American Idol: Easy to be a Christian Contestant? Alums Debate!

Clark Beckham American Idol 14 Finale
photo credit: FOX

Clark Beckham says being a Christian on American Idol was easy. Other alums disagree

American Idol 14 runner-up Clark Beckham asks “Is American Idol tough on Christians?” in a new Instagram post. He says, no not at all. But the comments alongside the clip are rather eye opening!

Clark competed on American Idol in 2015 where he shared openly about his faith. The singer is still critiquing American Idol episodes on his Youtube channel, and notes there are a lot of Christian contestants this year. He gets asked often by Christian hopefuls if it’s tough, and he answers, “No!” The show encouraged him to share his faith. “They’ll put Worship Leader down,” he says, “They’ll go to your church and do b-roll and show your pastor. I have never ever thought Idol was tough against Christians.”

America’s Got Talent producers discouraged Clark from discussing his faith

However, when Clark auditioned for America’s Got Talent, the reaction was completely different. “I auditioned…and strait up they asked me ‘where’d you get your experience from?’.” Clark answered “church and coffee shops.” At that point, the producers stopped filming and said, “Let’s do that again. Let’s leave church out. We don’t want to freak anyone out.” He swears that quote is verbatim.

In the comments alongside the video, the comments are quite lively, included thoughts from several singing show alums.

Christian Guardino who competed on both Idol and AGT wrote, “Yeah I got to sing a gospel song and I was super happy I got to do so.”

“Everything I said about my faith and testimony was cut”

However Franklin Boone, Season 18 Top 20 contestant revealed, “Respectfully, I disagree.. but that just shows our seasons played out differently.. and we’re handled differently. Everything I said about my faith and testimony was cut.. and I was also given..veiled, yet obvious feedback and advice at multiples points, from people I will not name.. and witnessed it happen to other contestants who were open about their Christian faith and/or let it steer their song selections. I’m not mad about that, I kind of expected it. I just wish I had spoken up more so it would have been harder to omit.”

A The Voice alum didn’t go to Hollywood after refusing to be Vaxxed

Remember Joanna Serenko from The Voice season 18? She competed on Team Nick Jonas on the season that went completely virtual in 2020 after Covid hit. Later, she auditioned for American Idol, but didn’t go through with it because of the vaccine requirement. “After I got the golden ticket, idol told me I could not come back because I don’t have/don’t anticipate getting the vax for many reasons, religion being one of them. so, definitely not my experience, but happy with that that wasn’t yours.”

She considered the vax mandate religious discrimination? I don’t believe any Christian religion forbids adherdants not get vaxxed? She gets into a lengthy discussion in comments with an MD. She’s studying to be a nurse and considers herself an authority, “I also had/have natural immunity, which has been proven to be equally as protective as two doses of the vaccine.” The MD took issue with that notion.

Season 4 finalist Constantine Maroulis writes: “So many Christian artists have had huge success after American Idol… Danny [Gokey] Colton [Dixon], Mandisa… even Daughtry has some crossover appeal with songs like Heavy is the Crown and definitely a couple off his first record…” He makes a good point. American Idol has launched several careers in Christian and Gospel music.

On the other hand…Carly Smithson says NOT being Christian was hard on her season.

Season 7 finalist Carly Smithson writes, “It was hard not being a Christian for me on Idol.” I wish she had expounded on that.

Current contestant Mikenley Brown writes, “It was great for me! We had one night where we worshiped together in hollywood for HOURS! it was so great! A lot of amazing people this season!”

Another season 21 contestant, Sarah Snyder, who hasn’t appeared on air yet wrote, “Yes! They never strayed me away from mentioning my faith, my job (Worship Director at a church) or anything like that! And there are a ton of Christians on this season, I wasn’t expecting it but it was a super sweet surprise.”

A singer named Sam Mark has an interesting perspective, considering reports that say anti-semitism is on the rise, “Hi Clark, I went to one of your shows and have the utmost respect for you. You’re one of my vocal inspirations for sure. Having said that, can we please drop this idea that being Christian is so hard. Try being Jewish for a day. Have you ever gotten death threats or threats of physical violence or ACTUAL physical violence because of your religion like I and so many other Jewish people have?”

About mj santilli 34980 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!