Best friends and university undergrads Lynette Teo and Miranda Yeo were "gutted" when they missed the opportunity to watch their favourite singer Katy Perry in Los Angeles last year. It would have been their first time watching her.
Miss Teo, 22, and Miss Yeo, 21, were on an university exchange programme in University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and had to skip the show because it clashed with a road trip.
But Miss Teo struck gold last month when she won The New Paper M contest to a meet-and-greet for two yesterday with Perry, who was in town as part of her Prismatic world tour.
The two fans rubbed shoulders with the global superstar backstage shortly before she performed before 9,000 screaming fans at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. (See report next page.)
Perry, 30, was here for the third time, after the Singapore F1 Grand Prix in 2012 and SingFest in 2010.
"I've never won something like this, so naturally I was very happy and surprised," said Miss Teo, who had "counted down the hours" before her special meeting with the pop star yesterday.
She had hoped to record a quirky Dubsmash selfie video with Perry during the meet-and-greet, but had to settle for a lightning-quick 30-second "hello", handshake and photo together instead.
She was far from disappointed, though.
"I lowered my expectations and knew it would be over really fast. I wasn't disappointed, I knew hugging her would be impossible," said Miss Teo, who described Perry as friendly and "much taller than expected".
Miss Yeo said: "The photo I took is definitely one I would cherish and backup many times."
For the third-year Communication Studies students at Nanyang Technological University, Perry's chart-topping hit California Gurls was even the anthem of their experience during the exchange programme last year.
"After I had applied for UCLA, California Gurls kept playing in my head as I hoped to get in," said Miss Teo.
It was also the song they included in their blog to document their time in the US.
Miss Yeo, who had thought the win was a belated April Fool's joke, adores Perry for her "colourful personality, energy and multiple alter egos".
She had also made sure she dressed to impress.
"I wore something colourful today to match her colourful style... I also made sure to revise her songs," she said.
Their once-in-a-lifetime experience probably left other KatyCats green with envy, but Perry's two-hour, electrifying circus-like spectacle of a show enthralled everyone last night.
Perry's S'pore concert highlights
When it came to putting on a good show, Katy Perry pulled out all the stops.
With heavily-embellished outfits, kooky visuals and larger-than-life props, Perry gave her audience a colourful, unforgettable show.
Here are four highlights:
A metallic purple cat face-printed bodysuit that lit up and glowed in the dark.
A regal, glittery swishy lilac and gold skirt-and-top combo a la Cleopatra.
A hot pink leopard-printed catsuit complete with cat ears and a tail.
A gold dress embellished with sunflowers.
Perry's showstealing outfits, designed to themes that include Hyper Neon, Cat-oure and Egyptian, grabbed our attention for sure.
We found ourselves transported to faraway places.
Outer space, hovering above the sea as the sun sets, ancient Egypt, the pages of a comic book... you name it.
Perry took us places in just two hours, we almost forgot it was her concert.
And set to these visuals, she sang hits old and new that included favourites like I Kissed A Girl, Unconditionally, California Gurls, Firework and Dark Horse.
Perry also didn't need a reason to casually add visuals of dancing cats in between - just because.
A NOD TO SINGAPORE FASHION WEEK
The wacky fashion icon briefly turned the stage into her runway as she strutted in a silver structured cage-like dress thrown over her pink catsuit.
"We know Fashion Week is coming up Singapore," she screamed as she catwalked.
She called a lucky 17-year-old fan Ryan onstage to teach her Mandarin, Hokkien and Singlish phrases.
Game enough, she said "ni hao" (how are you in Mandarin) and "kam xia" (Hokkien for thank you) before taking a selfie with the lucky fan.
Her attempts at "lah" and "lor" were done in an exaggerated accent for comic effect, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Before singing By The Grace of God, she promised to return to Singapore.
This article was first published on May 12, 2015.
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