Yes, the Rose of Tralee is still on our television screens. Yes, you are still going to watch it. While you’re secretly curling up on the couch to tune in, be prepared for some inevitable truths:
Dáithí Ó Sé will shamelessly flirt
Ok, so he’s a man presenting a beauty contest; surely he must be somewhat flirtatious with the giggling girls? Fair enough, but Dáithí seems to take on that role with a little too much aplomb. At least when you had Gay Byrne and Marty Whelan, they added a father-like quality and genuinely thought all the girls were just lovely. And as for Tubridy, the word ‘flirt’ was enough for him to break out in a cold sweat, so he maintained a nervously courteous ‘Eh, you’re looking well’ approach.
Dáithí, on the other hand, consistently looks like a shark that has just smelt blood. He launches in with the cheesiest of lines and proceeds to mortify the girl on live television by showering her with compliments. Sure, he even married one of the contestants in 2012! Ring or no ring, however, brace yourselves for some serious wooing, Kerry shytle.
As ever, your mam will love him and the girls won’t have a clue what he is saying.
Someone will perform a Brush Dance
Some say it is a dying art, others say it is alive and well (but only in the Dome in Tralee). Usually involves some minor misstep and a comforting ‘YEOOH!’ to reassure the girl that she is doing fine. The audience will obediently clap along, losing time with the beat as they get too enthusiastic.
‘In your own time now, girleen. Ho ho there she goes with the shtick!’
Someone will have written a poem
Ah, the poem; the last resort for the contestant with no performable talent. Why doesn’t anyone remind these girls that it is not necessary to have a talent for the competition? Or indeed for a poem to rhyme so painfully? It isn’t primary school!
Every year without fail, they drone on about their hometowns, Ireland in general and how many lifelong friends they have made in the past week. It will usually include some attempt of a joke, cúpla focail as Gaeilge and end with the opening lines. Somebody please think of the children.
Dad in the Audience
‘And is it true now your Dad is a fan of the old GAA?’
Dad is officially the most important member in the audience. He sits proudly in his oversized tuxedo while he tries (and fails miserably) to avoid staring at the camera. He is to be seen holding a sign made by some other family member, displaying it madly at every given opportunity. He will be asked a question of little relevance and try to come up with an appropriate response in record time. Any attempts by Dáithí to class his daughter as a wild young thing will be quickly dismissed with ‘Ah now, she’s always been a good girl.’ This is followed shortly by your own father glaring at you, silently resenting you for never giving him his time to shine.
An American will win it
You will have lost your bet as the seemingly annoying Rose of ‘MURICA takes the satellite dish of a crown. You become slightly suspicious, wondering if all her bleating about how green our fields are and that funny anecdote with the cow on the farm was really worthy of the title. Is this all a ploy by Fáilte Ireland to entice more tourists into the country?
Your father will be outraged at the loss to a foreigner and will once again swivel his head in your direction – ‘You’ll have to go for it next year now!’
I’ll leave you with this surprisingly accurate depiction of the Rose of Tralee. Happy viewing!