Tonight the Christian alumni of American Idol will have their say before the biggest night of the year for Christian music.
The Gospel Music Channel is broadcasting “From Idol to Inspiration” tonight at 7 p.m. EDT before its telecast of the 40th Annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards at 8 p.m.
The show features Stacey and Mandisa along with rocker Chris Sligh and songstress Melinda Doolittle. The in-laws of current Idol finalist Danny Gokey are also interviewed speaking about Gokey’s faith and his relationship with his late wife Sophia.
Having watched a media preview of the show, it’s tastefully done and also features commentary by two very secular bloggers who cover the show in Brian Mansfield of USA Today and Gil Kaufman of MTV.
“(Christians are) naturals for the show,” Kaufman said. “They know how to sing, know how to be in front of an audience and they’ve spent their whole lives really preparing for the show.”
Doolittle, who finished third on Idol in 2007, agreed with the other profiled contestants that her faith remains the driving force behind her music.
“I’m a Christian, that’s who I am,” she said. “I’m a musician, that’s who I am. Those two things go hand in hand.”
The former Idol contestants are also well-represented among the Dove nominees, including Sligh for Song of the Year with “Empty Me” and for New Artist of the Year. Mandisa is up for Female Vocalist of the Year. Doolittle is one of the many nominees in the Special Event Album category for her work on “Billy: The Early Years Official Motion Picture” soundtrack.
The nominee list is topped by familiar names to Christian music fans. Chris Tomlin, who won Artist of the Year in ’06 and ’07, leads the way with seven nominations. Earning five nominations each are three-time defending Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant, Francesca Battistelli and Casting Crowns.