This year’s title of Rose of Tralee has been awarded to Nicola McEvoy, a native of Cork, representing Luxembourg in the competition.
The 26-year-old from Blarney, County Cork, has been a teacher at the European School of Luxembourg for almost two years.
McEvoy won the audience’s hearts during her first appearance on the televised show when she sang the Édith Piaf classic “La Vie en Rose” on stage, with the show’s host Daithi O Sé.
Accepting the award on Tuesday evening, the clearly shocked McEvoy gratefully accepted the Philip Treacy-designed tiara and hugged her parents. McEvoy will also receive jewellery, personalised cutlery, a Hyundai car, a $31,116 (€25,000) tour of the world, and an adventure break in County Kerry.
The shocked Rose was presented with her prize by Irish rugby star Ronan O’Gara, also from Cork.
The Luxembourg Rose was among the remaining 14 contestants who took to the stage on Tuesday night. In total 18 Roses competed representing countries and cities from around the world.
This the 54th year of the competition and the third year that IrishCentral contributor Dáithí Ó Sé has hosted the show. Hailing from Dingle in County Kerry, Ó Sé is no stranger to the area. While on stage, Ó Sé also introduced his recent bride, the 2008 New Jersey Rose, Rita Talty, to the audience.
The Rose of Tralee remains one of the most viewed shows on Irish TV every year with over half-a-million viewers tuning in. Around the globe, thousands of young women compete to represent their countries at the Kerry competition.
Love it or hate it, there’s something that keeps the Irish around the world coming back to the Rose of Tralee contest.
As the RTE website put it, “There's an innocence about the Rose of Tralee that isn't just endearing, it's utterly Irish. Underneath that cute hoor facade, we're really just a bunch of big kids...Occasionally, just occasionally, Irish people are comfortable in themselves. That's how The Rose of Tralee works - and why we'll watch tonight's conclusion in our droves.”
O’Gara told RTE, “My wife slags me a lot about it but I'd be glued to the Rose of Tralee every year.
"I'm very proud of being Irish and it's nice to see the amusement and the enjoyment so many families get out of the programme."
Here’s a video on Nicola McEvoy and the other Roses: