Arts & Entertainment

West Orange Teen Wins Nash-FM Contest to Attend Taylor Swift Concert in Australia

ba6ad0af9154bc94fdcb_photo-5.jpeg
Taylor Swift meets with Kaitlyn Canova (L) and Janine Duarte (R). Credits: Janine Duarte
a2ec83e00ea53b9fd49f_IMG_0391.jpg
Kaitlyn and Janine at the concert. Credits: Janine Duarte
5439c81c2fed705698e5_IMG_0914.jpg
Taylor Swift performs. Credits: Janine Duarte
ffaa85775381d26bce01_Janine.jpg
Taylor Swift performs. Credits: Janine Duarte
aa74c7be2aa928deb0e9_photo-8.jpeg
Taylor Swift performs. Credits: Janine Duarte
f3a1f7c60ea355f27635_IMG_1077.jpg
Janine feeds a koala. Credits: Janine Duarte
9de818cdcd3e5c84a170_IMG_0542.jpg
Petting a kangaroo on Phillip Island. Credits: Janine Duarte
ba6ad0af9154bc94fdcb_photo-5.jpeg

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Janine Duarte is a bubbly 19 year old from West Orange who plans to be a Special Ed teacher. She’s also a long-time fan of music artist Taylor Swift--her room decorated with the star's posters and her IPod loaded with every Taylor Swift song. (Her favorite song is “Tim McGraw.”) In mid-October, Janine and her roommate Kaitlyn Canova learned of a contest on Nash FM, a local country music station. The winner would receive two roundtrip tickets, hotel, and front row seats for the last leg of Taylor Swift’s “Red Tour” in Melbourne, Australia. The girls feverishly began submitting online entries (at least 2,000), and on Halloween, the girls received the biggest news of their lives when they found out they were winners.

Their dream-of-a-lifetime journey began on December 11, when they flew into Los Angeles to meet Christine Drexel from Big Machine Records, the contest sponsor. With Visas in hand, the girls took the 15-hour flight into Melbourne, Australia. They spent some time sightseeing by visiting the Aquarium, zoo, and Phillip Island, where they petted kangaroos and saw the indigenous ‘little penguins,’ that take shelter at the island each night. The highlight of their whirlwind trip, of course, was attending the Taylor Swift Concert at Etihad Stadium as VIP guests.

Donning their prettiest dresses, the girls arrived at the stadium, where they were greeted by Christine and brought into the special 'Meet and Greet' area that was beautifully decorated with candy displays reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. It was here that Janine and Kaitlyn met and spent time with Taylor Swift, herself.

Sign Up for E-News

“Taylor Swift was absolutely stunning in person,” noted Janine. “Even more beautiful in person than her photos or on TV. She was perfect. I was jealous,” Janine said with a smile.

Swift wore a white dress with low heels. The girls spent about five minutes chatting with her and said, “She was so genuine. She hugged us and said she couldn’t believe we came all the way from New Jersey to see her. She wasn’t bored talking to us and when she told us how glad she was that we were there, you just knew she was being honest.”

After posing for photos with Taylor Swift, the girls took their front row seats for the show along with eight other contest winners from Texas, California, North Carolina and Australia. Janine said that at every concert, Taylor’s mom, Andrea, selects five fans from the crowd to seat in the front row. The young girls selected for this concert were dressed in ‘fan’ attire.

Neon Trees, a pop indie group, and Australian Idol Guy Sebastian opened for Swift. When asked to describe her experience of sitting front and center at the concert after actually meeting Taylor Swift, Janine said, “It was awesome…the craziest thing ever.”

Still on cloud nine after her return from Australia, Janine enjoys showing people her photos with Taylor Swift.

When asked to sum up her thoughts on her incredible experience, she was pensive for a moment and then replied, “I always said that one day I would meet Taylor Swift. If I could say anything, it’s that you should never give up on your dreams because they can come true.”

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ebeb90e00b2da8ed5088_capture

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

BIZ 2.0 WORKSHOPS - Lunch & Learn | Presented by ...

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_cdac97f295f2ca00649e_screen_shot_2018-02-21_at_5.03.14_pm

Thu, February 22, 7:00 PM

Roosevelt Middle School, West Orange

Marley Dias... Gets It Done | Book Signing and Q&A

Community Calendar Education

Carousel_image_f1e8b21af9d26c31d2e7_unnamed__8_

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Celebrate Your Health this Nutrition Month

February 21, 2018

Dear Editor,

This year, we learned that the number of Americans at risk for heart attack and stroke just got a lot higher.  An estimated 103 million adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association, and about 39.7 percent of Americans have high cholesterol.  With March being National Nutrition Month, it’s a great time to ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs During "Black Panther" Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...