Troy senior to profess his love in NYC

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Josh Johnson isn’t sure exactly how romantic, he is but he knows he’s going to be more romantic than he’s ever been on Friday the 13th.

Johnson is a finalist in Zale Jewelers’ “Friday 13th Lucky Romeo and Juliet” contest. He and his “sweetheart,” Michelle Patton, will fly to New York City today where he will profess his love, live in a competition that pits him against four other finalists from across the country.

Shelly Richardson, the Richards Group representing Zales, said the company wanted to do something special for Valentine’s Day and devised an online contest to judge professions of love.

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“After competing online, five finalists from across the United States were chosen from more than 700 entries and will be flown to New York where they will compete live professing their love,” Richardson said. “The contestants, from Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania and two from New York, will be judged by executive editors from ‘The Knot’ and ‘Glamour,’ along with famed sex therapist, Dr. Ruth. A lucky Romeo or Juliet will win a giant 2-carat Celebration diamond ring from Zales valued at nearly $22,000.”

Richardson said the love professions will include a rap, a country song, a poem and a few other “wild” confessions of love.

The country song will be that of Johnson.

He wrote the song especially for the contest and almost at the last minute.

Johnson said he was checking his e-mail one day and clicked on one from Zales.

“There was a banner at the bottom about the contest, and I thought it sounded like fun,” he said. “I didn’t really think about it at first, but then I decided I wanted to do it, and I finished about five minutes before the deadline.”

Johnson said he had joked that it would be “something” if he were named a finalist.

“Michelle and I had just been laughing about it when Shelly called,” he said. “I yelled, ‘We’re going to New York!’ It’s going to be exciting and a lot of fun even if I don’t win.”

But Josh is going to give it his best in an attempt to bring home the big diamond.

He is a senior at Troy University and Michelle is a sophomore. They met a little more than a year ago and “hit it off” from the start.

“We were friends and then boy and girl friends and now we’re going to New York,” Josh said, with a smile.

Michelle has heard the song that Josh will sing to her on stage at Times Square with a huge, steel, beating heart as a backdrop. But he’s keeping the lyrics a secret from the rest of the world until noon on Friday 13th.

“It’s a song about how great Michelle is and want she means to me,” he said.

Josh will sing the song like he means it – and he does – and his hopes are that his sincerity will show through and, if so, maybe he has a chance to win the diamond ring, the engagement ring?

Josh laughed.

“We’ll cross that hurdle later but it would be nice to have for the future,” he said. “We’re just going to have fun in New York. We’re excited just to be going.”

Win or not, the young couple will have a Valentine’s Day they’ll never forget.