AND THE WINNER IS... CRYSTAL AIKIN IS CROWNED BET'S "SUNDAY BEST"
Network Brings in More Than 1.5 Million Votes in First-Ever Gospel Finale
NEW YORK � December 5, 2007 � The viewers have spoken! Crystal Aikin has been named BET's SUNDAY BEST! The 33-year-old Tacoma, Washington native beat out Shari Addison, 46, in the gospel reality competition during last night's LIVE season finale. Over a 10-week season, Aikin's bubbly personality and big voice captured the hearts of viewers�bringing in the larger percentage of the more than 1.5 million total votes. Along with the title, Aikin brings home a national recording contract with Zomba Gospel, a 2008 Toyota Camry and a $300,000 Tide "Loads of Hope" prize package for her community. The one-hour finale included special performances by platinum-selling gospel songstress Yolanda Adams and series' host, Kirk Franklin.
As an emergency room nurse, Crystal Aikin placed her career aside, entered the competition and followed her call to minister to the masses in song. Learning about the SUNDAY BEST competition from a stranger who sought her out after hearing her sing more than eight years ago, Crystal used her mother's frequent flyer miles and traveled to the Los Angeles auditions for a mere $2.50. From the beginning, Aikin immediately captured the attention of all with her powerhouse voice. Belting out touching and hand-clapping selections each week, Aikin wowed the judges and America alike.
"This journey has been busy, exhausting, fun, and anticipatory," said Aikin. "It's a blessed and privileged opportunity to be the SUNDAY BEST winner and to God be all the glory."
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 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business 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 Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution.