Woman with local roots wins Operation Rising Star
December 4, 2009
- Lisa Pratt, winner of this year's Operation Rising Star and stationed with her husband at Fort Carson, Colo., calls Lawton-Fort Sill home.
- Woman reports thousands of votes from her home town in talent competition.
FORT SILL, OKLA. - Enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, the 2009 Operation Rising Star winner, Lisa Pratt, returned to some very familiar territory.
Sunday she belted Miley Cirus' hit song "The Climb" at Lawton's First Assembly Church to a congregation that has heard her talents since she was 12 years old.
Even though she has sung there more times than she can count, she still paced back and forth before getting on stage, practicing her song through her iPod. Her husband, Capt. Matt Pratt, was like a quiet pillar of strength ready to offer up his support.
"He always gets nervous for me," she said chuckling. On stage she looked at her husband for one final moment before she sang the same notes that ended in her victory in the Operation Rising Star competition.
"He gives me comfort. I look at him right before I sing just because he makes me comfortable. He hears me practicing, he hears me do all of it."
Before her big debut to her church as the winner of the Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation competition, many of the congregation congratulated her and confessed to putting in thousands of votes for her. Still some were surprised where most of her votes came from because she is currently living in Fort Carson, Colo., with her husband.
"It was funny the Morale Welfare and Recreation leader from Fort Carson called me the day after I got back and said, 'Lisa, do you know where most of the votes came from' Lawton, Oklahoma.' She was like do you know people from Lawton' And I said that's my hometown," said Pratt.
She beat out 35 other installation winners across the United States and said winning the competition was a complete shock. In looking at her past though, she has taken a lot of steps toward this moment.
She said she grew up singing on Fort Sill at prayer luncheons and she even sang a military song at the traveling Vietnam Wall when she was only 11 years old.
"I think God has been kind of preparing me for this role for quite some time. That was my first song I ever sang in front of people and now I'm an Army wife. I just got through a deployment and we'll probably be in for the rest of our lives," said Pratt.
At the second portion of the competition in Washington, D.C., she said singing was not the first thing on her mind. Her twin sister, Lindsey Morris, was ready to have her first baby and she wanted to be there to support her.
"I actually called her the night before I left to go to D.C. and I said if you just say one thing, if you say you don't want me to go I'm here. And she was like no I think you need to do this."
Family is important to her and she said that's what Operation Rising Star was about.
"It's so much more than just a singing competition. It's benefiting military families who are struggling right now and their minds get taken off the fact that daddy, or mommy just left. They get to see someone sing tonight, and I think that's cool."
She is enjoying being the local celebrity but said she is doing so with humility and is just enjoying the ride.
"I was very humbled that people I didn't even know from Lawton and Fort Sill went on to vote or to even just watch and it just goes to show this is a good place. People here are very supportive," said Pratt.
She credits her husband, who has been her biggest fan since first hearing her sing in the eighth grade, along with her parents and her family for any success she has had so far.
When asked what she is going to do for the next year on tour for FMWR she replied with a sort of awkwardness that her "manager" hasn't told her yet (Even having a manager is still very unfamiliar to her). So far, she knows she will be singing at the Army Ball at the Pentagon later in the year and that she will be traveling to Los Angeles in January to make a three-song CD. She hopes to ultimately record contemporary Christian music but said she is willing to try other genres if that is what she is meant to sing.
"I don't necessarily want to be a star. I like performing and I like to sing for God and I think that if I can have that mentality I will go through whatever doors that open," said Pratt.