Love it or hate it, American Idol is one of the most popular shows in America. Artists from the Top 12 have gone on to be superstars in many genres, including Christian, Gospel, Top 40/Pop, and Country. Many of them either started in the church or ended up on the Gospel charts.
While each season has had Christians make the Top 12/13, so far, seasons 11, 8 and 6 have had the most.
Season 12 has nine out of ten faith based contestants.
Colton Dixon (Season 11)
We first saw Colton and his sister Schyler in 2011 when they auditioned for the show. Not making the Top 24, Schyler made a second attempt in 2012 and Colton was there for moral support. The judges insisted that he audition too and they both got the golden tickets to Hollywood. Schyler didn't make it to the end, but Colton went all the way.
While the show didn't focus on his faith, Colton's facebook left no doubt as to how strong it is. When he was warned by the show's producers that his "religious statements" could cost him the AI crown, he still didn't budge, saying that he would rather please God than please man.
Colton was voted off on April 26, 2012.
When Erika was a little girl, her mother encouraged her to join her sister in singing in the children's choir at church. By the time she was seven, her strong vocal talents landed her a spot singing solo with the adult choir. She lists one of her major musical influences as Kim Burrell.
Erika was voted off on March 22, 2012.
Heejun Han (Season 11)
The 22-year-old Korean-American nonprofit organizer from New York holds the distinction of being the first male contestant of East Asian descent to make it all the way to the Top 13. His personal twitter account announces his faith to the world by saying, "ALL FOR GOD ALL BY GOD" in the "about me" section.
Heejun made it to the top 9, being eliminated on March 29, 2012.
Jeremy Rosado (Season 11)
The 19-year-old receptionist at an infectious disease clinic from Florida was the first contestant voted off of Season 11. Rosado, who also serves as the Worship Leader at his church, LifeChanging International Ministry, didn't let that slow him down. He appeared the following Monday on Live With Kelly and performed "Gravity" by Shawn McDonald.
Jeremy was eliminated on March 8, 2012.
Joshua Ledet (Season 11)
When Jacob Lusk made the American Idol finals in season 10, he brought with him years of church choir experience and talent that brought the crowd and the judges to their feet. The spa concierge from Compton was a featured performer at the Spiritual Experience Celebration 2010 with gospel stars Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Ben Tankard.
In a stand-out Idol moment, Randy Jackson called Jacob's performance of "God Bless The Child" during Hollywood week the best in the show's history.
Didi Benami (Season 9)
Season 9 finalist Didi Benami was a waitress living in Los Angeles when she made it to the AI finals. The former student at Belmont University said that the death of her best friend, Rebecca Joy Lear, gave her inspiration to try out.
Didi was the third finalist to go home in Season 9.