January 1, 2011, is the start of a new year—and new journey—for Oprah. "At high noon, my OWN network is officially on the air," Oprah says. "Every single minute of our 24-hour cable network, OWN [Oprah Winfrey Network], is being created with you in mind."

With programming intended to inform, inspire and entertain, Oprah's network is also giving one lucky person his or her big break. In Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star, 10 contestants are plucked from a group of more than 15,000 who auditioned to compete for their very own television program on the network. "Over the years on The Oprah Show, the things that have brought me the greatest joy is when I can give to other people," Oprah says. "I love being able to do great things for people."

Meet the contestants.

Through it all, hosts Nancy O'Dell and Carson Kressley help guide these hopefuls through intense challenges. "I was really surprised by the talent. From all the audition tapes that came in, I was like: 'Really? These people are this good with no experience? I hate them,'" Nancy jokes. "One of the things that amazed me, though, is how it progressed from just a little bit of coaching and telling them things [to] how great they became really quickly."

Carson—who has his own makeover show, Carson-Nation premiering on OWN later in 2011—says the best advice he can give the contestants is to stay true to themselves. "I think you all have an amazing opportunity here," he says. "You're all already winners, and if you don't win this competition, then keep following your dream, because don't change yourself to fit the job. Change the job to fit you." 

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