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Staff sgt. offered TV tryout after viral video

Sep. 4, 2011 - 08:48AM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 4, 2011 - 08:48AM  |  
Air Forces Central Command band Sidewinder performs an acoustic set for 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron airmen Aug. 8. Video from that night was uploaded to YouTube and went viral.
Air Forces Central Command band Sidewinder performs an acoustic set for 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron airmen Aug. 8. Video from that night was uploaded to YouTube and went viral. (Air Force)
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What started as a half-hour jam session for airmen working the night shift in Afghanistan has landed a staff sergeant an audition for the reality show "The Voice."

Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson has YouTube to thank for all the attention.

Johnson is part of Air Forces Central Command's band Sidewinder. The band performed a quick acoustic set — without microphones or sound equipment — for 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron airmen Aug. 8.

The next day, fans posted a video of Johnson belting out Adele's hit "Rolling in the Deep." By Aug. 18, the video had logged 900,000 views.

It quickly garnered attention from cable and network news. Talk show host Carson Daly called on Twitter for Johnson to audition for NBC's "The Voice," a singing competition Daly hosts and featuring celebrity judges.

"Proud 2 say @angiekjohnson does have an official audition to be on @NBCTheVoice!," Daly said on Twitter.

Johnson also has been invited to perform for the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Good Morning America."

News of the viral success came while the band was traveling from Shindan Air Base to Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan.

It all has been "surreal," Johnson said.

"We're so far removed out here," she said in an Air Force news release. "I don't think it's hit me yet."

Sidewinder is with the Missouri Air National Guard's 571st Air Force Band, deployed as part of the Air Force Bands program that performs for troops. The band is set to return home in September.

"The YouTube clip has gone crazy," said Master Sgt. Brian House, who plays trumpet and is a spokesman for the 571st Air Force Band.

"It's virtually across the globe. I found out that a television show in Hawaii used the video and it's been shown on TV in the United Kingdom and New Zealand," House said in a release.

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