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American Idol Finalists Who are Christian

Those AI'ers who got their starts in Christian Music


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 Contestants

Amber Holcolmb
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Season 12 had nine out of ten faith based contestants.

Colton Dixon (Season 11)

Colton Dixon
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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.

Erika Van Pelt (Season 11)

Erika Van Pelt
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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)

Heejun Han
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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)

Jeremy Rosado
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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 lists Francesca Battistelli, Kirk Franklin and Israel Houghton as his favorite artists.

Jeremy was eliminated on March 8, 2012.

Joshua Ledet (Season 11)

Joshua Ledet
Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Joshua Ledet comes from a strong church background. The son of a pastor, he sings every week at the House of Prayer Holiness Church in his hometown of Westlake, Louisiana with his seven siblings. Josh and his brother Jason write most of the songs they sing.

Jacob Lusk (Season 10)

Jacob Lusk
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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)

Didi Benami
Michael Buckner / Getty Images

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.

Lacey Brown (Season 9)

Lacey Brown
Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Lacey Brown was the first finalist to go home in season nine, getting voted off of the show on March 17. The daughter of the co-pastors of Victory Church in Amarillo, Texas, Lacey worked with the college youth at the church before trying out for AI for the second time. She made it to Hollywood week in Season 8, but did not make the cut to the final 12.


Tim Urban (Season 9)

Tim Urban
Michael Buckner / Getty Images
When Tim Urban auditioned for American Idol in 2009, he was no stranger to the stage, having been performing around Dallas with his band at various churches and events. The member of Actors, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) was supported online by the blog "Vote for the Worst," but that wasn't enough to keep him from going home on April 21st.


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