Hatboro woman among top 15 contestants in Travel Channel Star competition

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Who will be the next Travel Channel Star?  Tara Malone of Hatboro is one of four Pennsylvanians among the finalists. After reviewing more than 1,000 entries from travel enthusiasts across the country, Travel Channel has narrowed the search to the top 15 contestants. Each with their own take on travel, these wanna-be hosts bring many areas of expertise and perspective on how they would explore the world. The professions they are willing to leave behind include part-time poll worker, personal trainer and high school science teacher.

In the 15 five-minute webisodes, three judges and host Bert Kreischer, professional fun-seeker and host of “Trip Flip,” provide colorful commentary and feedback about each audition.

Did the judges get it right? Fans can vote for their favorite contender on TravelChannel.com’s “Travel Channel Star” page and on Twitter using #travelchannelstar until Friday, May 15. The top five will be revealed on Travel Channel’s website on Monday, May 25 with additional commentary from Kreischer and the judges.

The winner of 2015’s “Travel Channel Star” will host their own five-part series on TravelChannel.com and will be named in a one-hour special, hosted by Kreischer, on Travel Channel later this year.

The top 15 contestants competing for the “Travel Channel Star” title (in alphabetical order by first name):


Blake Jeffers – Savannah, Ga.

Travel Specialty: Earthy Travel

Current Occupation: High school science teacher


Chris Wagner – Lansing, Kan.

Travel Specialty: Fitness

Current Occupation: Personal trainer


Christie Rojo – Santa Barbara, Calif.

Travel Specialty: Spirituality

Current Occupation: Church Youth Ministry


Gaby Barragán – Santa Monica, Calif.

Travel Specialty: Dance

Current Occupation: Barback


Janel Koloski – Greensburg, Penn.

Travel Specialty: Fearless Traveler

Current Occupation: Nanny and personal assistant


Jimmy Taylor – Montmorency, Australia

Travel Specialty: Adventure

Current Occupation: Actor and personal trainer


Juliana Jurenas – Annandale, Va.

Travel Specialty: Off the Beaten Path

Current Occupation: Actress, receptionist and waitress


Martice Sutton – Philadelphia, Penn.

Travel Specialty: Budget Travel

Current Occupation: Founder, Girls Going Global


Nick Leighton – San Francisco, Calif.

Travel Specialty: Embalmed Bodies of Communist Dictators

Current Occupation: Business consultant, realtor and freelance journalist


Ricky Moreno – Las Vegas, Nev.

Travel Specialty: Fish Out of Water

Current Occupation: Tour manager


Saundra Dunson-Franks – Atlanta, Ga.

Travel Specialty: Baby Boomers’ Bucket List

Current Occupation: Part-time poll worker


Tara Malone – Hatboro, Penn.

Travel Specialty: Solo Travel

Current Occupation: Account Executive


Tarique Connelly – Philadelphia, Penn.

Travel Specialty: Outside the Box

Current Occupation: Direct sales representative


Tony Nagatani – Honolulu, Hawaii

Travel Specialty: Fusion

Current Occupation: Video editor

Veronica Jacob – Newberry, S.C.

Travel Specialty: Cultural Immersion

Current Occupation: Law school graduate


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