"Wheelchair bound lady-magnet" Zach's audition for OWN's Your OWN Show received 9 million contested votes online, winning him a chance to compete in a cutthroat competition where people and their TV dreams are voted off our island. Here's what happened.
So - 15,000 people auditioned, 10 were chosen as finalists by online voters (143 million of them) and producers. Now they're competing every week to win their own show, $100,000 and a Chevrolet. Carson Kressley and Nancy O'Dell host and judge, with guest judges/mentors. One person gets voted off each episode. This week was Episode 3.
During the voting there were allegations that Oprah didn't want Zach to win, and took steps to sabotage him by skewing votes to an African-American Dr. Phyllis. Worse, that people voted for Zach like you'd vote for the goth girl for Homecoming Queen (if you were in a John Hughes film). In one of the many creeptastic videos on the subject, this guy believes both of those things:
Fox News was on it. OWN investigated. Producer Mark Burnett asked if we couldn't please talk about something else at TCA. Zach did the talk show rounds. The San Francisco Chronicle put the rumors and votes squarely at the door of 4Chan, and racism. Does he deserve to have his own show, or was this a hivemind superprank? Or could it be both? What we've seen so far:
EPISODE ONE: Tutu mother had to go. Don't wear tutus ladies.
EPISODE TWO: Vera Wang looked a little in shock at her surroundings in shilltastic Episode 2. And whoops! you're watching a godforsaken makeover show filmed at Kohl's. But remember you saw those trademark Burnett flames, like a Good Housekeeping Seal of high stakes TV, and this little number goes to 11 Here one desperate soul makes Wang defend her unholy alliance while wearing a fantastic necklace.
EPISODE THREE: Arsenio Hall said HE AND EDDIE MURPHY HAVE BEEN MEETING ABOUT COMING TO AMERICA TWO!! And buh-bye to a visibly twitching Aunt Flora, who, well, she uses Pynchon's UBI in her collard "cobbler" so I was glad to see her go. Some nice villains are emerging, a local news reporter and Ryan the comedian busily undermining another beloved internet figure, Dr. Tony Roach. Putting a pretty girl in a pretty dress in front of cameras is a win move, jackhole! Other contenders are 47-year-old whats her name and curly headed girl.
And Zach? He called his stint trying to round up man on the street interviews the "most pathetic and disheartening hour of his life" (dude try it in Union Square), but ended up winning with tech meets romance questions. As a follow up he rolled onstage with a Conan-esque desk attached to his wheelchair. I'm thinking people just love him. Sure he's fallen in with the wrong crowd. But check out this kid.
Your OWN Show airs on Fridays at 9 PM on OWN