After a host of delays, auditions for Gifted, a new nationwide talent search for Christian musics newest star, are now underway.
The competition, which began development in the summer of 2004, kicked off yesterday in Phoenix, with 18 more auditions scheduled before the shows airing on TBN in March.
Created by Wright Entertainment Group founder Johnny Wright manager to artists such as Britney Spears, N Sync, and the Backstreet Boys and Gener8Xion Entertainments Matthew Crouch, Gifted is the first production of Wright Gener8Xion Entertainment, which is purposed to create pop-positive, family friendly entertainment, concerts and television productions, according to press statement.
God gives us so many gifts, but we reach for the one with the prettiest wrapping, reads the Gifted website. In a world where MTV dictates trends and pop-stars become idols, Christianity seems to be wrapped up in conditions and judgments. It is our goal to wrap Gods message His love in acceptance, and in a way that blends seamlessly into pop culture while still upholding the values we, as Christians, value most. When presented with this gift, wrapped up tightly in respect, we hope that todays youth will open the trendy packaging to release Gods love and realize in doing so that we are all truly Gifted.
The Gifted auditions, which will take place in mega-churches across the United States, invite competitors 18 and over to sing acapella versions of classic hymns such as How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace, with the winners of those auditions moving onto four regional auditions where eight finalists will be chosen.
The Gifted finale will be hosted by Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell, with the competitions winner receiving a major-label recording contract, career management by the Wright Entertainment Group, and day-to-day support from Wright Gener8Xion Entertainment. In addition, a $10,000 donation will be made to the church where the winner originally auditioned.
We want to showcase the best of the best of those ready to make the next step, says Philip McIntyre, producer of Gifted. It will be about the talent they have, all about their gift. It wont be about image or what someone looks like. It will be about vocal talent period.
Theres been an explosion in popularity of singers and groups coming out of the Christian music community recently, McIntyre continued, citing the popularity of hit Christian rock acts Switchfoot, MercyMe and Casting Crowns and Christian country singer Carrie Underwood. Thats only the tip of the iceberg, really. Theres so much more talent out there yet to be heard.
The shows next audition begins Wednesday at 8 a.m. EST at Bethany Baptist Church in Lindenwold, N.J.
Gifted Talent Search Auditions:
1/9/06 Phoenix , Arizona
1/11/06 Lindenwold , New Jersey
1/14/06 Inglewood , California
1/14/06 Saint Paul, Minnesota
1/14/06 Oklahoma City , Oklahoma
1/15/06 Overland Park , Kansas
1/20/06 San Antonio, TX
1/21/06 Seattle, WA
1/21/06 Las Vegas, NV
1/21/06 Hendersonville, TN
1/27/06 Decatur, GA
1/28/06 Methuen, MA
1/28/06 Charlotte, NC
2/4/06 Brooklyn, NY
TBA Tampa, FL
TBA Munster, IN
TBA Victoria, TX
TBA Tulsa, OK
TBA Nashville, TN
TBA Denver, CO
For more information visit www.giftedtalentsearch.com or call 323-874-9888.
To download a contestant application, go to www.giftedtalentsearch.com/downloads/contestant_application.pdf.