Fort Bliss’ Got Talent picks winner

Heideman proudly holds up her check after winning this year’s Fort Bliss’ Got Talent competition. Photos by Sgt. Patrick Doran, 3rd BCT, 1st AD.

Heideman proudly holds up her check after winning this year’s Fort Bliss’ Got Talent competition. Photos by Sgt. Patrick Doran, 3rd BCT, 1st AD.

By Sgt. Patrick Doran, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st AD:

For the last four weeks, the Fort Bliss’ Got Talent competition afforded the chance for Soldiers and civilians to put their skills on display for a chance to win cash prizes courtesy of the Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Held at the Centennial Club, the competition had a variety of acts ranging from singing and dancing to beat boxing and acrobatics.

At the start, contestants had to audition for the judges, who chose 24 to move on to the next round of the competition. Then, it was time for the contestants to display their talents to judges as well as a live audience, each responsible for 50 percent of the vote.

A Soldier submits a vote into the ballot box for the contestant they would like to see win during the Fort Bliss’ Got Talent competition.

A Soldier submits a vote into the ballot box for the contestant they would like to see win during the Fort Bliss’ Got Talent competition.

Sitting as judges for the competition were, Lynda MacFarland, wife of 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss commanding general, Maj. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, Mark Cauthers, director of DFMWR and Sgt. Maj. Michael Barnes from the Directorate of Emergency Services.

“I had a blast! It was so much fun! I know that there is a lot of talent in our Army, and these four weeks have verified that,” said MacFarland.

Two more rounds of the competition reduced the number of competitors to 14 semifinalists. There, they wowed the judges and audience again with their talent, but the competition continued to get tougher.

Another round of eliminations and the stage was set for the finals.

Before the finals, the eight remaining contestants had one week to prepare their acts for one last attempt to impress the judges and audience.

The stage was set for an incredible display of talent Fort Bliss has to offer. The final eight sang and danced their hearts out as an audience of hundreds cheered. In the end, one contestant stood out among the rest as she provided the beat for her song using a plastic cup.

Spc. Rachel Heideman, 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, 11th ADA, sang “Cups” from the movie “Pitch Perfect” because her guitar broke during her last performance.

“With my guitar being broken, I couldn’t just sing with music, because that’s what I did last year and I lost. So I had to come up with something a little more creative and that was my idea,” said Heideman.

It looks like her idea paid off, since Heideman won first place and received a check for $500. She said she already has plans to buy a new guitar with the prize money.

Also receiving checks, Brianna Richardson for second place and Brittany Foster for third place.

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