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Pop Star
After 15,000 entries, months of searching and thousands of votes cast by viewers, Oprah's Pop Star Challenge finally crowned a winner: LaShell Griffin from Detroit.

But The Oprah Show's Sheri has a little surprise, and "America does not know this story. Neither does Oprah. On television you think we settled it all right there at the end of that six or seven hours. The truth is, LaShell wasn't in the final cut."

When they created the list of finalists, Sheri says she knew something was wrong. "Ellen [executive producer of The Oprah Show] and I stayed behind and we looked at each other....Something did not feel right. [We went and] looked at [LaShell's] tape. You cannot deny that she has an unbelievable voice."

Sheri's instincts paid off when LaShell ended up in the final group of qualifiers and eventually won over America. Her CD is called Free. All of the contestants from Oprah's Pop Star Challenge are winners in our book, and even put out a cast album!
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FROM: Oprah's Producers' Favorite Moments II
Published on January 27, 2005

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