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'God Got Me There in the First Place': How These 3 American Idol Contestants Are Glorifying God

03-13-2018
Kenedee Rittenhouse
Kenedee Rittenhouse
With the renewal season of "American Idol" underway, contestants throughout the competition are highlighting who or what inspired them to audition. For some, they're pointing straight to who they say got them there in the first place: God.
 
For Garrett Jacobs, he was leaning on his grandmother's prayers to get him through.
 
Jacobs said his grandmother is his biggest fan and always told him he has a "God-given talent." The 17-year-old won the judges over with his rendition of "This is a Man's World" before calling his grandmother to share the news.
 
"Praise God I knew you would do it!" She exclaimed when he made it through to Hollywood.
 
Jacobs is open about his faith on Instagram, frequently writing "God is so good" and saying he's looking forward to seeing "where God has my future set."
 
 
Redemption was in the air for Thaddeus Johnson on Monday night's show. The aspiring singer first auditioned for the show as a 17-year-old in 2010, almost making it to the live rounds before he was cut.
 
Johnson said he hit a deep depression shortly after he was ousted from the show, gaining weight and getting up to 390 pounds. He even considered taking his own life.
 
"After that show, God took me through a lot but it's made me the man I am right now and I'm just grateful," he told the judges before he sang for his second chance at his Idol dream.
 
Johnson sang the lyrics, "Don't you worry child, see Heaven's got a plan for you," from a popular song he says is his "mantra." The emotional performance landed him a hug from judge Lionel Richie and a ticket to Hollywood.
 
While two days of auditions have already aired, many are still eagerly waiting to see the performance of the one being dubbed "the next Carrie Underwood."
 
Kenedee Rittenhouse is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her town-mate, Carrie Underwood, as she travels from Checotah, Oklahoma to the American Idol stage.
 
This isn't the first big opportunity for the 20-year-old, who got the chance of a lifetime when she first met Underwood in 2009 after she made a surprise visit to her hometown school.
 
 
"That day Carrie asked me on stage to sing with her. I was so in shock, but after that, I just knew this was definitely what I wanted to do when I was older," Rittenhouse told CBN.
 
From there, Rittenhouse said her journey to Idol wasn't easy, and after auditioning for "The Voice" twice during her teenage years, she almost gave up on music altogether.
 
"I prayed so much about it," Rittenhouse said. "I just sat down with God and said 'look, this isn't going to work' and He didn't answer my prayers the way I wanted him to, but I knew whatever He was doing He was just helping me grow and it was for a reason."
 
Now, the country-singer is hoping that through her Idol journey, she can inspire others to pursue God.
 
"It's hard to make it to church every single Sunday when you're in this industry," Rittenhouse said. "I have to pursue God a lot on my own, and I want others to see that if I can stay grounded in who I am, then they can too."
 
She continued, "You can't forget who you are. God is the one who got me here in the first place."
 
Rittenhouse says she wants to bring back the traditionalism in country music and says she wants Christian songs to be more normalized in Hollywood, referencing Carrie Underwood's 2011 performance at ACM's Superstar Women of Country Music.
 
"When Carrie gets up there and sings those traditional hymns, like her performance of 'How Great Thou Art,' she brings people to their knees, she makes them feel something and experience, God, like they should be experiencing every single day," Rittenhouse said. "I want to do that for people too."
 
Rittenhouse's Idol audition is expected to air next week.

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