the UK and I’m cheering for him. I think he’s fantastic, personally.”

Michael, 32, from Jersey

“It’s been quite intense. Getting it all sorted and arranged was quite hard work but it’s all been worth it. It’s all been a bit last-minute organisation but it’s definitely been worth it.

“Really looking forward to tonight. A lot of my personal favourites are performing. Norway, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Netherlands, Russia.”

“I’ve seen (Rice’s song) and I think he does really, really well. Historically, though, I don’t think we are going to do so well in the contest as a nation.

“Jury results will probably be where we pick up points. I don’t think it will be coming to the UK next year somehow.”

Ally, 29, from Ireland’s east coast

“(It’s my) first time in Israel and at the Eurovision Song Contest. So excited. Obviously we are supporting Ireland but Australia is a very close second.”

Laura, 36, from Dublin, Ireland

“We’re going to go to the Eurovillage after and have a good time there.

“I really like (Rice). I’ve only heard it on Spotify. I haven’t seen it live yet. But yeah, it’s a good song.”