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Want to be the Rose of Tralee? Here are some ways of improving your odds*

*Advice here is not to be taken as a guarantee. Terms and conditions apply, see inside for details.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

WARM UP YOUR singing voice, stretch your legs and polish off that dire song (but not a poem) – it’s time to prepare to be the Rose of Tralee.

If you want to be the proud winner of that Newbridge Silverware crown, here are some ways of improving your odds.

Come from the right place

As it was in the beginning, so it is now. The first Rose of Tralee, Alice O’Sullivan, came from Dublin. Since then, five out of the 56 candidates who have won the title have hailed from the Irish capital.

The runner-up for most wins by area is New York, with four winners.

The next biggest Irish winners are Galway, Cork and Belfast with three each. London has also had three winners.

However, if you go by winners per head of Irish population, Luxembourg has the most titles, after its win in 2012.

Be a brunette (any other year but this one)

They say blondes have more fun, but brunettes are more likely to be winning Roses.

Overall, around 77%, or 43 out of 56, of those who won the Rose of Tralee have had dark hair.

By comparison, there have only been nine blonde winners, and five redheads. However, it looks like a new trend is emerging.

Last year’s winner Elysha Brennan was blonde, and odds are the winner will be blonde this year as well. Paddy Power correctly predicted the winner last year, and the four contenders with the best odds this year are all blonde.

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Be studious

The winner of the first Rose of Tralee competition in 1959 was an air hostess. Last year’s winner was a medical student.

But overall, students are far and away the most popular occupation for winning Roses. There have been 15 student winners compared to five nurses, three bank employees and three teachers. Of course, that might be related to the fact that being a student covers a number of different fields.

There is also an age limit on entering the competition – you must be under 28. Most Roses are in their mid-20s, and therefore many them are in undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.

This year, the top four odds-on favourites to win have a variety of professions. Cork Rose Denise Collins, who is favoured to win, is a math teacher. In second, Mayo Rose Fiona McDarby is a health psychologist.

Joint third are Kilkenny Rose Sarah Kearns, a student, and Melbourne Rose Meghan Griffin, who works at Monash University.

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Dress for success

In the last 15 years, one dress colour has been twice as successful as any other. Any guesses? That’s right – red.

There have been six winners in red dresses since 2000. The next most successful colour, green, has only featured three times.

However, it appears there’s a change in the wind. The last two winners in a row wore white. The other colours that featured were black, blue and purple. So whatever you do, don’t wear pink, yellow or orange.

Have truth in your eyes ever-dawning

The Rose of Tralee competition is based on the 19th century ballad The Rose of Tralee.

Other traits sought, apart from the truth in eyes ever-dawning, are to be lovely and fair as the rose of summer and to have a voice that is a solace and comfort.

According to the Rose of Tralee mission statement, the show seeks to celebrate “the aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage of modern young women”.

So all you need to do to win the Rose of Tralee is be lovely and fair (read: attractive), intelligent, ambitious, socially responsible, a student from Dublin in your mid-20s, with brown hair (or maybe blonde hair), a red dress (or maybe a white dress), and special eyes.

You probably also want a life experience which will make the judges sympathetic to you.

Party piece is optional.

Easy, right?

Read: The organisers have done away with Rose of Tralee staple…

Read: Quiz: How much do you know about the Rose of Tralee?

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About the author:

Elizabeth O'Malley

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