Rose of Tralee organisers make u-turn on controversial X-Factor style televised mass ‘cull’
The controversial 'cull' of 32 Roses ahead of the Rose of Tralee televised event last year left a sour taste in the mouths of many Roses and viewers.
Only 32 Roses could appear on the live show aired on RTE across two nights so the 65 hopefuls were divided into two rooms with one group told they were through to TV and the others informed that their Rose journey was over.
It was reminiscent of one of the less tasteful aspects of reality TV series The X Factor and the tears and devastation were televised as part of the RTE documentary 'Road to the Dome'.
It was the first time RTE was allowed to film backstage at the Festival Dome, and it didn't sit well with festival director Anthony O'Gara at the time.
Speaking to Independent.ie after the controversy erupted he said, "It's a double-sided sword. It is not the most sensitive of ways to do things. It is something that caused a little bit of upset … We don't want it to become an 'X Factor'. Maybe we can't have our cake and eat it. We'll have to see."
It seems they have decided they cannot indeed have their cake and eat it so this year the Roses will be spared the trauma and indignity. The 64 hopefuls will still be whittled down to 32 for the live TV show but the process of elimination will be less brutal.
The judging process will take place before the Roses arrive in Tralee and the first 16 to qualify for the live show will be announced at a new Celebration of Roses event at the Festival Dome on Thursday August 17.
Those who don't make it through will no doubt be disappointed but their disappointment won't be televised.
The second batch of 16 Roses through will be revealed at a private breakfast event on the morning of Saturday August 19 which will be attended by all 64 Roses (including those 'axed' on Thursday night), their parents and the Rose Centre coordinators.