INSP Looking for the Next Christian 'American Idol’

Entries are now being accepted for another Christian talent search contest modeled after the top FOX program “American Idol.”

Beginning Monday, Christian Artist Talent Search (C.A.T.S.) is looking for 32 finalists from all across the country for its sixth season and will air on the Inspiration Network (INSP). The winner will receive a recording contract with Infinity Music Distribution and Whiplash Records.

“American Idol” has created a useful example for Christian companies to model, allowing for success in many of its Christian counterparts including Trinity Broadcast Network’s (TBN) “Gifted,” which recently aired its finale. INSP has had much success in their past four seasons of C.A.T.S. and hopes to see the fifth season, currently airing, gain high marks.

"We continue to be blown away by the extraordinary talent on display year after year on C.A.T.S.," said Ron Shuping, Executive Vice President of Programming for The Inspiration Networks, in a statement. "We're confident that in the sixth season, we will continue to see the best Christian talent the country has to offer. C.A.T.S gives them the perfect platform to showcase their gifts and talents."

Unlike American Idol which usually focuses on pop music artists, C.A.T.S. attempts to reach a wide spectrum of Christian music, hitting all genres including gospel, contemporary, southern gospel, rock, and rap and hip-hop.

The sixth season will begin airing in January 2008, and the finalists will participate in televised performances that will be produced at INSP's studios in Charlotte, N.C. The winner will be picked by a panel of judges representative of the Christian music industry.

All candidates must submit their applications by Apr. 16 with a CD or cassette with two Christian songs, two duplicate photos of themselves, and two copies of their biography. No applicant can be under 15-years-old. Sign-ups and rules are on the web at or can be acquired by phone at (704) 561-7955.