Fort Bliss, TX — Flashing laser lights and stage smoke filled the dim hall at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center as an audience waited to be entertained by the six remaining performers during the final show of Bliss Got Talent Feb. 27.
Each performer presented two acts in categories that included vocal soloist and individual dancing.
Spc. Phillip Clark, 47th Brigade Support Battalion, encouraged the audience to get out their dancing shoes while he sang the country songs, “Neon Moon” by Brooks and Dunn and “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. The Fort Bliss community voted the cowboy-hatted country singer first place winner and he took home a $500 prize.
“I can see why you’re a crowd favorite,” said guest judge Emily Garcia, publicist from El Paso.
Also commenting on his performance, guest judge Sgt. Maj. Mike Barnes, with Fort Bliss Department of Emergency Services, compared Clark’s performance to a Soldier’s rating scale saying, “If I was doing an NCOER, you are 1/1, among the best.”
Coming in second place, Army veteran, Shaunna Cook from Tampa, Fla., sang her rendition of two gospel hymns, “Can’t Give up Now” by Mary Mary and “From a Distance” made popular by Bette Midler.
“[Cook] you bring Sunday morning to Wednesday night,” said Barnes.
Coming in third place, Staff Sgt. Christian Ortiz, kept an old school R&B theme, when performing two classic tunes, “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett and “Oh Darling” by the Beatles.
The 1st Armored Division table-hopping, be-bopping performer brought the crowd to their feet, even Barnes remarked, “[Ortiz] is a true showman.”
The talent show was not only used to showcase local talent but it also allowed Soldiers a chance to receive a unit participation award. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, received the spirit award that included $250 toward their unit funds for the fidelity and support shown to all the performers.