I confess that I started paying attention to Mandisa Hundley after I heard that she forgave Simon for his cutting comments on her weight. I thought to myself, "wow, what a great attitude. That's a Christian walking the walk."
After seeing her performance, I am fully convinced Mandisa Hundley has what it takes to win American Idol, save for the double standard that full-figured women have never truly gone the distance (the closest, I imagine, being Jennifer Hudson, who deserved that title more than Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias, and John Stevens, who lasted longer than she).
Mandisa Hundley was amazing. She knocked Never out of the ballpark, and the other girls just couldn't compare for sheer showmanship. Amazing, amazing. Go girl, rock it for Christ.
I am thrilled that Carrie Underwood took a chance to proclaim her faith with Jesus Take the Wheel, and that gamble has paid off: at six weeks, the song is the second longest-running #1 country single by a female artist in history, tied with Faith Hill's Breathe. If Jesus Takes the Wheel lasts three more weeks at the top, it'll be the longest-running #1 country single by a solo female artist in history (the record holder, FYI, is Connie Smith's Once a Day, which had an eight-week run at No. 1 in 1964-65).
Let's also not forget Ruben Studdard's I Need An Angel, the full-gospel sophomore release. Admittedly, this sold nowhere near his debut, Soulful, but it's all good because Ruben's roots are in gospel anyway, so it's wonderful that he also took the time to declare his faith with the release of that album.
Other Christian American Idol finalists weren't afraid of proclaiming their faith, including first season finalist RJ Helton, who released his own contemporary Christian album, and third season finalist George Huff, whose Miracles was nominated for a Grammy Award.