Oprah’s Next TV Star Finalists Coming to Hollywood

The online votes for the “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star” competition have been verified, and the top five finalists have been chosen. And because of the overwhelming response to the online auditions (over 143 million votes), OWN has decided to select the next three vote getters to join the other finalists at the final auditions in Los Angeles. The online finalists, in order of verified vote count, are:

  1. Jacqueline Wattimo of Waterton, MA with 9,360,096 votes.

  2. Dr. Phyllis Tucker-Wicks of Tampa, FL with 8,453,803 votes.

  3. Stacia Pierce of East Lansing, MI with 7,604,501 votes.

  4. Kornelius Bascombe of Raleigh, NC with 5,856,075 votes.

  5. Dr. Tony Roach of Abilene, TX with 3,842,648 votes.

  6. Maria Holloway of Miami, FL with 3,796,219 votes.

  7. Zach Anner of Austin, TX with 3,484,018 votes.

  8. Jasbina Ahluwalia of Oak Brook, IL with 2,728,232 votes.

From the total pool of hopeful superstars coming to Hollywood, 10 will be selected to participate in the reality series, “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.”

At least one of the top five from the online popular vote is guaranteed a spot among the 10 on the series.

When auditions closed June 26, 2010, there were more than 9,500 online videos and more than 6,100 contestants who came to open casting calls in New Jersey, Texas, California and Georgia.

Over 143 million votes were cast online and the results were verified by a third party before the winners of the online competition were announced.

During the verification process, the final vote counts fluctuated, as votes that could not be authenticated were eliminated from the competition. The verification process did not change the top 8 applicants with the most votes online.

“The response was amazing with over 15,000 people having auditioned,” said executive producer Mark Burnett. “Oprah Winfrey is such an inspiration and motivates people to seek their dreams. This response shows the enormity of those who wish to communicate their ideas on television.”

“Your OWN Show,” presented by Kohl’s and premiering on OWN in January 2011, will be a reality series in which contestants compete in a “host boot camp.”

Challenges will range from booking interviews and researching story ideas, to successfully completing an actual screen test.

The person selected to be the winner will receive a 6-episode commitment for his or her own show, executive produced by Mark Burnett, and scheduled to premiere on OWN in 2011.

A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, LLC, OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK is a multi-platform media company.

OWN will debut on January 1, 2011 in approximately 80 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.

The venture also will include the digital platform, Oprah.com.

Photo courtesy: OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

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Rakesh Raman