Start spreading the news....Loch Gowna’s Annemarie Lynch has been crowned as the 2012 New York Rose.
The 22-year-old singing sensation saw off 14 other hopefuls at the plush Empire Casino in Yonkers on Sunday evening, wowing judges with her moving rendition of Dougie MacLean’s hit folk ballad, ‘Caledonia’.
It was a dream come true for the likeable UCD graduate, who also divides her time as an intern with renowned New York stylist Danielle Nachmani and as a sales professional at Tiffany and Co.
Giving her reaction less than 24 hours on, Annemarie said she was still struggling to digest the enormity of it all.
“I don’t know how to explain it, I really don’t” she replied from her home in the New York suburb of Woodlawn on Monday.
“The whole experience has been brilliant and I have met so many lovely people along the way including the 14 other girls who have been just incredible.”
A former student at Cnoc Mhuire in Granard, the pretty singing enthusiast was approached to take part in this year’s event following her attendance at a recently held charity event.
Normally well used to addressing large audiences through her burgeoning music career, Annemarie spoke of her unease at the build up to Sunday’s grand final.
“As it got closer we did a few fundraisers and yesterday (Sunday) we had to meet at the Empire Casino for 7:45am. Then there was the photos and a seven minute interview with four judges. To be honest though, the most nerve-wracking part was the day before. People would say to me ‘how are you nervous?’ It’s different though when you really, really want something,” she explained.
Taking time to gather her composure, the talented musician paid tribute to her “incredibly brave” parents, Eamon and Aileen, both of whom now reside in the US.
But it is the accolade of being named ‘New York Rose’ and all that comes with it, which has left the outgoing sales employee overwrought with emotion.
“To be the New York Rose is just so incredibly special, mainly because there has been so many Irish people who have emigrated to New York. Generations have left and many have gone onto enjoy great success so to be given the chance to represent those people and the rest of the Irish American community is an amazing honour,” she said.
Heavily involved in the charity sector, Annemarie’s next focus now shifts to the regional finals in five weeks’ time.
“Since I got through I have had literally hundreds of people on Facebook congratulating me. There have also been a few messages, one which said ‘no pressure, but you are representing New York, Cavan, Gowna and everyone else you know in Ireland,” she giggled.
Expectation or no expectation, you get the feeling this is one ambitious ‘Rose’ who is likely to take those urgings very much in her stride.