As the PR disasters go this week has been off the scale for the Rose of Tralee.
In the usual course of events following the announcement of the winner on Tuesday night The Rose of Tralee and RTE expects front pages, staged photos and headline stories on all the countries media outlets.
They are RTE after all and they expect the rest of the media to tow-the-line. But the show, and its media team, has become complacent and sloppy – they say the show has been modernised but clearly not modern enough to be “street-wise” about the modern social media times we live in.
A show, that for years has been slammed as an outdated beauty pageant, should have run a tighter ship to counter its critics, but it has committed so many PR sins it needs to block book itself in for confession.
1. A protestor made it on stage, walking straight past “security” – nothing to see here says the shows management we are happy with our security.
2. The protestor continues to steal the limelight and media airwaves 5 days after the event drowning out any coverage of the eventual winner.
3. The Show came under attack for allowing political comments on stage.
4. Mixed Messages – the Head Judge and Show Organiser reveal a deeply divided team that fails to communicate internally and stay “on message” as they both give separate interviews with opposing views following a political statement made on stage by Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins.
5. The Show let “journalist” Brianna Parkins become a contestant on the show – well that was only going to end one way guys as clearly no one on the highly paid media team had ever heard of the words “exposé” or “under-cover”. While I am not saying this was Ms Parkins intention on entering the competition, but she is clearly a bright capable young woman, older and more streetwise than most taking part and once she noticed not all was as it seems behind the scenes her journalists instinct kicked in.
6. Co Down Rose, Fainche McCormack reveals the truth about the way contestants are treated and the mask of the Rose of Tralee didn’t just slip it fell right off to reveal a dark reality that should make every parent of those girls who took part sick to their stomach, and those who never made the final 65 say “there but for the grace of god”.
Revelations include bullying, manipulation, sleep deprivations, being held in rooms against their will, lack of food and water and being asked by TV staff what colour under-wear they were wearing!
For Christs sake what kind of sick pervert asks young women what colour their underwear is thinking that sort of thing is a) appropriate and b) makes good TV?
Those who have suggested that the protestor upset the Cavan Rose may need to re-think their allegations in light of these revelations as I would suspect the Cavan Rose, like all the other Roses, was already in a fragile state as a result of her treatment by the TV and Media Teams!
I don’t doubt there are more gruesome details to come. As I type, the Rose of Tralee team will probably be frantically trying to place positive articles in the media to counter the devastating revelations about the shows reality. High on their list will be an interview with the actual winner in a glossy magazine and on the next available chat show, who will be briefed to within an inch of her life to say she saw nothing of this kind of treatment and how wonderfully she was cared for.
The Rose of Tralee’s days are, I think, numbered. I would scrap the entire management committee, judging panel and media team, use years 58 and 59 to quietly scale down the annual event back to its roots so that in year 60 it can go out on a dignified note.
I would also get Maria Walsh in to “host” the final 3 years, after all it’s about time the “Host” was a woman and she has shown she is more than competent in front of the camera plus she has already put in the media everything about herself so there will be no surprises there for RTE.
As for Daithi O’Se, who as remained rather quiet while all this has been going on this week, well if I was him I would have already told my agent “I’m A TV Presenter Get Me Out Of Here”.
He has presented the show since 2010, he has done a reasonable stint and it would allow him to leave without stereotyping himself anymore. While he is not responsible for the current debacle he was the host during its worst ever year. Over the last 6 years when ratings have fallen through the floor, this year ratings hit an all time low, and no one wants to be associated with that kind of mess.
Beauty pageants of any kind make me fee uncomfortable, surely the days of women parading around like this are long gone, let alone it being an acceptable form of entertainment on TV.
Yes I know there are worse kinds of pageants – The child beauty pageants we have here in the States make me particularly uncomfortable.
There is something decidedly odd about a parent who wants parade their 4 year old daughter around tarted up to look like a 24 year old on a night out.
If we want to celebrate women, and their cultures, Irish or otherwise, and work to preserve and continue those cultures around the world there must be a better way of doing it than resorting to trashy TV and degrading these women in the process.
Wow this Rose has turned out to be one thorny issue, I will be glad to get back to the sanity that is the US Presidential Election, roll on November.
Rose of Tralee contestants were ‘manipulated, bullied and mistreated’ – participant sensationally claims
‘You let me down’: Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins opens up about her Rose of Tralee experience
‘Like animals in a circus’ – Rose of Tralee contestant slams ‘cruel and disgusting’ festival treatment
Inside the Rose of Tralee: It’s like a ‘Kate Middleton impersonation competition’
Rose of Tralee bosses respond to scathing attack from pageant reject
RTÉ ‘regrets’ anger of Roses at ‘circus animal’ treatment