Los Angeles, CA — 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 carefully 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 eight 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.
About OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, LLC, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform, and inspire people to live their best lives. 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 award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own