- (Photo: AmericanIdol.com)
"American Idol" contestant Colton Dixon continues to speak up about his faith in God despite warnings from producers telling him that religious talk could cost him some votes.
During Wednesday night's performance show, the 20-year-old native from Tennessee told host Ryan Seacrest, "I've been praying before this whole thing because tonight was a big moment for me."
Just after he sang Billy Joel's "Piano Man," which many were calling the best of the night, Dixon was seen taking a moment of silence.
When Seacrest asked what he was thinking, he replied, "I was just collecting myself and saying God use me I want Him to shine through first and foremost."
Dixon advanced to the Top 9 on Thursday night for his beautiful rendition of Billy Joel's first major hit song, which Steven Tyler called "stunning" and "outrageous." Jennifer Lopez also said that his rendition gave her "goosies from head to toe." Randy Jackson commented, "It was a sensitive, touching, moving performance."
P. Diddy, a guest mentor for the remaining Top 10 singers, told Dixon he would buy his version of Joel's song as well.
Known to be a devout Christian as well as a passionate and dedicated singer, Dixon recently made headlines after news broke out that the show's producers wanted him to tone down his faith tweets.
"When we first started the Twitter and Facebook stuff, they said beware of political and religious tweets," he previously told TODAY.com. "Just because it can turn off voters or whatever. But you know, being a Christian is who I am. It is a part of me musically. It is what I want to do after the show – go into Christian music."
Though he understood that his talk of God and faith could have a negative effect on his contending, he firmly asserted that he would not hide who he was just for some votes.
"I am not going to hide it, and I am not going to stray away from it just because I am on a TV show."
Hundreds of fans commented on his Twitter and Facebook thereafter, praising him for his witness and his unfaltering relationship with God.
He recently updated on Facebook, "I am no different than you. we were all created by God to be his messengers. let's spread his love to the nations!"
Madalyn Keane responded, "Amen!! You are such an amazing man of God!! There is a reason why God put you on American Idol!"
"Don't let them put your faith down," Betty Cook also said. "Stand up for your beliefs."
Kim Payne added, "I commend you for taking a stand for God. Do NOT let ANYONE ever persuade you to deny your faith. You've got my vote...always."
Still regularly tweeting about how God is good, Dixon is expected to be a top contender for this season's "American Idol" along with Jessica Sanchez who sang "Everyone Has A Dream" on Wednesday.
With a large fan base, thousands are rooting for the devout singer, who has been dubbed the "Tim Tebow of American Idol," to take the crown this year.
The Top 9 will perform again next week and will also be moving into a Beverly Hills mansion, which according to Seacrest only had room for nine contestants, one of which was not Erika Van Pelt who was eliminated on Thursday.
Fans have responded in outrage not only because the judges did not use their wild card to save her but also because Pelt was selected to go home over fellow contestant HeeJun Han, whom many say lack the talent, and the seriousness, to proceed.
Han, a "Korean jokester," recently tweeted after his "fun" rendition of "My Life:" "I had so much fun how about you guys? if you did then I am happy thank you guys All for God All by God."