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Sgt. Anna Maestrado of 350th Psychological Operations Team started the "Eagle Idol" show on the right note, performing Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and impressing all with her talent.
Sgt. Anna Maestrado of 350th Psychological Operations Team started the "Eagle Idol" show on the right note, performing Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and impressing all with her talent. (Ivana Avramovic / S&S)
Sgt. Anna Maestrado of 350th Psychological Operations Team started the "Eagle Idol" show on the right note, performing Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and impressing all with her talent.
Sgt. Anna Maestrado of 350th Psychological Operations Team started the "Eagle Idol" show on the right note, performing Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and impressing all with her talent. (Ivana Avramovic / S&S)
Sgt. Marcus Hopson of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment fights back laughter to make it through his song at the "Eagle Idol" competition.
Sgt. Marcus Hopson of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment fights back laughter to make it through his song at the "Eagle Idol" competition. (Ivana Avramovic / S&S)
2nd Lt. Paul Karbley of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment sings lyrics he wrote about a friend to the music of Queen's "We Will Rock You." His performance won the "Eagle Idol" competition.
2nd Lt. Paul Karbley of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment sings lyrics he wrote about a friend to the music of Queen's "We Will Rock You." His performance won the "Eagle Idol" competition. (Ivana Avramovic / S&S)
Troops in the audience clap and sing along.
Troops in the audience clap and sing along. (Ivana Avramovic / S&S)

EAGLE BASE, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Humor prevailed over musical talent during “Eagle Idol,” a spoof of the “American Idol” television show at Eagle Base Saturday evening.

The winner, 2nd Lt. Paul Karbley of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, sang a song with lyrics he composed to sing along with Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

His song was about a friend — recently-promoted 1st Sgt. George Huff — who was moving from Company D to Company A. By the time Karbley reached the refrain, the audience was singing along and he had won a DVD player given to the first-place winner.

“I know I can’t sing well so I needed a song that would put the crowd in the mood,” Karbley said.

Ed Winters, a member of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff, which sponsored the event, opened the show by giving some advice to the crowd.

“Sit back. Relax. You got your noisemakers. Be nice,” he said.

Sgt. Anna Maestrado of the 350th Psychological Operations Team started the show on the right note with her performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

“Hold on,” Winters said, reaching for the golden cup after she finished singing and was walking away from the glittery stage. He then stopped himself with “Oh, it’s not over yet,” adding the song “shot chills to my heart” as he grasped the microphone.

Then came Karbley, who did not have the same vocal talent but showed off his humor and creativity.

“Huff you’re a big man, hard man

Shouting in street gonna be a sergeant major someday

You got a smile on your face

At Eagle Base

Wavin’ your guidon all over the place.”

The audience clapped to the rhythm and joined in on the refrain:

“We will, we will rock you.”

“I was gonna do one about General Wright, but I didn’t wanna get fired,” Karbley said, referring to Brig. Gen. Timothy Wright, commander of the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division in Bosnia.

Another soldier from Company D, Sgt. Marcus Hopson, placed third, earning points for making everyone laugh. He tried to show his musical talent, but the audience made him laugh until his singing turned into screeching. As the laughter spread to the audience and judges, Hopson tried facing the wall and sitting down to stop laughing and finally finished the song lying down.

Second place went to Spc. Jennifer Soper of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 38th Infantry Division.

All together, 13 contestants entered, and all had to sing a cappella. Three would not part with their guitars and were disqualified. Others nearly melted when the judges took their job too seriously and criticized some of the performers harshly.

MWR had T-shirts for all and gave backpacks and AAFES gift certificates to the contestants who won second and third place.

“I wasn’t expecting to win. It was great,” Karbley said.

“Days later when they see me they won’t remember any other song but they will remember my song. That’s all that matters.”

“But the DVD player is really cool. I’m sure my wife will like it.”

[RECIPETAGNEW]E-mail Ivana Avramovic at:

bosnia@mail.estripes.osd.mil

Photos by Ivana Avramovic/Stars and Stripes

Left: 2nd Lt. Paul Karbley of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment sings lyrics he wrote about a friend to the music of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Right: Sgt. Anna Maestrado of 350th Psychological Operations Team started the “Eagle Idol” show on the right note performing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

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