A Texas man with cerebral palsy is one step closer to getting his own television show on Oprah Winfrey’s new network.
Zach Anner, who became an Internet sensation last June when his online submission to Winfrey’s “Your OWN Show” competition went viral, will appear on a reality show premiering Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Network, a cable channel launching this month. The winner of the reality show will be awarded his or her own show on Winfrey’s network.
In his audition video, Anner described himself as a person with “the sexiest of the palsies” and said he wanted to create a travel show “for people who never thought they could travel.” His pitch attracted attention from celebrities like singer John Mayer and yielded more than 9 million votes from the public.
Starting Friday, Anner will compete against nine other would-be hosts on “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search For The Next TV Star.” In each episode of the hour-long series, contestants will be put to the test producing television segments and a pilot show with help from mentors like Dr. Phil and Suze Orman, who will also serve as judges.
In an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show last week to promote the new program, Winfrey asked Anner, who uses a wheelchair, if he had the stamina for a travel show.
“Yeah I’ve got the stamina, this is a dream come true. Basically I’m sitting down all day. This doesn’t take a lot of energy,” he told her with a smile. “It’s all about attitude because I know that things are going to go wrong and I’m really excited to lose all my luggage.”
Anner and the other nine contestants were chosen from more than 15,000 people who submitted online auditions or attended casting calls across the country last summer.