TR Idol Narrows Down Top 12 Finalists


Twenty-five Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) competed in the first round of the ship’s singing competition, TR Idol, May 31.

     Hundreds of crew members packed the mess decks to watch the performance and show their support for the contestants.

     The audience roared as each contestant displayed their vocal prowess by singing their favorite songs. Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Richard Ayala received a standing ovation after singing his rendition of Aerosmith classic, “Dream On.”

     “It was appreciated and super humbling,” said Ayala. “A lot of people in my division were here to support me, and they were the ones that told me to enter into the competition, so I was glad to see them all here tonight.”

     TR’s First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) coordinated the event and invited the crew for closed auditions, May 24. More than 60 Sailors and Marines put their talents to the test before the top contestants moved on to perform front and center on TR’s mess decks.


     “For the first round we had three judges and whoever got the highest scores were chosen as the top 25,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Rachel Fuller-Ryan, an FCPOA entertainment committee member and one of TR Idol’s coordinators. “We decided that having the top 25 perform for the crew would be good experience for the contestants and it’d be good for crew morale and involvement.”    

     Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Michael Phillips saw the competition as an opportunity to make a personal dedication.

     “Every song that I sing, if I move forward in the competition that is, will be dedicated to my girlfriend,” said Phillips. “I opened up with ‘You and I,’ by John Legend at auditions and tonight I sang ‘Just Friends’ by Musiq Soulchild. It sort of tells the story of how we met and I can relate to it so I’ll be able to sing it from the heart.”

     Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Trevon Bishop went to the show to support his old friend.

    “We were both [assistant recruit chief petty officers] in boot camp,” said Bishop. “We both led cadences in boot so it’s cool to see [Phillips] come out and show his talent. Plus it’s cool to see all the other talent here.”


     Air Traffic Controlman 3rd Class Ruby Wesby sings for TR’s Contemporary Service Choir and saw the competition as a chance to gain more stage presence and confidence.

     “I was really nervous before getting out there,” said Wesby. “I know I can do it, but when the spotlight gets on me I don’t want to freeze up. I tried to get the crowd involvement to shake my nerves. For me that’s what this event is about; morale and to get the command involved in a good cause and something to lift people’s spirits.”

     Five judges narrowed down the contestants and announced the top 12 semifinalists who will move on to the next round. The competition will continue throughout the month as TR searches for her first “Idol.”

TR Idol’s Top 12 Semifinalists:

  1. CSC Villamor, Nino
  2. ABE1 Turner, Lavon
  3. AE2 Ashcroft, Mary
  4. IS3 Ayala, Richard
  5. ET3 Castle, Brandi
  6. IT3 Gains, Kelly
  7. HM3 Layugan, Grace
  8. AC3 Wesby, Ruby
  9. CS3 Webb, Jake
  10. ABFAN Wilson, Savanna
  11. AOAN Phillips, Michael
  12. CSSA Harris, Edward

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danica M. Sirmans, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs