*Five years after Katrina tried to devour the City of New Orleans, away from the ruins, bustling outside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center about 1500 hopefuls surrounded a second line brass band on February 27 to welcome Sunday Best.

BET’s original gospel singing competition hosted by the king of gospel, Kirk Franklin, searched for potential gospel recording artists in musical meccas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, where season three will premiere on Easter Sunday, April 4.

EUR was on the scene as people came from all over the Bible Belt to try-out, many of them emitting sounds homogenous to the Mississippi Delta Region. But my mission was to find local musicians who’d entered the contest to see how the infamously mean Hurricane affected their art.

Sunday Best will be judged by Grammy Award winning gospel artists Donnie McClurkin and duo Mary Mary. Yolanda Adams will step in to judge when Erica Campbell of Mary Mary goes on maternity leave.

Part 1 in a series, this video features native New Orleanian, Terrance Manuel, a former member of the Neville Brothers and Katrina survivor.

Stop by EUR for more from New Orleans, show updates and commentary. In the meantime, watch Mona Austin’s video report: