Worship on American Idol?

Okay… I am constantly shocked by TV, but last night was a totally different kind of surprise. If you saw it, you were probably as surprised as me. American Idol opened up their show last night (Thursday) with the “Top 8” singing the worship song, Shout to the Lord.

Yes… the first words sung on American Idol last night were, “My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like you.”

Check it out! (if you are receiving this in an email, click here to see it)



Yes… last week (with Dolly Parton) we heard them sing about Jesus in a couple of songs. I was a little suprised then. But wow… two weeks in a row? And Shout to the Lord? Wow.  (Did I mention, “Wow!”)

But then I discoverd something interesting on the internet this morning. This was the SECOND time they sang this song.


Yeah… I missed the first time also. For the rest of you who have TIVO like me, when we watched Idol Gives Back, your recording probably ended without hearing the closing number. But if you go on YouTube today you can view the closing number of Idol Gives Back (Wednesday night) where the “Top 8” are wearing white outfits and singing Shout to the Lord. (followed by Ben Stiller coming on stage for a final word where he drops a few cuss words that have to be bleeped out- talk about a contrast)

Wait… this gets more interesting. In that previous version, they start with the words, “My shepherd, my savior. Lord there is none like you.”  That’s right. They left Jesus out of it. Check it out (if you are receiving this as an email, click here to see it).


It’s funny. Yesterday the internet was filled with blogs of ticked off Christians ranting about “Why did they take Jesus out of the song!” People were outraged.

Sure, I wouldn’t have liked it (if I had seen that version of the song first). But it doesn’t surprise me at all. What surprises me is that Jesus made it back in!!!

So what happened overnight that put Jesus back in the lyrics? (because I know Fox wasn’t listening to those whiney blogs)

Does anyone know why Jesus was voted back in just before Michael was voted off?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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4 Responses to Worship on American Idol?

  1. Paul Loeffler says:

    As I was watching this, my first thought was wondering what each was thinking as they were singing it. Are there any Christians in the bunch? How about the other end of the spectrum – any athiests? Was it just a performance for them? What was going through the MC’s mind as he introduced them, especially the Jesus version? It was great to listen to.

  2. Paul Loeffler says:

    I’m with you, though. Why people get ticked off and/or surprised when people who don’t know Jesus take His name out of things, or want to, is interesting to me. Why shouldn’t they? They don’t know Him, He’s not sacred to them, and, quite frankly, many Christians give Him a bad name… like those who rant about taking His name out of a song rather than being thankful that such a popular Christian song actually was played on such a popular show at all. I don’t like it either, but I’m not sure getting angry – and blogging about it – really helps. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to respond to some of the things our culture throws out there about Jesus – loving them, while not liking what they do.

  3. Tim says:

    Actually, the name of Jesus has been on
    American Idol several times over the past two weeks.

    Check out this blog to see what I’m talking about:


  4. Amy Richards says:

    My husband and I discussed this a lot after Wed evening’s performance. Frankly, my jaw dropped when I heard Ryan announce the song. I wasn’t surprised at all that they modified it to say, “My Shepherd”. But my husband pointed out that charities such as World Vision and Compassion International, etc get a lot of dollars from Christians. So…doesn’t “pandering” to the Christians viewing the show make sense? While I think most of what they are doing in giving back is good, I felt it was in some ways a shameless manipulation of Christian viewers. On the other hand, especially after Thursday’s performance, Christ was glorified. Since several of the American Idol finalists in previous years have been Christians, or at least promoted Jesus in their work (Reuben, Mandisa, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Clay Aiken) it makes sense to lean toward the Christian base.