Harte has music world in his hands after You're a Star win

FTER a wait rivalled only by the gestation period of an elephant we have a winner.

AMID scenes of near hysteria reminiscent of El Papa's 1979 visit to our shores, Donegalman Mickey Joe Harte was christened Ireland's newest singing sensation.

For his efforts, he beat off the tough challenge of You're A Star runner-up Simon Casey and can look forward to living it up in Latvia in May when he represents Ireland in the Eurovision.

Not since the Nolan Sisters appeared in Hughie Green's 1970s Opportunity Knocks has a TV talent show enjoyed such dizzy success.

Mind you, instead of Hughie's Clapometre, where audience applause determined the winner, it was 1.3 million viewers voting via mobile phone that decided on the 29-year-old pub gigger.

And we were treated to all manner of video footage before the voter's choice was announced on RTÉ last night with an hour long love-in of Mickey and Simon.

There were scenes of almost fanatical devotion in their respective home towns of Lifford and Ballycumber, Co Offaly.

The kind of flag-waving and cheering and screaming normally reserved for Croke Park. Mickey and Simon moving in slow motion to rapturous clapping; footage of a day enjoying the type of pampering normally the preserve of a bride in the run-up to her wedding facial and body massages, dinner and champagne all that and more.

Families and friends waxing lyrical about their talented sons.

You're a Star panel member Phil Coulter told the two boys how they've become part of an historic phenomenon, such was the massive success of the show.

And then the announcement, finally, after a very pregnant pause, when your host Ray Darcy finally put the two finalists and at least half the country out of their misery.

Mickeymania won out. As he leapt on stage to give one more rendition of his song, you were struck by the suitable title We've got the World he sang, ecstatically, and if not the world, surely the whole of Ireland.

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