Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Shepparton performers share stage with Todd McKenney

Shepparton's Nicola Coats and Tom Janke received a moment in the spotlight after performing live on stage with Dancing With The Stars judge Todd McKenney.

JOHN LEWIS December 4, 2012 4:33am

Young Shepparton performers Tom Janke and Nicola Coats are put through their paces by Todd McKenney during rehearsals before Friday night’s Eastbank concert.

A dream came true for two young starry-eyed Shepparton performers on Friday night when they shared the stage spotlight with singing and dancing star Todd McKenney.

Nicola Coats, 12, and Tom Janke, 10, performed live on stage with Mr McKenney during his Songs and Stories of Peter Allen show.


The two were selected after entering Mr McKenney’s Search for a Star competition.

It gave selected children the chance to appear on stage with the Dancing With The Stars judge during his national tour.

Mr McKenney said it was the first time two entrants had been selected on the 16-date tour.

‘‘We wanted to make it more exciting — and these two have been just fabulous,’’ he said.

Orrvale Primary School student Nicola said she was ‘‘ecstatic’’ when she found out she had been chosen.

‘‘When we got the phone call, I jumped around squealing,’’ she said.

Her mother, Goulburn Valley Academy of Ballet principal Melanie Coats, said it was Nicola who found a flyer announcing the competition in the mail.

‘‘She persuaded her dad to videotape her. But we had to re-record it when Todd couldn’t open it,’’ she said.

St Luke’s Primary School student Tom said he did not believe his mother Helen when she told him he’d been chosen.

‘‘I told her to stop joking,’’ he said.

Mrs Janke, who owns Shepparton youth theatre company Initial Stages, said Tom had received no coaching from her.

‘‘It was his idea, I wanted it to come from him,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve never seen him so excited about anything.’’

Tom and Nicola performed two Peter Allen songs with Mr McKenney on Friday night — When I Get My Name In Lights and his classic hit I Go to Rio.

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