A crowd of more than 500 fans of local Operation Rising Star singers cheered on the 10 finalists at Shock Wave here, Sept 25.
Master of ceremonies Jovany Rivas introduced the contestants to fans and judges Vanessa Rice of Army Community Service, Judy Ann Martir of Sports Fitness and Aquatics, and Nicole Ringsletter of Oasis Pool. At the end of the two and a half hours show, the judges and fans combined their scores and votes to determine the winner for the local finalists in the Army-wide talent search contest.
Rising Star winners were: Courtney Blair, a family member of 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, who placed third; Pfc. Lamarcez Ellis, 2nd Transportation Company, 1916th Support Battalion, who came in second, and; Pfc. Nizkia Wilson, 11th ACR Supply and Transportation, walked off the stage as Fort Irwin’s top singer.
Other contestants were: Spc. Zachary Smith, 89th Military Police Detachment; Kimberly Thilges, family member, 1916th SPT BN; Spc. Oceanel Bryant, Regimental Support Squadron, 11th ACR; Cherokee Kelly, family member; Aggie Mrozek-Ley, family member, 916th Support Brigade; 1st Lt. Aaron Renaud, RSS, 11th ACR; and Naomi Francis, family member, Operations Group.