The fourth season of the American Idol-style talent search series Gospel Dream will kick off Wednesday night, starting with its initial set of thirty-six contenders.
The six-week series, airing on the Gospel Music Channel, will place each contestant in front of a national television audience until only one remains – the one who will receive record and music video exposure, among other prizes.
And this year, deciding the fate of the contestants will be the three-celebrity judge panel consisting of Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, gospel artist J. Moss, and music industry executive Mitchell Solarek.
Hosting the series, meanwhile, will be Kimberly Locke, the first American Idol alumnae to debut No. 1 on the Billboard charts with a non-Idol single, and Mike Kasem of MTV’s Top 20 Video Countdown.
This year’s contestants come from more than a dozen states and were selected during feeder auditions held this spring in nine-major U.S. markets – Seattle, Minneapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Nashville, Orlando, Atlanta, and Detroit.
Solo artists who were invited to audition ranged between 16 to 40 years of age – a range wider than that of American Idol’s – and from all genres of Gospel and Christian music styles, including traditional, rock, pop, country and soul.
But as Gospel Dream co-host Kimberly Locke notes “it’s not just about Gospel music, it’s about inspirational music.”
“So it’s all inclusive,” she said during an appearance on CNN.
Gospel Dream will air every Wednesday night on GMC at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning on June 24.
The theme of this season’s competition is “The Greatest Inspirational Songs of All Time.”