20-Hour Christian 'American Idol' Marathon to Air

Fans of a popular Christian version of the singing competition American Idol can spend this weekend in bliss as the Gospel Music Channel (GMC) airs the entire first season of the program in marathon fashion on Sunday.

Spanning 20 hours, the marathon will feature every single episode of Gospel Dream back-to-back, where enthusiasts can watch the competition unfold once again, leading to one sole winner.

The television event is to celebrate the Apr. 3 release of the program's newest CD and DVD, which will be the first branded retail product ever distributed by GMC - the only 24-hour music television channel dedicated to all styles of gospel music. Both products will feature the performances of the finalists on the show.

Among many in the Christian community, the show has been hailed as a positive alternative to American Idol - one of the most top rated programs of all time - because contestants perform uplifting Christian songs from the past and present. It still maintains the same competition format as Idol, however, with the winning artist receiving a record contract with a major music label.

The marathon will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 6:00 a.m. ET, and will also feature an on-line listening party at www.GospelDreamMusic.com.

The competition began in 2005 and comprised of 10 finalists from around the nation out of more than 2,000 registrants. Over a nine-week period, the singers competed with one another until only Brian Smith was left and crowned the winner of Gospel Dream.

The upcoming compilation CD will highlight songs from each of the season one contestants, most of them performing solos but also having group pieces.

The songs covered have been some of the most cherished melodies from artists like Matt Redman and Nichole Nordeman. The track list is as follows:

1. Gospel Dream Finalists—Power Of The Dream
2. Gospel Dream Finalists—Sing
3. Brian Smith—Love Like Rain
4. Kimberly Lowery—Glorious
5. Kristina Higgins—Brave
6. Joshua Woods, Gary Greenlee, Jr., and Brian Smith—Mercy Came Running
7. Gary Greenlee, Jr. and Katrina Stone—Heart Of Worship (When The Music Fades)
8. Christina Perrin—Your Grace Is Amazing
9. Christi Bradford—Word Of God Speak
10. Katrina Stone, Heather Regaldo, and Kristina Higgins—God Of Wonders
11. Brian Smith—Life Song
12. Gospel Dream Finalists featuring Aaron Lindsey—Power Of The Dream (Remix)

Auditions were already held in six U.S. cities for the next season of Gospel Dream, according to GMC, and they are now preparing for the semi-finals, which will take place in Nashville. The participants will again compete for a record contract with Zomba Gospel, a division of Sony/BMG.