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Wanted: The Air Force’s best entertainer

Entertainer of the Year contest

The U.S. Air Force 2017 Entertainer of the Year Talent Competition, sponsored by the Air Force Services Activity, is open Sept. 27-Oct. 27. (U.S. Air Force graphic by the Air Force Services Activity)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —

The Air Force Services Activity is rolling three talent contests into one mega competition with a total of $20,000 in prize money.

The 2017 Entertainer of the Year Talent Competition is open to active-duty Airmen, Air National Guardsmen, Air Force Reserve members and their immediate family. This year’s competition combines Operation Talent Search, the Air Force Worldwide Talent Contest and #Vocal Upload.

“The Air Force is overflowing with talented Airmen and families,” said Jeri White, AFSVA entertainment program manager. “The talents are as diverse as our Airmen, and this is our opportunity to share those talents across the Air Force.”

White added that talent takes many forms. A semifinalist in one of last year’s contests performed a hula-hoop routine. Others have competed with roller skating, break dancing, juggling, comedy and magic acts.

The contest is all virtual. Competitors enter by creating a video, then either uploading it or copying it to a DVD and mailing it to AFSVA. They can contact their installation force support squadron for assistance with videotaping or uploading the video.

“One advantage of an all-virtual contest over having contestants qualify at installation talent show, is deployed Airmen can participate. They can use technology to do creative things, even enter a family act via Skype or FaceTime,” said Tom Edwards, chief of Air Force Entertainment. “We know installations downrange conduct weekly talent contests and that many Airmen take musical instruments with them on deployments. It’s a way to pass the time and have fun while they’re away from home.”

Each video will be judged by a panel of five entertainment industry professionals who will consider the performers’ technical excellence and showmanship, as well as their treatment and interpretation of the material.

There are three contest groups, each with four categories:

·         Group I, Non-Vocal Arts — instrumental, musical variety, non-musical variety and dance.

·         Group II, Vocalist — solo, solo self-accompanied, rap and vocal group.

·         Group III, Family — preteen, teen, spouse and family act.

The winner in each category wins $1,000; the acts coming in second place win $500. The category winners then compete for Best in Show for their respective group. The three Best of Show winners go on to compete for Entertainer of the Year and its $3,000 prize.

There will also be a $1,000 prize for the video judged most creative based on how the videography enhances the performance.

“It could be through the use of props, lighting, the location or how it sets the mood of the performance,” White said.

White has some helpful tips for competitors:

·         Review the video before submission to ensure the audio level is correct and the judges can clearly see and hear what is being presented.

·         Be balanced and strong in the performance. “A singer/instrumentalist needs to be equally adept at singing and playing. A group of dancers will be judged on its weakest member,” she explained.

All contestants must download and complete an entertainer application. Competitors 18 or younger must also complete a participation authorization release form. The forms are available on http://MyAirForceLife.com/Entertainer.

To enter online, upload the video to YouTube and copy/paste the YouTube video link into the application form. Email the completed application, with the video link, to AFSVA.SVP.AFEntertainment@us.af.mil/EOY.   

Submit by mail to AFSVA/SVPCE, 2261 Hughes Ave., Suite 156, JBSA-Lackland, TX 78236; if sending a DVD via UPS or FedEx, send to AFSVA/SVPCE, Building 1, 3515 S. Gen. McMullen Drive, San Antonio, TX, 78226.

The contest opens at midnight Sept. 27 and closes at midnight Central Daylight Time on Oct. 27.

Complete rules and details about each category are on http://MyAirForceLife.com/Entertainer.

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