Like any good Kerryman, when it comes to Tyrone Dáithí Ó Sé sees conspiracy everywhere.
The Rose of Tralee presenter played up to the GAA-inspired image as the Northern county’s representative, Catherine Sherry, prepared to perform an eye-catching Irish dance.
Struggling with her shoe-change for what seemed like an eternity — it was, after all, live TV — the Dingle native began to sweat as he struggled to fill what must surely be his now annual August nightmare: empty air time.
He toyed with Catherine’s middle-age uncle over his Beckham-esque eyebrow waxing. He talked about the weather. He looked at his feet and quietly made deals with the devil for her to hurry up.
Then, suddenly, Dáithí’s county genes took over and the magic word sprung to his lips. Conspiracy. Those Nordies must be out to get him again.
“Why she can’t do it [the dance] in her bare feet is beyond me. This is only looking for more air time for Tyrone,” the proud Kerryman proclaimed, tongue perhaps slightly less firmly in cheek than normal.
And with that, night two of this year’s Rose of Tralee was up and running. Shoes or no shoes.
Truth be told, the show had moments earlier almost suffered a mass heart attack — among male fans at least — when stunning Mayo-born Perth Rose Lorna Gallagher, told of her emigration from Ireland to Australia.
“There were eight of us who took the big trip. All single, all nurses,” she explained, before adding that she has a champion gymnastics career behind her. “This show will be the ending of us tonight,” Dáithí mumbled.
More hot air filled the festival Dome as the first ever Denver Rose Tiffany Antikainen performed a tune on the bagpipes — make that two firsts — but, in typical Rose of Tralee style, this wasn’t the talking point.
Dáithí, while wearing red high-heels — bet that eyebrow waxing admission doesn’t look so bad now — demanded a dance-off against the pint-sized heel-hating contestant, reading the minds of more than a few viewers who feel he is spending just a little too much time “bonding” in Tralee.
However, a similar mind-reading talent was not quite on show from South Australia Rose Sarah Doherty, who picked out the nine of diamonds card in an attempt to find Dáithí’s six of diamonds. Deadpan, she responded: “Were you thinking of it upside-down?”
Another talent was also wisely kept hidden by Waterford Rose Lorna Ferncombe, who said she didn’t want to talk about her previous job at an Australian sheep abattoir. It’s a family show, she demurred, and it would be preferable if watching children thought of her as a princess than a modern- day “Lambo” (and if you don’t get the reference ask your parents).
Bagpipes, cross-dressing, bendable nurses, overly polite sheep killers — and just 12 months until it all kicks off again.
Festival transforms into rock ‘n’ Roses
Hairy rocker escorts, MTV love links, and untold seedy stories of what really happens behind the scenes.
The Rose of Tralee festival took a wrong turn down a darkened alleyway last night, temporarily trading in its butter wouldn’t melt image for a world of drink, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
As always, some dodgy- looking lads with leather jackets and guitars were to blame. Dublin rock band The Coronas, who have shot to worldwide fame since their 2007 debut album Heroes or Ghosts, have a lot to answer for.
Speaking to reporters before their show-stopping live TV performance on last night’s Rose of Tralee finale, band members Danny O’Reilly and Graham Knox were quick to explain how the unusual link-up between two seemingly different worlds came about.
Danny, who is dating Irish MTV beauty Laura Whitmore, said: “Myself and Oxy, our families would have spent a lot of time in Dingle over the years, it’s [Kerry’s] sort of our second home. Our families are always around there,” he explained.
Like almost every other Irish person, the rockers have at least one connection to the annual event.
While rocking down Denny St in the town’s centre after arriving yesterday Graham spotted a friend of theirs from Waterford, who happened to be an escort last year.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the Rose of Tralee the motto “what goes on tour stays on tour” is just as steadfastly stuck to.
“Did he have any stories from last year? He did, but I’m not telling you,” the musician grinned.
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