After eight weeks of competition by more than 65 Sailors and Marines, the crew aboard aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) has chosen Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Kaily Gains as the first TR Idol.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Gains. “It’s a little ironic considering I’m from the Abraham Lincoln, but equally exciting and rewarding.”
Gains received a $1,000 Navy Exchange gift card in recognition of her accomplishment during a live broadcast Wednesday on TR’s internal network.
The competition, hosted by TR’s First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA), began May 24 and over the next two months, TR Idol came down to three contestants: Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class Ruby Wesby , Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Richard Ayala and Gains. Wesby placed 2nd and received a $500 gift card, and Ayala came in 3rd place and received a $250 gift card.
“I think the competition overall was amazing for the ship and the morale of the crew,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Rachael Fuller-Ryan. “Over 6 weeks of time, it’s been crazy, fun and it’s been amazing to be a part of.”
“It was hard to make a decision on the vote that was sent out via e-mail because after being a judge you feel as though you have a personal connection with all contestants and you want to keep all of them vice eliminating one or two,” said Chief Legalman Tiffany Garfield, one of the five judges for TR Idol. “They should all be proud of their accomplishments and the courage they had to stand up every Sunday and perform.”
Although Gains won the competition, each contestant practiced hard and demonstrated the amount of talent the TR crew possesses.
“The fact that I made it out of the top 25 to the top three out of a ship of 5,000 people is pretty amazing,” said Wesby. “Singing’s really fun to me and it’s kind of a relief that it’s done, but it’s kind of bittersweet that it’s over now. Seeing the reactions from the crowd was fun and [TR Idol] was a great experience.