GOSPELflava.com continues its backstage coverage and updates of this great competition (be sure to catch the video interviews at the bottom of this page). Tour buses pulled up to a sold-out crowd at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on October 2, 2010. It was so exciting to see thousands driving and taking the train into the arena, all geared up for this night of inspiration. Outside the arena you could hear the cheers as people watched the Karaoke contest and the youth and young adults displaying their talent.
Backstage the energy was crazy as you could see and hear the choirs warming up, praying, and preparing their hearts for what was to come. With hosts CeCe Winans and Donald Lawrence and guest judges Israel Houghton and Tamela Mann joining Pastor Marvin Sapp on the panel, you instantly knew you were in for a great time!
From that point on, you were taken on a musical journey by some of the top choirs in the state of Georgia.
Tabernacle Baptist Church Choir received the Verizon V-Cast People's Choice Winner for their rendition of "I Know What Prayer Can Do". The judges praised their dynamic band, the blend of the choir, and how they got they took the crowd into praise. It took a minute for everyone to regroup as the choir broke once again into a serious praise.
The Large Choir category winner was Elizabeth Baptist Church Choir, who sang, "How Precious". This choir truly came with their A-game. From their wardrobe, stage presence, and vocal performance, it was clear they were in the running to take it home in their category. Their lead vocalist, who also is the minister of music, was praised for her rich alto tone. There was nothing novice about them. The future for this church choir is certainly bright as they showed their passion for the Gospel.
Atlanta's Overall Regional Winner and Best Small Choir (who will be representing Georgia at the finale) will be All Nations Life and Praise Church Choir who put their stamp on "Awesome God". Though they were considered a small choir, there was nothing small about their sound which filled the arena with sounds from heaven, and even brought some of the judges up to their feet.
If hearing those great choirs wasn't enough, we were also treated to some dynamic solo performances by the hosts and judges. These Gospel icons took the stage and sang their most loved hits. The most memorable of the night was the medley from Pastor Marvin Sapp. That strong man of God took the stage to sing a medley of "The Best in Me" and "Never Would Have Made It". There was not a dry eye in the place and the true presence of God filled the arena, as everyone turned to their neighbor, grabbed their hand, and said, "I Made It".
The beautiful and elegant eight-time Grammy Award winning CeCe Winans came shortly after to sing, "Hallelujah Praise", and "More" the latest single off her new greatest hits album, For Always: The Best of CeCe Winans.
Guest Judge Tamela Mann reminded the audience to "Step Aside", and Israel Houghton reminded us that God always makes things new and to continue, "Moving Forward".
The evening ended with the judges, host, and the entire audience forming one big choir that proclaimed it was time to get "Back to Eden" and "live on top of the world". The Atlanta event proved to be a great success and was filled with guests such as DeWayne Woods, Ted Winn, Delores, "Mom" Winans, David Mann, and others who came to take part in this event.
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