the great American preach off

I don’t have cable TV or TiVo. So I’ll have to view it via tape delay or something else. Just found out about a new reality TV show on finding a the next great preacher, triggering haunting memories of preaching class where the prof is in the sound booth providing color commentary while I sweat it out preaching without notes.

From the press release, The Learning Channel features a faith-based reality show in new series, The Messengers:

THE MESSENGERS showcases 10 speakers from a variety of perspectives and their ability to communicate the many dimensions and complexities of some of life’s toughest lessons, addressing issues viewers face in their everyday lives and communities. In the end, THE MESSENGERS is built around a simple but lofty goal: to find America’s next great inspirational speaker.
Over the next 24 hours, the speakers blend their in-field experiences with their own life lessons to create powerful speeches of motivation for a studio audience. After each speech is delivered, a panel comprising of public speaking experts Richard Greene and Bobby Schuller offers valuable commentary and criticism to the participants.

Richard Greene, author of Words That Shook The World, is a speech advisor and public speaking analyst who gives the speakers constructive guidance on their delivery, technique and content development. Bobby Schuller, a pastor at the Crystal Cathedral in Southern California and grandson of Reverend Robert H. Schuller, focuses his guidance on the content and emotional connection the speakers make with the studio audience.

According to the photo, there’s even several women preachers in the running.

76-7c2d2ff4b5f4ee74dfaf1179301c2e6e[1].jpg And from the production company of The Messengers: Original Productions is producing a new television show called “The Messengers” for TLC (The Learning Channel) to begin airing late fall of 2006. We are currently making our way around the country looking for people to come out and audition. We’ve already been to Dallas for two days of incredible filming and we’re now setting our sights on St. Louis and Atlanta. The Official Fan Site will be at [not yet live]

[update 6/05/06 from Zahava Zaidoff: “There is an article on Entertainment Weekly, this month, the one with entourage on the front of the 67 tv shows you can’t miss and we have a small write up. page 63.”]

[update 6/07/06] Show Summary (Premieres July 1123, 2006):

The Messengers sets out to find America’s next great inspirational speaker. From four casting calls in Dallas, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, six hundred and fifty people will be narrowed down to the top 20 speakers. The final pool will be narrowed down to 10 contestants. In each episode the final 10 contestants will be pushed outside of their comfort zone as they go on field trips to such places as the county morgue or a night out on the streets of L.A. without food or shelter. They must draw on these experiences to craft a 3-minute inspirational presentation. The winner of The Messengers will be awarded a book publishing deal and the chance to host their own television show.

[update 7/5/06] TLC’s Fan Site for The Messengers is live! And, we can see who the participants are: Daneea Badio, Cornelious ‘See’ Flowers, Kent Healy, Iman Mafi, Karen Michael, Floyd Nolan, Angelica Osborne, Robert Rutherford, Darryl Van Leer, Zahava “Z” Zaidoff.

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  1. Darren Sapp says:

    I know a lot of evangelicals have criticized this show, because it is supposedly looking for the next Joel Osteen, but what if it preaches the Gospel to thousands. I auditioned, because I knew I would have three minutes to share the Gospel with some folks from Hollywood. Turns out it was three producers, three of their camera crew and a local Dallas news crew. This show might have some other faiths expressing their view, but I think the Christian speakers will have their voice heard and it has the potential to be a good thing.


  2. zahava says:

    I am actually one of the ten finalists on this show. It was a really cool experience, I was the only jew on the show. there were mostly christians of different denominations and a muslim, and a budhist.

    For those who want religion, it is not religious based. But for those who are looking for faith and ways to have God appeal to the masses, it works perfectly.

    I am still in very close contact with all of my faithful friends from the show, and (not that io get risiduals or anything), but i would recoomend it very strongly….


  3. djchuang says:

    Darren, thanks for the comment. Glad you tried out and raised the flag on behalf of our Dallas Seminary. 🙂 (I’m an alum myself)

    Zahava, congratulations on being one of the finalists! That’s quite an accomplishment in and of itself, and I’m guessing you won’t be able to reveal how close you got to being The Finalist. 🙂 Would love to hear more about the show before it actually runs. Any other finalists want to say howdy?

  4. zahava says:

    check out

    under fan sites, click on the messengers…