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The spotlight shines on -- Dreams can come true

Master Sgt. Douglas Gosselin strikes a pose during last year’s United States Air Forces in Europe’s “USAFE Idol” talent contest. Sergeant Gosselin’s high energy performance stole the show at base level and he walked away third place during the USAFE-level competition. This year’s competition is 7 p.m., March 29 at the base theater. (U.S. Air Force photo Master Sgt. John Lasky)

Master Sgt. Douglas Gosselin strikes a pose during last year’s United States Air Forces in Europe’s “USAFE Idol” talent contest. Sergeant Gosselin’s high energy performance stole the show at base level and he walked away third place during the USAFE-level competition. This year’s competition is 7 p.m., March 29 at the base theater. (U.S. Air Force photo Master Sgt. John Lasky)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Last year, Master Sgt. Douglas Gosselin's high energy performance stole the show and he walked away with the title of RAF Lakenheath Idol. This year's competition is at 7 p.m., March 29 at the base theater.

The competition is an opportunity for base personnel to show-off and be recognized for other than work related accomplishments. But the competition can be fierce here and at the U.S. Air Forces in Europe level. At the base-level event competitors spend limited time with the USAFE band prior to performing their songs in front of the judges. At the USAFE-level, the competition changes a bit.

"The local competition was good, but the USAF competition allowed the contestants the opportunity to work more on their individuals acts with the band and work more on stage presence," said Sergeant Gosselin.

Entering a competition like Idol takes a certain type of person. Standing in front of family and friends and being judged is no easy matter. Winning, however, can make all the hard work worth it, said Sergeant Gosselin.

"Winning last year's competition allowed me to continue to sing with the USAFE band a few more times," he said. "I had a blast!"

The blast also came with a few rewards. For taking first place at the RAF Lakenheath, Sergeant Gosselin received a trophy. In appreciation of his third place win at the USAFE Idol, he received a trophy, a stereo, a black leather jacket, a leather carry bag and various smaller items.

Although he won't be competing in this year's competition he will be opening the show and has advice for the contestants.

"Believe in yourself and be yourself," he said. "Listen to the advice given by the band members and don't imitate. Make the song your own."

Although his time in the spotlight has come and gone, the memories will be with Sergeant Gosselin for a lifetime. Even though he doesn't plan on making music a career he continues to sing with small local bands.

This year's RAF Lakenheath Idol competition is open to base community members 18 years and older.

For more information, call 01638 52 4884.