Christian Reality Talent Search to Debut

Gifted, a Christian solo-artist talent search, will debut Jan. 26 on TBN. The two-hour prime-time special will showcase eight final contestants battling it out to receive the grand prize of a recording contract with EMI Christian Music Group.

The show will also feature a performance from host and former Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell, and an overview of the16,000 national auditions. Sometimes compared with the hit reality show American Idol, the record label says there will be “no idol worship” on Gifted.

“Unique to the competition was the emphasis to create a nationwide talent search for Christian solo artists with a desire to display the gifts that God gave them and to give back that gift by sharing with others through their music and message of hope in Christ,” an EMI press release stated.

An estimated 95 million viewers are expected to tune in to watch the finalists’ performances ranging from gospel, praise and worship to contemporary Christian. The judges will include Michael Sweet, lead singer of Christian rock band Stryper; Eddie DeGarmo, founding member of Christian duo DeGarmo & Key and now president of EMI CMG Publishing; and Andraé Crouch.

On Feb. 20 EMI is set to release the Gifted: Season One CD, a compilation of performances from the top eight finalists, and a DVD, featuring the two-hour special, behind-the-scenes footage and much more.

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