BET NETWORKS ANNOUNCES THE TOP 20 CONTESTANTS OF THE INSPIRING GOSPEL COMPETITION SERIES, “SUNDAY BEST”
“SUNDAY BEST” PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 30th ON BET IN THE U.S.A.
AND INTERNATIONALLY BEGINNING SUNDAY, JULY 7th
(NEW YORK, NY) – June 21, 2019 – Returning from its four-year hiatus, America’s most inspirational singing competition, “Sunday Best,” makes its triumphant return to BET on Sunday, June 30th at 8/7c with two brand-new back-to-back episodes. The well-established gospel show welcomes back Grammy Award®-winning music legend Kirk Franklin as host, gospel songstress and host of "Get Up Mornings," Erica Campbell as a judge; and added two Grammy-Award® nominated artists Kelly Price and Jonathan McReynolds as new additions to the panel. With a brand-new stage and exciting themed challenges, this season has narrowed down the competition to 20 finalists.
The new season kicks off for the first time ever with in-person auditions in front of the judges, with no audience. The contestants have to show their true talent, with no smoke and mirrors, by performing acapella with no band support, as they narrow the field from 20 to the top 10. For the first time the contestants were able to use an online submissions process, after which the team lead a global search for this year’s contestants, leading up to the much-anticipated live auditions in Dallas, TX, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, and Detroit, MI, Lagos, Nigeria and for the first time-ever London, England and Johannesburg, South Africa, which were open to select international contestants. The top 20 contestants are:
· Antonio Santoro, 31, Durham, North Carolina
· Ashleey Barnes, 24, Memphis, Tennessee
· Brielle Frage, 21, Avenel, New Jersey
· Cornelius Edwards, 33, West Palm Beach, Florida
· Chelsey Barnes, 22, Memphis, TN
· Emorja Roberson, 27, South Bend, Indiana
· Jamal Roberts, 22, Meridian, Mississippi
· James Thompson, 23, Derby UK
· Jason Warrior, 23, Chicago, IL
· Joshua Copeland, 37, Salisbury, Maryland
· Kayva Offord, 27, Orange, Texas
· Keyla Richardson, 22, Pensacola, Florida
· Lakeesha Rice, 36, Greensboro, North Carolina
· Linda Williams, 52, University Heights, OH
· Melvin Crispell III, 21, Charlotte, North Carolina
· Opal Staples, 38, Chicago, IL
· Roy Moye, 26, Wichita, Kansas
· Tiffany Andrews, 35, Newark, New Jersey
· Tiffiny Moore, 35, Augusta, Georgia
· Yoonjung Park, 32, South Korea
Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment (BET Awards, The New Edition Story), serves as executive producer of season nine of Sunday Best along with showrunner Josh Greenberg (The Sing-Off, Lip Sync Battle). Dionne Harmon (The Bobby Brown Story, Hip Hop Squares) and Jeannae Rouzan–Clay (Dear Mama, Black Girls Rock!) and are co-executive producers.
For updates and more information about “SUNDAY BEST”, please visit BET.com/SundayBest. Join the conversation on social media by logging on to our social media platforms using the hashtag: #BETSundayBest.
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About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.
ABOUT JESSE COLLINS ENTERTAINMENT
Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For more than a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing some of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment. Collins has produced groundbreaking and award winning television programming including the BET Awards, the Grammy Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins was an executive producer of the hit TV series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart, the critically-acclaimed The New Edition Story, a biopic on the boy band that aired as a 3-part mini-series on BET in January 2017, posted record ratings for the network and attracted nearly 30 million viewers. He is also the executive producer of VH1 shows Dear Mama and Hip Hop Squares with Ice Cube. He has appeared on the cover of Vibe magazine and has been featured in numerous publications including Billboard and Ebony magazine. Most recently JCE executive produced The Bobby Brown Story. The mini-series picked up where The New Edition Story mini-series left off and chronicled the talented but troubled singer’s exit from the popular ’80s boy band through his solo success. It debuted on BET in September 2018 ad was the highest rated non-tentpole program on the network since The New Edition Story. Next for JCE is the second season of American Soul on BET and Netflix’s upcoming series Rhythm and Flow.