3 New Christians on American Idol- Watch Tonight

American Idol Season 8′s Hollywood Week resumes tonight.  We continue our quest to find Christian music artists among the contestants.  Last week we highlighted Danny Gokey.  Today we add three more contestants,  Matt Giraud, Kristen McNamara and Kris Allen, to that list of Christian musicians competing for Season 8′s title.  Watch tonight and cheer them on.

Matt Giraud, 23, is the dueling piano player and singer/songwriter from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He grew up in Ypsilanti, MI where he played drums for his local church.  He and friend Gerry Mattei received minor success with his award in “DOWNBEAT” magazine for the song “First Impression”.   In 2006, Matt released a Christian R&B cd titled Mind, Body, Soul. CD Baby described it as.. “10 tracks that portray issues of the mind, music for the body, and a message for the soul.” The mp3 of the cd is available on CD Baby.  In 2003, he released his first Christian R&B cd titled “Perspective”.  This note was on CD Baby’s message board for that cd…

“My 12-year old nephew is now having peer pressure about what kind of music to listen to.  His parents are having a real struggle keeping him on the right path. When I heard Matt playing the piano in the hotel we began to talk.  He told me he is a Christian musician and played some of his songs for me.  I knew then I would buy a CD for my nephew.  Even if he doesn’t share it with his peers, the music with a message also has a hip beat he should enjoy.”    

Yep, Kris Allen, 23 is a singer/songwriter from Little Rock, Arkansas who is also a Business Major at the University of Central Arkansas.  Kris debuted his self released cd Brand New Shoes in 2007.  A self taught musician, Kris plays the guitar, piano, viola and ukulele.  Kris leads worship at New Life Church in Conway, AR and on campus with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries.  He has shared his musical gifts and his faith on mission trips to Spain, Morocco, Thailand, Burma, Mozambique and South Africa.


 Matt and Kris Allen were part of White Chocolate that performed the rapping, beatboxing version of “I Want You Back” during American Idol’s Season 8 Hollywood Week. 

The third new America Idol we discovered is Kristen Mcnamara, 23, a singer/songwriter who grew up on the top of a mountain in Northern California.  Kristen was the crying girl in Hollywood Week’s  Team Compromise.  She certainly displayed her willingness to turn the other cheek while being berated by the chick with red weave.  At 16, she landed a job singing for the San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants and then, at 17, she moved to Branson, MO to sing and dance two shows daily six days a week.  A year later in 2004, she moved to Nashville, TN to pursue a serious music career. She was a previous Star Search and Nashville Star contestant.

 In 2006, Kristen created an organization called “L.A.U.G.H.” (Love. All. Unconditionally. Giving Hope.)  According to the website for L.A.U.G.H. ..”Kristen grew up going to Church every Sunday, learning God’s love. Kristen has spent endless time with veterans, children, homeless, and many others in need of something simple, happiness. Kristen has been a counselor teaching children about Jesus Christ since she was 13 years of age. Learning and understanding religion can scare people at times, so she wanted take her faith in God and love all people through him.”

So now there are four Christian artists  competing on Season 8 of American Idol.  Tonight, these Christian artists have their best chance so far to show their talent as they perform individually before the final judging.  Watch them tonight!

If you know any of these guys to be Christian artists, please let me know by commenting below with some background:

  • Alexis Grace
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • 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
  • Rick Brady
  • Scott MacIntyre
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Tatiana Del Toro
  • Von Smith


  1. Hi, all! Thanks for the comment (and link to your site) on my blog, where I’m covering American idol contestants with ties to Christian music. ;)

    Joanne Brokaw


  2. Debbie says:

    I think that following the Christian artists on American Idol is a great idea. What fun. It will make watching the show even more enjoyable. Thanks.

  3. Michelle Smith says:

    Michael Castro is also a Christian. His Brother is Jason Castro. The Castro Family have been long time members at our Church. Jason has just joined the http://www.iamsecond.com campain. This is great Ministry. Just FYI..Thanks for the Info.


    Rockwall, TX.

  4. Chuck says:


    Thank you for reminding me of Michael Castro. He cetaintly embodies the values we are looking for in our quest to cover the full spectrum of Christian music. I am so sorry his journey ended last night. I know it ended several monthes ago for him.

    The “iamsecond” group you sent to me is really interesting. I had heard of it but I had not checked out their website. Richard Ellis, one of the believers featured on the home page, is close friends with my co-founder, Ian. He actually preached at Ian’s wedding.

    I hope we see more of Michael soon.

  5. This is great info!

  6. Anna says:

    it’s awesome to know that both matt and kris are christians. and michael castro, michael sarver, danny gokey. it’s good to know that there are so many christians in the top 36.

  7. Robin says:

    Scott M. is also a Christian. Heard so from a member of his church in Arizona.

  8. chuck says:

    Hy Robin, thankd for checking out our site. We live blog the performance shows and provide analysis and predictins htrougout the week.

    We featured Scott in a a llater article along with Mishavonna Henson and Michael Sarver.

    Keep watching and keep sending any info you have on believers in the Finals. We are think we will add Lil Rounds to that list.

  9. Maurina says:

    Michael Sarver is a christian as well (:

  10. chuck says:

    Maurina, welcome to one21music. I am thrilled you are digging through our archives. Thanks for the Michael Sarver shout out. We love Michael. He lives very near my hometown. I think he has more staying power than many others think. We identified Michael as a Christian music artist in the next AI post after this one. Check out my post on February 12th.

  11. Long Island observer says:

    Guess Didi Benami, robby Rosen and Elliott Yamin should be ignored since they are not Christian musicians, but they are…hush…Jewish musicians.

  12. chuck says:

    Please do not think that our focus on Christian musicians is in any way a moral judgement. Our entire site promotes Christian musicians making music both in the Christian music industry and in the mainstream music industry. I was not even watching American Idol when Elliot Yamin competed. I was a big fan of Didi Benami. Robbi Rosen I did not like so much but it had nothing to do with his heritage or religious orientation.

    If you read through our coverage of the past three seasons you will see that I cover everyone’s performance with my honest opinion about the performances.

    Thank you for checking out our site and thank you for caring enough to comment.


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