‘Mind-boggling’: Lawrence 12-year-old wins dream weekend to see idol Taylor Swift in Paris

photo by: Contributed

Lawrence mother and daughter Jenni and Desi Robinson are pictured at the Taylor Swift concert in Paris on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Taylor Swift’s boyfriend wasn’t the only area resident popping over to Paris to catch the megastar’s show this past weekend.

Lawrence 12-year-old Desi Robinson also found herself in the City of Light with superb seats for a Swift concert, thanks to winning a radio contest against some crazy odds.

“I didn’t expect her to be right in my face,” the Southwest Middle School seventh-grader told the Journal-World of seeing her idol up close.

“I swear we were making eye contact,” Desi’s mom, Jenni Robinson, said.

Talking to the pair Monday, you’d never guess they had just returned from a whirlwind weekend to France, the excitement of the adventure masking any appearance of jet lag. The prize they won included not just the two tickets to the arena concert, but also airfare and lodging.

photo by: Contributed

Lawrence mother and daughter Jenni and Desi Robinson toured Paris on Friday, May 10, 2024.

photo by: Contributed

Lawrence mother and daughter Jenni and Desi Robinson toured Paris on Friday, May 10, 2024.

The way they won was this: Jenni, a Lawrence pharmacist, while listening to Mix 93.3 discovered that the radio station was airing a contest with the Paris package as a prize. The contest had been going on for weeks when she decided to give it a shot. All you had to do was be the ninth caller at a certain time of day and correctly guess the titles of two Swift songs after hearing just snippets. That first time, which Jenni did on her own, led nowhere, but on a whim, they decided to give it another go later. The mom and daughter went out to their car — they didn’t have a radio in the house — and called in. Too late! They were caller 10, not 9. But they were told to stay on the line in case Caller 9 guessed incorrectly, which Caller 9 did. That’s when Desi stepped up with her encyclopedic knowledge of All Things Taylor Swift and correctly guessed the two song titles.

That wasn’t the end of it, though. That adrenaline-packed experience simply got them entered into a lottery with 100 other people. And not just a lottery, but a reverse lottery, meaning if your name was called you were out. After an excruciating wait of 99 names, the Robinsons’ name was called dead last.

Victory. The lucky one, as Swift might tell it.

That was way back in October. They’d have to wait seven months for the “dream” to come fully true, which is where we mere mortals part ways with Travis Kelce — and all the other rich and famous celebrities who casually globe-trot to Swift’s “Eras Tour” shows — but still. It was absolutely worth the wait, Desi said.

She had become enamored of Swift when she was around 3 years old and as an older kid got to see her perform during the “Reputation Tour” at Arrowhead Stadium. But she had given up any hope of snagging a ticket to an “Eras” show. And then — voilà! — she did just that, in Paris no less.

“I wanted to see her so bad when she came to Kansas City. All my friends did, and I wanted to, and I didn’t get to,” Desi said. “And then I was just blown away.”

Her thoughts on the world’s most famous city? “I loved it. It was a life-changing experience,” said Desi, who had never been to Europe before. Despite the short trip, she and her mom got to stroll down the Champs-Élysées and see the Arc de Triomphe, as well as the Eiffel Tower, of course, and the Louvre and Sacré Coeur.

And French cuisine? “It was the best food I’ve ever had,” she said. (No offense, Mom).

The two arrived in Paris Friday morning for the Saturday show. Jenni, a diehard Jayhawk and Chiefs fan, decided she had to go heavy on the KU and KC gear — along with a fake tattoo of each on her face.

“Desi was like ‘No, Mom, that’s not Eras Tour-themed. It’s not the aesthetic we’re going for,'” Jenni said. “It was like a dagger in my heart! …I have to wear something KU and something Chiefs or I’m not myself.”

Jenni even tried playing up Swift’s and Kelce’s KC connections and that one time Swift wore a Jayhawk sweatshirt – to no avail.

In the end, in a maternal sacrifice for the ages, she settled for KU and KC tattoos on her back and shoulder “so as not to ruin the aesthetic.”

One of the highlights of the show, Jenni said, was that Swift performed for the first time some of her songs from her much acclaimed new album, “The Department of Tortured Poets.”

But the top highlight for Jenni was having the ultra-memorable experience with her child — on Mother’s Day weekend, to boot.

“It was great mother-daughter time,” she said, back in Lawrence less than 72 hours after arriving in Paris. “…We feel so lucky and so blessed. It’s still mind-boggling. I still can’t believe we did it.”

photo by: Lewis Joly/AP

Taylor Swift performs at the Paris Le Defense Arena as a part of her Eras Tour Thursday, May 9, 2024. Swift did multiple shows in Paris.

photo by: Contributed

Lawrence mother and daughter Jenni and Desi Robinson are pictured at the Taylor Swift concert in Paris on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

photo by: Contributed

Friendship bracelets, shown here by Jenni Robinson, are a staple at Taylor Swift “Eras Tour” concerts.


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