by Devin Fisher
A Fort Carson Family member is among the 12 finalists competing for the 2009 Operation Rising Star grand prize, which includes three days of studio time at a professional recording studio in Los Angeles.
Lisa Pratt advanced to the semifinals, which begin Nov. 14 at Wallace Theater, Fort Belvoir, Va., after 12 judges reviewed videotaped performances to reduce the field of 35 winners from military installations worldwide down to the final dozen.
Pratt said she was both surprised and shocked she made the semifinals.
“I knew it would be hard to get in because of all the talented contestants. I thought it was a long shot, but I was extremely excited when I found out I made it,” said Pratt, wife of Capt. Matt Pratt, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
Based on the premise of the popular TV show “American Idol,” the final week of competition runs Nov. 14-20, with the performances airing on the Pentagon Channel the day after, starting at 8 p.m.
Following a week of rehearsals, vocal coaching and choreography training, the semifinalists will perform Nov. 14 (airing Nov. 15). The six finalists will be announced during the
Nov. 16 show at Wallace Theater, which will be broadcast Nov. 17. Three more competitors will be eliminated Nov. 18 (aired Nov. 19) and the winner will be revealed Nov. 20 (broadcast Nov. 21). Viewers can cast their votes online at http://www.OpRisingStar.com for two hours after each broadcast.
Pratt said she will sing “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in the semifinals, the same song she sang to capture the Fort Carson title Sept. 11. Her
Fort Carson winning performance can be viewed at http://risingstar.us.army. mil/2009/LisaPratt.html.
The 2008 Fort Carson Operation Rising Star runner up said she is excited and nervous heading into the semifinals.
“I am nervous because I am very hard on myself and I want to leave (the competition) feeling like I did my best and with no regrets,” said Pratt, who has been singing since she was 12.
She said winning the competition and having the opportunity to make a professional demo CD would be a major step toward her dream of a singing career.
“It would be a phenomenal experience,” Pratt said. “I would learn so much from the experience, and I hope to have that opportunity someday.”
Pratt said she sings all genres of music, but really enjoys singing worship songs for her church and theatrical pieces.
“I enjoy telling the story in the music,” she said. “I love connecting with the audience and helping them to feel what I feel in the song.”
Pratt played a lead role in the musical “Urinetown” at TheaterWorks in Colorado Springs and held roles in “A Christmas Carol,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” and the musical “Working.”
The annual U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command contest is open to active-duty, National Guard and Reserve members of all branches of service and their Family members 18 years and older with valid military identification cards.
The winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two to Los Angeles to record a three-song demo CD and $500 spending money, an estimated value of $18,200, according to the Operation Rising Star Web site. Second place receives a $1,000 cash prize while third earns a $500 cash prize.
This is the second consecutive year a Fort Carson Family member represented the post in the semifinals. Last year, country singer Amy Downing made the final 12 of more than 40 contestants.
(Editor’s note: Tim Hipps, U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs Office, contributed to this article.)