New Rose looks forward to year ahead
The newly crowned Rose of Tralee Nicola McEvoy arrived looking fresh as a daisy for an interview with The Irish Times this morning, despite having just an hour and a half's sleep.
She spent most of last night, she says, talking to her proud parents Mike and Mary - she is an only child - and her boyfriend of seven years, Eamonn Dunne.
When she woke, she says she “looked over at the other bed and there was the beautiful crown and I thought ‘God I wasn’t dreaming at all!’” McEvoy, smiling in the Kerry sunlight, even has the presence of mind to protectively wave a bee from my face.
Last night, she was swamped by journalists and photographers who instantly forgot the other 31 Roses. “I’m completely shocked to be quite honest with you,” she told the throng. “I didn’t expect it. There were so many fantastic girls up on the stage for the past few nights. I’m so happy. I’m thrilled.”
She loved the parade, “the bit of banter with Daithi” and singing Le Vie en Rose (her party piece, which she did very well). She joked that Eamonn, her Blarney-born boyfriend, had always wanted to be an escort. She was then
asked to sing a few more bars of Le Vie en Rose, and might have done it too, if not for the pesky festival organisers who whisked her from our grasp.
The new Rose spoke about the year ahead: a gruelling schedule of being pretty and accomplished and a good ambassador for Ireland.
This time last year, tired but happy outgoing Rose Tara Talbot was experiencing the same thing. “It was a media storm,” she said. “I have no idea what I said to anyone. It was just a lovely blur. Then when all the
excitement wears off you wake up and there’s a crown in your bed.” (This was because she was Rose of Tralee not because she had mugged a king).
Talbot’s first post-Rose of Tralee act will be “to take my high heels off, put on my trackie pants and watch Eastenders.”
Nicola McEvoy’s first official Rose of Tralee act was to give prizes at the Tralee Golf Club. It will be a year of waving, smiling and being delightful.
Almost nine hundred thousand people (892,000) tuned in to RTÉ at 11:14pm last night to watch McEvoy crowned as the 54th Rose of Tralee.
Rose of Tralee host said Dáithí Ó Sé said he was 'delighted' by Nicola's win.
"I'm delighted for Nicola, she is such a lady and her warmth and kindness really shone through. She was shocked when her name was announced, which shows what a humble person she is. She will be a great ambassador for the Rose of Tralee"
The executive producer of the show Justin Healy said viewing figures for the show proved it was a 'big hit' with people.
“I wish the newly crowned Rose of Tralee Nicola McEvoy all the best in her new role," he said.