American Idol Comes To The One 21

Yes,  we at will cover American Idol’s Season 8.  However, we will take a little different slant.  We will identify and focus on American Idol contestants of faith.  While American Idol’s Hollywood theater of torture airs next week, we will research the candidates to find those who profess their faith in Christ and then we will follow their progress throughout Season 8.

The Season 8 audtition shows ended last night and they were the usual cornucopia of train wrecks and tear-jerkers, spiced with some talent and humor.  American Idol is a decidely secular endeavor.  It feels that the judges punish contestants who choose to demonstrate their faith through their song selections.  On the surface, Idol  stifles creativity and undervalues sensitivity, two qualities of the great music we try to promote at One21music.

So why would One21music jump into covering the plastic, secular process we will see in American Idol’s Season 8?  Is there anything less underground, less Post Modern, less organically Christian than American Idol?  There are really three reasons Idol matters to us at One21music and why maybe you should give it a chance:

  • American Idol is a fascinating view into the process of developing music stars.
  • American Idol is television the entire family can enjoy together.
  • There have been a number of Idol contestants who are Christian music artists.

We live in Austin, Texas; a city teeming with talented musicians.  Many of these music artists appear to be much more talented than most pop music faves such as Britney Spears,  J-Lo or Kenny Chesney.  If superior talent is not enough, then what does it take for America to embrace your music?  I think American Idol offers some insight into that process.  In Idol’s Season 7 we saw interesting talents like Brooke White and Jason Castro wither under the pressure of unrelenting, high stakes performing.  We saw Syesha Mercado’s unwavering will and self confidence enable her to survive other, more heralded talents.  We saw the mature musical diversity of David Cook prevail over the powerful singing talent that was David Archuleta.  American Idol is not about who gets to sing that horrible song to close the season.  Idol is about watching these talented musicians endure, mature and grow through the Idol’s condensed process for grooming a music pop star.  Okay, dog?

I was a late comer to American Idol.  Quite frankly, I was a music snob who looked down my nose at the show until I saw Jennifer Hudson’s crushing performance in Dreamgirls.  Knowing that her talent did not win motivated me to investigate this curious show.  Before then, I joked that all of my friends who encouraged me to watch Idol were the parents of pre-teen girls.  In the middle of Idol’s Season Six a friend, whose music tastes I highly respect, and father of four said to me, “American Idol is one of the only television shows my 3 year-old,12 year old and I can enjoy together as a family.  You know how families used to sit together and watch television as a family?”  It is true.  American Idol is understandable and entertaining to very young kids and interesting and enjoyable to adults.

Over the last two years, we have seen the Top 12 Finalists include no less than seven music artists who openly profess their faith.  Phill Stacey, Lakisha Jones and Chris Sligh have all  recorded Christian/Gospel music.  Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks openly express their faith.  We are waiting to hear from Jason Castro and Chikezie from Season 7 .

Which brings us to American Idol Season 8 and One21music.  We intend to highlight the Christian music artists competing and we need your help.  Fox and 19 TV do not provide much information about the contestants going to Hollywood and we expect their biographical data for the 36 finalists to be sketchy regarding their faith.

Through researching a number of blogs I have identified some of the contestants we should consider favorites:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Mishavonna Henson

Here is how you can help.   If you know any of these Idol contestants to be professing believers, please send me a comment to let me know.  Whatever you can tell me about them will be greatly appreciated.  Hopefuly ths list will contain a fair number of the contestants moving to the audience voting rounds.  Once we know the true list we will adjust and research the others.

Join me when the program goes live on February 17th and we will cheer on these Christian music artists together.

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