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Judging Miss Ireland is weird ... but not as scary as competing for crown, says Sarah

FORMER Miss Ireland Sarah Morrissey is finding it a bit "weird" sitting behind the judges table ahead of tonight's final.

The Dublin model has been handing out advice to the 30 hopefuls vying to be the next Rosanna Davison -- but that will all stop as they take to the stage.

Sarah -- who won the coveted title in 2006 -- told the Herald that she understands just how nervous the contestants are but said that they need to relax.

"When I did it, I didn't know what to expect, but although it's nerve wracking you do have a really good laugh during the day and throughout the show," she said.

"It's fantastic fun for everyone taking part and as soon as it's over everyone just chills and relaxes.

"It'll be weird seeing things from another perspective now that I'm a judge, but I'm really looking forward to it, it's an exciting time."

The 29-year-old will be on the panel that chooses the 2011 winner with the help of 'trainer to the stars' Paul Byrne and Ireland's first top model and beauty expert Laura Bermingham.

And Sarah says that her own career path since her time as Miss Ireland could give the winner some idea of what lies ahead. I'm up to my eyes with catwalk shows so I'm fully focused on that at the moment," she said.

"I enjoy doing TV as well but I'm giving the modelling a good run for now, I'm swamped until November so after that I'll look around for more presenting work."

Next month she is set to take part in Dublin's Fashion Festival in September. The leggy blonde will be strutting her stuff for the likes of Harvey Nichols, Gucci and Brown Thomas over the four-day extravaganza.

She had also landed a slot of RTE Two's TTV, a weekday programme for teens.

The stunner says she loves presenting and feels more like it's a casual chat than an interview in front of cameras.

"I really love it, I see it as just a natter. I'm not sure if that's a good thing but it keeps me relaxed."

Emma Waldron will hand over her crown at Miss Ireland 2011, which takes place tonight and will be hosted by Ireland AM's Sinead Desmond and Q102's Ray Shah.