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[03/16/09 - 09:33 AM]
The Competition Is On: BET's 'Sunday Best' Top 20 Contestants Named
Plus: BET spins the numbers for Sunday, March 8.

[via press release from BET]

The Competition Is On: BET's 'SUNDAY BEST' Top 20 Contestants Named

NEW YORK, March 16 -- BET's gospel singing competition show, SUNDAY BEST is on its way to finding the next great gospel singing sensation. During the second season premiere episode on Sunday, March 8, which garnered an impressive 1.7 million viewers, a variety of entertaining hopefuls came out in droves to earn their spot in the competition.

After seeing and hearing more than 15,000 hopefuls audition, only an elite group of twenty were selected to advance on the road to SUNDAY BEST. Judged by Grammy Award-winning gospel superstars BeBe Winans and dynamic singing siblings Erica and Tina Campbell that compose the group Mary Mary, the top twenty finalists have earned the chance to take their praise to the next level and earn the title of SUNDAY BEST.

"There was so much talent this season that we literally passed on dozens of incredible singers just because of space limitations," said Erica and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary. "We would gladly share the stage with any of the top 20 selected because they're just that good! Viewers are going to be glued to their televisions for every single episode."

The 10-week singing competition is hosted by gospel giant Kirk Franklin.

Here are the top 20:

Audrey Lewis - Chicago, Illinois

Camille Benton - Columbus, Ohio

Carolyn Johnson White - Valencia, California

Cekoya Burch - Atlanta, Georgia

Clifton Ross, III - Hyattsville, Maryland

Crystal Holland - University Park, Illinois

Dontavies Boatwright - Jacksonville, Florida

Ian Knighton - Sacramento, California

Jeff Spain - Atlanta, Georgia

Jessica Reedy - Saginaw, Michigan

John McClure, Jr. - Owings Mills, Maryland

Johnathan Johnson - Louisville, Kentucky

Kalind Haynes - Chicago, Illinois

Latice Crawford - St. Albans, New York

Maurice Griffin - Chicago, Illinois

Peter Robinson - Bladensburg, Maryland

Sharon Gomez - Reisterstown, Maryland

Tammy Turner - Jessup, Maryland

Y'Anna Crawley - Mt. Rainier, Maryland

Zebulon Ellis - East Point, Georgia

This season, GRAMMY and Stellar Music Award winner Donald Lawrence contributes as Contestant Mentor. As one of gospel music's most sought after writers, producers and artists, Donald also served as musical director and vocal coach for several gospel recording artists. The winner will receive a recording contract, a 2009 Lincoln MKS and a list of other perks, as part of the grand prize package.

Viewers can watch SUNDAY BEST on Sundays at 9:00 p.m.* and catch the previous weeks' episode encore broadcast on Sundays at 8:00 p.m.*

For more on SUNDAY BEST, please visit www.BET.com/sundaybest.

*All times ET/PT

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: 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 98 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 businesses extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks -- BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.





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