Army Entertainment announces 12 finalists for Operation Rising Star

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Operation Rising Star host GeNienne Samuels interviews 2014 Operation Rising Star champion Staff Sgt. Michael Joseph, of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., during finals week at the historic Fort Sam Houston Theatre on Joint Base San Antonio. Photo by Tim Hipps
Operation Rising Star host GeNienne Samuels interviews 2014 Operation Rising Star champion Staff Sgt. Michael Joseph, of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., during finals week at the historic Fort Sam Houston Theatre on Joint Base San Antonio. Photo by Tim Hipps

Army Entertainment announces 12 finalists for Operation Rising Star

by: Tim Hipps | .
IMCOM | .
published: October 28, 2015

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Oct. 22, 2015) -- Twelve finalists have been selected for the 2015 Operation Rising Star singing contest.

 The finalists will perform live in San Antonio and their performances will be broadcast online at www.OpRisingStar.com, where viewers can watch and vote for their favorite vocalists and directly impact the final results.

 The 11th annual competition began on Army installations around the world, primarily at Morale, Welfare and Recreations venues, in part to help promote esprit de corps among service members and their Families.

 Army garrisons in South Korea produced three finalists: Capt. Cydnia Jackson of Camp Humphreys, Sgt. Clayzella Butler of Camp Red Cloud, and Air Force Tech Sgt. Candice Fagan of Yongson.

 Two finalists hail from garrisons in Germany, including Sgt. Robert Gulley of Rheinland-Pfalz, and Family member Isabelle Robin of Bavaria.

 Spc. Pha Xiong was the local winner on Fort Hood, Texas.

 Two active-duty finalists emerged from online competition: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell of Navy Recruiting Station Pleasant Hill, California, and Air Force Master Sgt. Gregory Fetz of the Georgia Air National Guard.

 The other finalists are military Family members from throughout the continental United States, including: Irene Simmons of Fort Stewart, Georgia; Chelsea Tabisz of Joint Base Maguire-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Melinda Way-Bonner of Fort Hunter Liggett, California; and Arlen Abella of U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii.

 The live finals are scheduled for Nov. 28, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 on Fort Sam Houston Theatre.

 The site and date of the reveal show, where the winner is announced, will be either Dec. 4 at the Fort Sam Theatre or Dec. 8 at a downtown San Antonio venue, likely the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, said Tim Higdon, Army Entertainment producer.

 Operation Rising Star is a military singing contest based on the concept of American Idol. The program is run by the Army Installation Management Command's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Army Entertainment division, headquartered on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

 Army Entertainment promotes resiliency and quality of life for Soldiers and their Families through quality entertainment programs such as the U.S. Army Soldier Show, the Army Concert Series and Operation Rising Star.

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