Aus­ti­nite tops in oprAh con­test

Austin American-Statesman - - WEDNESDAYBRIEFING - — Dale Roe

With 9,161,042 votes, Aus­ti­nite Zach An­ner is the top vote-get­ter in Oprah Win­frey’s on­line con­test to find a new show and host on OWN (the Oprah Win­frey Net­work). The tally is sub­ject to of­fi­cial ver­i­fi­ca­tion, but An­ner is nearly 1 mil­lion votes ahead of his near­est com­peti­tor, Dr. Phyl­lis, a teacher from Tampa, Fla.

An­ner, the self-pro­claimed “wheelchair­bound lady mag­net” with cere­bral palsy, charmed In­ter­net vot­ers with his hu­mor­ous, self-dep­re­cat­ing sub­mis­sion for a travel show. A bit of con­tro­versy fol­lowed when Dr. Phyl­lis briefly (and sud­denly) over­took An­ner in the tally, spark­ing sus­pi­cions of vot­ing shenani­gans.

The win, if con­firmed, does not guar­an­tee An­ner a show, but any place­ment in the top five sends him to Los An­ge­les for the next round of au­di­tions, in which he will com­pete for one of 10 slots in a re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion that will de­cide the win­ner.

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