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buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Best's Leandria Johnson Asks for Prayers

By Mona Austin

Last February Leandria Johnson auditioned for BET's Sunday Best and emerged as the season 3 winner.  Her story alone captured viewers' attention (she'd lost her home and auditioned in New Orleans wearing jeans and flip flops) and her undeniably gifted voice gained fans who have been anticipating her first professional CD. 

Until she performed on Celebration of Gospel last December and at a King Day event in Atlanta this January, the buzz about Johnson had fizzled. 

Recently, a video was posted on You Tube that offers insight as to why we have not seen nor heard much from the Florida-bred singer. 

In the clip Johnson testifies at New Life Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York  that after winning Sunday Best she she didn't want any parts of this (apparently referring to a career in entertainment.)

"Pray that my mind stays focused on Jesus. . . Even after Sunday Best I found myself going back to where I had came from. . .I didn't think I'd minister again," she confessed.

been holding this in for a long time and I didn't know how to express myself," Johnson continued
with tears streaming down her face, " I'm tired of turning my back on God. . .That's why I ask for your prayers.  Please keep me in prayer. . ."

As several women begin to encircle Johnson  and pray, another unidentified woman takes the microphone and prophesies:

"The enemy is after our musicians. . .and the enemy knows how to send people that just wanna get in to the fame and into the lime light and they'll let you do what and say what you want.  But thank God for some leaders that don't mind telling you the truth and when it's all sad and done. . .we're going to pray until something happens."

Fortunately, Leandria Johnson is back on track as she is in the process of recording her first album.

Hear Leandria Johnson prayer request here:

In this clip Leandria Johnson whistles her praise. 

Watch Leandria Johnson perform and usher in praise and worship during an engagement in Toronto, CA.


Auditions for Season 4 of BET'S Sunday Best are underway.
Hosted by gospel legend Kirk Franklin, this season welcomes back judges Pastor Donnie McClurkin and award-winning siblings Erica and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary.
  Thousands of hopefuls showed up in Dallas where auditions kicked off February 19. Next, hopefuls in Los Angeles will have their chance to shine at West Angeles Cathedral on March 5.  Auditions conclude in Atlanta on March 12.  SUNDAY BEST season four auditions will be open to contestants age 18 and older who have government issued forms of identification.  Doors to the venue will open at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 1:00 p.m.

SUNDAY BEST season four will tape the stage portion of the show in Atlanta.

LOS ANGELESWhen: March 5, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where:  West Angeles Cathedral
  3600 Crenshaw Blvd.
  Los Angeles, CA 90016

For more information  go to www.bet.com/sundaybest or call 1-855-879-5978, Ext. 101!

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83rd Annual Academy Awards Live Blog

By Mona Austin

Tonight is the biggest night in Hollywood and we want to take you there!  I'll be blogging throughout the show, so join me for and up-to-the-minute list of Academy Award winners and highlights.

Hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway opened the 83rd Academy Awards with a short monologue following their spoofs of the Best Movie nominations.  Hathaway joked about not being nominated. "Used to be, you got naked, you get nominated!" she said.

8:42 - "Alice In Wonderland" wins first award of the evening for Best Art Direction, presented by Tom Hanks. He mentioned "Gone With the Wind" won the first Academy. 

For achievement in Cinematography.. .Tom Hanks again presented the prize in this category. "Inception" wins!

8: 52 Best Supporting Actress Award was presented by the dapper, elder Kirk Douglas.  He says Anne Hathaway is gorgeous and asks where were you when I was making pictures.This is a tight category.  The suspense is prolonged with a little playful exchange with the audience and Mr.s Douglas.  Waiting and waiting. . . .and the winner is. . .Melissa Leo for "The Fighter."  "Thank you Academy because it's about selling motion pictures and selling the work, " she said in her acceptance speech.

9:03 Best Animated Short Film goes to "The Lost Thing." 

9:05 Best Animated Feature and the Oscar goes to "Toy Story 3."

9:14 The Social Network get it's first Oscar for best Adapted Screenplay. The movie was an adaptation of a book.

9:18 Best Original Screenplay won the Academy Awards for "The King's Speech."  A white haired David Seidler said, I believe I am the oldest person to win this award.,I hope this record is broken quickly and often."

9:24  Now Anne Hathaway is performing a song.  She's changed into a tux, hair pulled back in a ponytail and is wearing a dazzling pair of pumps.  Her co-host dressed as Marilyn Monroe, jokes that he got a text from Charlie Sheen.

9:27 Best Foreign Language Film, presented by Academy Award winner Helen Mirern and and the winner is "In A Better World" from Denmark.

9:32 Reese Witherspoon presented Best Supporting Actor.  Christian Bale won for "The Fighter." "Bloody hell, wow!" He said he wasn't going to drop the "f bomb" like Melissa did, making a reference to the win.

9:39 Anne returns in a black dress with white accents, looking simply gorgeous.  She was far more beautiful in the black that the white dress she was wearing in the beginning.  They might have been going for thtat
Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.  presented for Best Original Score.  Yes, strike up the orchestra! Put your hands together for "The Socail Network" for win number 2 of the evening.

9:47 Scarlet Johansson and Matthew McConaghy presented the award for Best Sound Mixing, which was won by "Inception."  Not sure if they are playing the :get off the stage music or because the category deal with sound it's background music?

9:50 The Oscar for Achievement in Sound editing . . .a back-to-back win for "Inception."

9: 54 Marisa Tomei acknowledged winners of the Scientific and Technical awards.  Eleven awards were given out earlier this month.

Cate Blanchett presented the award for Achievement in Make Up.  She's wearing a pale lavendar dress that looks like a work of art.  "The Wolfman" took home the prize.
"Alice in Wonderland" snags it's third Academy Award for Best Costume Design!

10:03  Randy Newman is performing "We Belong Together" from"Toy Story." 
"I See the Light" from "Tango" is next up.

10:12 Best Documentary Short goes to "Strangers No More." Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon accepted.

Best Live Action Short Film "God of Love." Bushy haired Luke Matheny rushed through his speech.

10:19 Oprah Winfrey presented the Oscar for outstanding Documentary Feature, which was won by "Inside Job."  AWKWARD, accepting the award, Charles (sorry I didn't get the last name) said something about thinking it was wrong that no one went to jail for financial fraud.  Did he just call out someone?  I must be missing something. . .

10:27 Eight-time Oscar host Billy Crystal is now on the stage giving a tribute to Bob Hope as host of the Oscars.  Hope hosted 18 times. Through he magic of cinema and special effects, the late Bob Hope "introduced" the presenters for achievement in Visual Effects, Robert Downy Junior and Jude Law. For the fourth time this evening, the Oscar goes to "Inception."

Side bar: Anne Hathaway seemed relieved that Crystal is on the stage, almost as if she'd rather pass off hosting duties to him.  She's been trying to carry the entire show all evening.  The dual host concept is flopping big time.

10:35 For Best Film Editing, again I say, the Academy Award goes to "The Social Network."

1041: The hosts introduce the final 2 song nominations.  The performers were introduced by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, who was wearing a ravishing red gown. Anne Hathaway also is in her 4th wardrobe change, a fitted blood red dress. I think she looks her best in this gown and color.

Randy Newman win the golden statue for "We Belong Together." He said in his speech, "My percentages aren't great I've been nominated 20 times this is the second time."

10:52 Now, the in memoriam segment.  Celine Dione is performing  the Charlie Chapman classic "Smile" as the Academy acknowledges those in showbiz who passed away  last year.

10:55 Halle Berry did a brief tribute to the late Lena Horne.  Horne, and African American actress and singer who passed away in 2010, was a barrier breaker who Berry said paved the way  "with guts, grace and beauty Lena Horne survived the  stormy weather.")

11:01 Hilary Swank introduced the first female director to win an Academy award for Best Director last year,  Katherine Bigelow.  Bigelow presented the Best Director honor, which goes to . . . "The King's Speech."

11:11 Jeff Bridges presented the honor for Best Actress.  Expectant mother Natalie Portman wins for her performance in "Black Swan."

11:19  Last year's Best actress winner Sandra Bullock presented the Best Actor honor.   The charming Colin Firth wins for "The King's Speech."  After giving gratitude to peers, cast, etc, Firth said, " Now if you'll excuse me I have some impulses I must take care of back stage,"  meaning he wanted to express his enthusiasm by dancing, but not in front of everyone.

11:31 Steven Spielberg has the envelope for THE most thrilling of wins. . .movie of the year.  There are 10 movies nominated in this category.  A very dramatic montage is rolling all of them:  Black Swan
The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are Alright, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter's Bone. . .drum roll. .. and the Oscar for Best Picture goes to. . ."The King's Speech." The Kings Speech, the story of King George the 6th, won four of 12 nominations.  Congratulations to all of the winners!

11:39 The fifth grade class of New York's PS 22 (over 28 million views on You Tube!) are now performing the finale with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."  All of the 2011 Oscar winners came back to the stage and raise their trophies for a first-time ending.

Thirty nine awards were given out tonight.

11:41 After about 3 hours and fifteen minutes, it's a wrap.
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