Guyana’s Lisa Punch sang her way into the hearts of viewers across the globe and into the next round of the new American reality song show, Rising Star, which premiered live on Sunday evening on the ABC Network.
The Guyanese born, Brooklyn resident sang Whitney Houston’s “How Will I know”, but by the end of her performance it was clear that all of the judges and viewers knew that she was going to be a force to be reckoned with in the competition.
Punch grabbed 80% of the votes cast and will now move into the second round of the competition in two weeks. During the televised performance, she said she was following her dream and was in the competition not just for herself but for her family and a better life for them.
The video clip which sought to introduce Punch to the audience showcased her Guyana home where she lived up until last December when she migrated. And it also showcased her living conditions in Brooklyn, New York. In her own words, Lisa described Guyana as a very beautiful but poor country and her desire to realise her dreams now that she lives in the United States. She spoke about sharing a 2 bedroom apartment in New York with 13 other members of her family.
In an exclusive interview on Guyana’s 94.1 FM on Monday morning, Punch was ecstatic about making it to the next round and brushed aside criticism from those who believe she should not have showcased the poverty situation she faced in Guyana. Punch told the JumpStart morning show that she felt it was very important to tell her true story because “in Guyana, how I lived is considered poverty and I wanted to show people that you can start off like that and follow your dreams and live your dreams”.
She said when one grows out of a situation like that, they should always create an opportunity for himself and rise to the occasion.
“In Guyana, I lived in a bedroom with my father, my mother, my brothers and my sisters. We shared one bedroom and we come to America and we now share two bedrooms and so I think it was very important for me to put that story out there because it shows that I just moved to America six months ago and look at what I have accomplished”, the singer said.
The Rising Star show received thousands of auditions but after two rounds of auditions, Punch was called back to be one of the Top 30. She has now made it past the Top 30 round and is focusing her attention on the next round of the competition.
She later told News Source that she was very pleased with her performance and the love of her Guyanese and West Indian supporters both in the United States and back home. She said she is aware that the entire Guyana is backing her and she will continue to put her best notes together in the competition.
The 21-year-old Guyanese completed her secondary education at the North Georgetown Secondary School and the Bishops High School in Guyana. She started a career in broadcasting and theatre just after leaving school and worked with NCN radio before moving on to 94.1 Boom FM where she hosted a number of shows and served as an Entertainment correspondent.
The Charlotte Street, Georgetown “home girl” has belted out her soulful voice at a number of national events. She was the vocalist of the theme song when Guyana hosted the Caribbean Festival of Music and Arts. Although, she now calls the U.S home, Lisa continues to stay in touch with her home country through her music. You can follow Lisa Punch’s Rise to Stardom on Twitter @lisapunch and on Instagram @lisapunchmusic