5The USO Convention Center was buzzing with excitement on May 13 for the Armed Forces Day talent show.

A packed room of community audience members anxiously awaited the 14 competing acts, which were divided into two categories – under 18 and over 18 years of age.

The MC of the evening, Russell Bowles, welcomed everyone with a soldiers poem, expressing his masterful, poetic talent of  rhyming words which were reminiscent of the old “beatnik days”.

Shane Young played his electric guitar in a rock-styled version of The Star Spangled Banner, which helped set the tone for other professionals to intertwine their talents amidst the evening talent show entries.

Art Jones, Brandee and CJ Martin, Robin Martinez and Terry Rideout provided some professional music interludes between the category of acts and final judging. Once the judging slips were calculated, based upon effort/skill, appearance, performance choice and audience response, Barbara Owens, the Director of YCAC (Young Citizens Activities Club) brought up Miss Armed Forces, Jerzi Moody and Jr. Miss Armed Forces, Ginger Prichard, to assist in awarding the final winners.

Amidst the talented dancers, singers, instrumentalist and rapping, three performers in each division rose to top scoring.  In the under 18 category, first place was given to Trinidi Isom and Raynee Knight for their hip hop, dance-cheer gymnastic moves.  Second place was Farrah Bryant as she singularly danced to an engaging beat with flair.  Third place was given to Corbin Williams as he bravely sang “Never Too Late”, A Capella.

In the over 18 division, first place was awarded to Kelsey Holland who sang an inspirational rendition of “You Can” while accompanying herself on the guitar.
Taking the second place was T. Lawson for a rousing congo/guitar solo which got the audience moving.

The duo of Ce’arra Holton, vocalist, and guitarist Kyle Isom, won third place with their bluesy performance of “At Last”.  The prize winnings were greatly appreciated by each winner, but most important were the smiles from the contestants.

Together the acts celebrated their courage and talented participation.  The community embraced these local talents with great applause and encouragement.