While much of America will be tuned in Wednesday to see which of the 10 finalists from "American Idol" will be cut next from the competition, a smaller but growing television audience will be wondering who the final 10 of BET's "Sunday Best" will be.
On Sunday, "Sunday Best" viewers saw and heard performances by the first group of 10 from the final 20 selected to advance in the 10-week gospel singing completion. The 20 were selected from the more than 15,000 hopefuls who auditioned from around the nation.
"Finally some real performances," commented Torrence Glenn, BET.com's music development executive, on Monday. "No more 20 second acappella wonders!"
Hosted by gospel music legend Kirk Franklin, "Sunday Best" is a nationwide talent search similar to "American Idol" but aims to find America's next great gospel singer – which, according to "Sunday Best" judges Erica and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary, is not easy considering the amount of talent they come across.
"There was so much talent this season that we literally passed on dozens of incredible singers just because of space limitations," the gospel music duo said. "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."
Each year, "Sunday Best" holds massive casting calls in major cities across the country and awards one talented winner a car and a recording contract. Since its debut, "Sunday Best" has grown to become one of BET's top-rated shows.
This past Sunday, judges were expected to cut five of 10 finalists but instead promised to bring them all back this weekend to face the second group of 10.
"Sunday Best" airs new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. and the previous week's episode at 8 p.m.
On the Web:
More on "Sunday Best" at www.BET.com/sundaybest.