Oprah Winfrey Announces 'Your OWN Show' Contestants

PHOTO: Zach Anner
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For those wondering who can replace Oprah Winfrey, she's got an answer. Ten answers, actually.

Today, the media mogul who's launching the Oprah Winfrey Network on Jan. 1, 2011, announced the 10 contestants competing on "Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star."

The finalists were chosen from close to 10,000 online audition videos and thousands more hopefuls at open casting calls, according to the Oprah Winfrey Network. More than 143 million votes were submitted online.

The winner will get a show airing on Winfrey's cable channel. Judges will include Winfrey's closest colleagues, such as Dr. Phil McGraw and Gayle King. Famed reality TV creator Mark Burnett serves as producer.

"Your OWN Show" came under fire earlier this year after allegations that Winfrey had rigged voting for the "American Idol"-style series. It turned out spam blogs were to blame for skewed votes in the competition between disabled contestant Zach Anner and schoolteacher Phyllis Tucker-Wicks.

Below, take a look at the 10 contestants who made the cut and check out one of the contest's most popular audition videos.

Zach Anner, of Austin, Texas, a globe-trotter in a wheelchair who wants to host a show for people who never thought they were physically capable of traveling.

Elizabeth Espinosa, a TV news reporter from Los Angeles who wants to share what she's learned in helping raise a younger brother who has learning disabilities.

Aunt Flora, of Cincinnati, who specializes in Southern cuisine.

Leigh Koechner, a Valley Village, Calif., a mother of four and the wife of actor David Koechner who wants to host a talk show.

Kristina Kuzmic-Crocco, of Alhambra, Calif., who wants to demonstrate on her food show that "cooking doesn't have to be perfect as long as it's fun, easy and delicious."

Ryan O'Connor, of West Hollywood, Calif., who says he wants to be the country's gay best friend. "If a variety show and a traditional talk show had a baby, that'd be my show," he said.

Tony Roach, an Abilene, Texas, minister who dropped out of high school to live on the streets before getting his doctoral degree in divinity.

Terey Summers, a comedic motivational speaker for youth from Phoenix.

Alicia Taylor, of Las Vegas, who started a mortgage company and says, "People need a practical and fun show about all things financial."

Eric Warren, an expert in the kitchen from Lawndale, Calif., who has dropped 62 pounds and wants to host a cooking show that has America losing weight along with him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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