Singers, dancers, jugglers, you name it will be ready to strut their stuff for the judges at the 24th annual World Championships of Performing Arts®, set to take center stage July 24 – August 2, 2020 in Anaheim, California. This international meet is often cited as the official “Talent Olympics” for aspiring performers and entertainers, and the only event of its kind held annually in the “Hollywood area,” entertainment capital of the world.
Selections for official contestants will be held in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. “Contestants from over 60 countries are expected to participate,” says Griff O’Neil, competition CEO and a former executive of the Miss Universe Pageant, “vying for ‘the gold’ PLUS prizes, cash and a total of half a million dollars in scholarships. Thousands of people around the world will apply to participate in 2020.”
A popular highlight of the festivities is the spectacular Opening Ceremony featuring a colorful Parade of Nations at DISNEYLAND! The much-anticipated, priceless Worldstars® Boot Camp is an unmatched phenomenon of educational seminars and workshops by industry experts!
The exciting finals will be a live global webcast staged in the beautiful Hyatt Regency on Friday evening, July 31, 2020.
Because of its stellar reputation in attracting achieving talent, esteemed VIP and celebrity entertainment industry greats from Hollywood, Nashville and New York have served as judges and been honored with induction into the Performing Arts Hall of Fame® at this prestigious global competition.
Previous honorees include:
ANN-MARGRET – two-time Academy Award nominee, Emmy winner, five Golden Globes, Grammy nominee
JACLYN SMITH – star of Charlie's Angels
JUSTIN CHAMBERS – star of Grey's Anatomy
LINDA GRAY – star of Dallas
LIZA MINNELLI – three Tony Awards, an Oscar, Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards
DOLLY PARTON – four-time Grammy Award winner
DIONNE WARWICK - multi-Grammy artist
MICHAEL BOLTON – multi-Grammy singer and songwriter
With shows like The Voice and So You Think You Can Dance vying for face time on TV, it’s no wonder that there’s such a proliferation of talent looking for a home. The talent shows score some of the biggest audience ratings and their renewed popularity has made the World Championships more relevant than ever.
To help process the talent, the veteran entertainment producer has recruited over 75 Scouts and National Directors who are currently scouring the globe for potential talent.
“This is the only truly Olympic-style talent competition ever created,” adds O’Neil. “We’ve been planting seeds for the past twenty-three years and are now ready to really show off our spectrum of talent, in both junior and adult divisions.”
There are six categories of competition: dancing, singing, modeling, acting, instrumental and variety arts. Each “act” is allowed one minute to showcase their skills. Over a hundred judges from the entertainment industry will be involved before the main prizes are awarded – “gold” medals, official World Champion trophies and plaques, recording contracts, and a total of half million dollars in scholarships. And the top prizes of all, the coveted titles “Junior and Senior Grand Champion Performers of the World!”
However, every contestant is a “Worldstar winner”… the networking opportunities are inestimable, the competition experience is beyond belief, accurate information about the industry is obtained through invaluable educational seminars, and the friendships made with talent throughout the world are priceless!
Previous judges have included:
Mehcad Brooks (Hollywood) - Brooks starred on Alan Ball’s HBO hit TV series True Blood. He is a SAG ensemble award winner and Image Award nominee for his performance as Alfre Woodard’s son on ABC’s smash series Desperate Housewives and currently stars in CW’s Supergirl.
John Pardee and Joey Murphy (Hollywood) – These partners, in addition to their careers as successful feature film screenwriters, are in their 20th year as writers/producers of numerous television series – most notably, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Cybill and ABC Television’s mega-hit, Desperate Housewives.
Anita Mann (Hollywood) – With six Emmy nominations, two Emmy Awards and honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Anita is one of America’s top choreographers and live show producers. Her countless credits include The Academy Awards, The Golden Globe Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, Miss America Pageant, The People’s Choice Awards, The Emmy’s.
Steven Dorff (Hollywood and Nashville) – One of the world’s most successful music composers. NSAI Songwriter of the Year, 40 BMI and 11 Billboard #1 awards, three-time Grammy nominee, Emmy nominee for five television compositions, nine #1 film songs and 15 Top 10 hits. His many songs have been sung by some of the greatest artists of our time: Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, George Strait, Vanessa Williams and countless others. He currently has two projects making their way to Broadway.
ALESSIA BOCCUTO, a singer from Italy was crowned the 2019 Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World. From Austria, vocalist KARINA BENALCAZAR captured the 2019 Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World title.
Special guest performers at the final night gala were STEFAN BENZ – 2018 Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World from South Africa who signed with Hit Music Partners, Upscale Records and the world renowned Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and a multimedalist at the 2010 WCOPA from Malaysia CHERYL K who recently sang the theme song Money on the soundtrack in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians.
After all is said and done, talent competitions are nothing new. Everyone from Frank Sinatra to Patsy Cline to Britney Spears has been discovered on talent contests.
Talent contest judges initially rejected some well-known stars, like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Drew Carey.
The genre’s been around on radio and later on TV for nearly 70 years, but the World Championships of Performing Arts® is by far the biggest in scale and scope and seeks to turn the international corridor between a country’s artists and dreamers – and Hollywood’s “land of dreams” – into a two-way street as a launchpad for opportunity, recognition and reward.
Former executive with the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants televised on CBS and fully-sponsored by Procter & Gamble. International event producer for over thirty-five years. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Worldstars® International Inc. and the World Championships of Performing Arts®. Originator of the Performing Arts Hall of Fame®, and International Worldstars® Association. Creator of Destination Hollywood®, Hollywood Bound®, and The Next Worldstar®.
President and Producer of the World Championships of Performing Arts®. Executive producer of national and international events for stage and television the past twenty (20) years; manager of an award-winning vocal group; worked on award-winning music video production; Special Events Director for non-profit organizations; and producer of telethons
Glenn (Scott) Murphy
Senior Vice President in charge of the WCOPA International Selection Committee which selects talent from around the World in countries without a formal selection process and in charge of the USA Selection Committee which select talent within the host country. He has produced, judged and hosted events for the past 20 plus years..
Former Vice President of Entertainment of Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Atlantic City). Founder and President of his own management/production company with clients such as Ann-Margret, Paul Anka, Burt Reynolds, Linda Gray. Executive Producer of numerous television movies, miniseries, and series. A producer of the first major sports show from Macau satellited into Mainland China on CCTV. He also did a series of shows on Shanghai Media Group (SMG) Television.
WCOPA International Field Representative. President/CEO of NoHo Communications Group, Inc., an arts marketing firm which has consulted with national arts service organizations and hundreds of theaters and dance companies in New York and Los Angeles, and is now providing arts consulting services in China. She has produced three Off Broadway plays which ran for more than three years and toured to other cities.
Senior Vice President New Business Development for WCOPA. International consultant for film and TV production companies for destinations worldwide. Ms. Garland has traveled the world working with governments to promote filming and TV productions for their specific destination. Producer of highly-praised documentaries. Served on the Board of Directors for Caribbean Tourism Authority and several charitable organizations.
Chief Financial Officer of Worldstars® and World Championships of Performing Arts®. President of Lorimer & Zimmerman LLC which provides services such as Business Management, Consulting - Management, Consulting - Payroll Services, Small Business Accounting, Tax - Business & Occupation, Tax - Consulting, Tax - Corporate, Tax - Estate & Trust, Tax - Individual, Tax - LLC & LLP, Trusts - Accounting.