Taylor Swift fan behind ‘embarrassing’ viral ‘Exile’ reaction video speaks out

Madison Blackband, an Australia-based Taylor Swift fan, who went viral with her dramatic reaction to the pop superstar’s performance of “Exile”, has spoken out about the moment.

On Sunday (25 February), Blackband, 20, and her two friends filmed themselves seated outside Sydney’s Accor Stadium, where Swift was holding her final Eras Tour concert in Australia.

In the TikTok video uploaded by Blackband later that night, she can be seen dramatically bursting into tears when Swift launches into a performance of “Exile”, a song off her 2020 folklore album.

“My reaction to Taylor singing ‘Exile’ (also known as the song that saved my life),” reads the text overlaying the footage.

The video instantly went viral. At the time of writing, it’s been viewed 1.1 million times on TikTok, and reshared across Instagram and X.

“I went on [X] and the first thing that popped up was this video. And I was like ‘Oh, it’s happened’,” Blackband said in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “I posted it intending it for like 200 people, not millions.”

Blackband has since disabled the video’s comment section on TikTok, explaining that it’s “not because I can’t handle what people were saying, but because I just don’t see the point”.

Still, that hasn’t deterred people from sharing their unfiltered opinions and judgments on other social media platforms.

Many X users have accused Blackband for being overdramatic or performative. Some have even called out her two friends for not showing enough emotional support. Other viewers have simply laughed at the video.

Addressing the range of online reactions, Blackband said: “There’s no point letting it upset me. I reacted the way I reacted. I know my friends weren’t judging me. That’s just me. I’m just a passionate person.

“The opinion of people thinking that it’s embarrassing and stuff doesn’t mean anything to me because I never thought it was and I’m not going to think it is now just because someone says I should,” she said, adding: “I understand why people are laughing at it. I laughed at the video myself once I first watched it back.”

Of her love for the song, Blackband said: “[‘Exile’] means a lot to me. It’s a song I’ve listened to when I needed anything, as a distraction or to keep me focused. It’s like a safety blanket.”

Swift is currently on a week-long break from her massively successful Eras Tour. She will commence the Singapore leg of her tour on 2 March before making her way to Europe in May.