Early bloomer becomes honorary Rose as big sister gears up for finale
SHE'S become the honorary 33rd Rose -- and was yesterday busy stealing the Tralee limelight from her big sister.
Little Sophie Curran-Magee joined her sister -- Down Rose Nicole Curran -- and the other 31 contestants at a civic reception hosted by Tralee Town Council in Kerry ahead of last night's show.
There's quite a sizeable age gap of almost 21 years between Nicole and her 19-month-old sister.
The Rose of Tralee hopeful admits the pair often get mistaken for mother and daughter.
"She's the double of me with her wee curls and blue eyes and we get mistaken all the time for mother and daughter," Nicole told the Irish Independent.
"I was 21 when she was born so she was the best surprise in the world.
"We do get very tired here and any time I get a chance to see Sophie it just gives me such a lift."
Sophie didn't get down to Portlaoise for the regional final but she was given a special dispensation to stay up late last night so she could see her sister perform at The Dome.
She's the pet of the house and is spoilt by her three brothers, aged 17, 19 and 25.
"She's the little baby after the big gap and she's just the delight of the house and she and Nicole are amazing together," said Nicole and Sophie's mum, Janine.
The Roses were being put through their paces yesterday ahead of last night's live TV presentation. The girls got to have some fun on Banna strand in the morning and even got to spend an hour at the funfair before going back to the hotel to prepare for the first big night.
And the pressure is off for 18 Roses today, who can simply relax and watch the other girls ahead of tonight's finale and the announcement of the 2011 Rose of Tralee.