08/23/11 — Man wins trip to see Britney in honor of his sister

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Man wins trip to see Britney in honor of his sister

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on August 23, 2011 1:46 PM

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Robert Taylor

When Britney Spears sings and dances at the RBC Center in Raleigh Wednesday night, she will be joined on stage by Goldsboro's own Robert Taylor.

Taylor, 31, won the right to dance with the iconic pop star through a local contest.

He had to send in a photograph of himself dressed as Miss Spears.

"I put a blonde ponytail on my head for the photo and just wore my scrubs," Taylor said. "I wasn't going to enter the contest at first; I just don't do stuff like that. But at the very last minute, I said, 'What the heck' and Momma said to go ahead and do it for Michelle."

Michelle was Taylor's sister, who died 10 years ago when she was just 22.

"Michelle was a huge Britney Spears fan," Taylor said of his sister. "I'm doing this for her."

After submitting his photo, Taylor was chosen as one of 15 finalists, and had to dress like Miss Spears and perform one of her songs at Molly's Bar and Grill in Atlantic Beach before a panel of judges.

To prepare himself, Taylor went to Gold's Gym every night after he got off work with a couple of his friends. They helped him put together a routine. He danced to "If You Seek Amy."

"I picked that one because it's one of her more controversial songs," Taylor said. "I didn't want to sing just a regular song, but something that would make me stand out from everybody else."

And it did, because Taylor won the right to meet and hang out with Miss Spears a couple of hours before the concert, a front row seat at the performance and the chance to get up on stage and dance with the songstress.

He also gets to take a friend up on stage with him, and has chosen former high school classmate Candace Smith, who also loves Miss Spears.

"I'm just going to get up there and have fun and not try to be perfect," Taylor said. "Obviously I can't dance like Britney Spears."

This is something Taylor would never have considered doing in the past because of a weight problem.

"I weighed 380 pounds," he said. "Weight has always stopped me from doing anything."

That is, until he lost 123 pounds by exercising every morning and at night before he went to bed and also by eating right.

When Taylor meets Miss Spears, he will give her a photo of his sister, Michelle, and tell the singing star how she and Michelle saved his life.

"My sister and I were so close," he said. "I was depressed and crying and carrying on. I completely shut myself off from everybody. I quit school and my job and was just lying around the house.

"One night I was going through Michelle's stuff and found this little tape recorder that Mom had bought for her to use at college -- she was going to be an English teacher."

Taylor got the surprise of his life when he pushed play and heard a Britney Spears song and his sister singing along.

"Because of Britney Spears, I heard my sister's voice again," Taylor said. "That saved my life. I said I was going to continue that for her and now I buy all of Britney Spears' CDs -- just like Michelle would have done."

And it's because of his sister that Taylor will be dancing on stage with Miss Spears Wednesday night.

"Lord yes, I am so excited about it," he said. "It doesn't seem real yet, you know."