Did Christians punish Colton Dixon for singing Lady Gaga?

There had been suggestions that Colton Dixon’s religiosity could turn off viewers and voters on American Idol 11, but it’s possible that his surprise elimination from the show last night was because he turned religious viewers away by choosing a song that had the wrong message–a thinly veiled way of acknowledging that he didn’t choose a more Jesus-friendly worship song.

Backstage, Colton said, according to Zap2it’s report,

“I think song choice killed me last night. I regret my first song last night. My take on it was me, and I didn’t veer stylistically from me at all, but I think I could’ve chosen a better song that I could connect with that had a better message for me and for my audience. I think that’s what turned a lot of people off last night.”

He seems to be suggesting that his fans actively punished him (“turned a lot of people off”) for choosing non-Jesus-friendly lyrics (“a better song,” “a better message”) in the form of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” A commenter notes that his previous songs had been “Christian anthems up until this point.”

In case it’s not clear that Colton is devoutly dedicated to one thing and one thing alone, he also said that during his final song,

“I wasn’t singing for [the judges]. I wasn’t singing for my family or anyone in the audience. I wasn’t singing for anyone at home. That song was between me and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We had a cool moment onstage for sure. But I wanted to end it the way I started it and the way I told myself I would do this competition, and I’m glad I got the opportunity.”

Late last month, he told The Hollywood Reporter that producers “didn’t get on me about my faith” but “respect my faith and have actually helped me push it in many ways. I’m very thankful for that.”

Update: Clearing up any doubt, Colton told reporters this afternoon, “I’ve taken pride in knowing who I am and taking a stance in my faith, and by choosing ‘Bad Romance,’ I turned off a lot of those voters, who are my core voters.”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.