March 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM ET
Colton Dixon would rather lose "American Idol" than try to conceal his spirituality.
Colton, a devout Christian from Murfreesboro, Tenn., plans to continue using the show and social media to spread his message of faith -- despite warnings from producers that it could alienate some viewers and cost him the "Idol" crown.
"When we first started the Twitter and Facebook stuff, they said beware of political and religious tweets," he 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."
Colton, 20, said he "totally understands" how overemphasizing his religious beliefs could potentially backfire.
"But I think that (the producers) also have a mutual respect that that is a part of who I am," he explained. "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."
After appearing briefly on the show last season, Colton was spontaneously recruited to audition again when he accompanied his sister Schyler to tryouts in Savannah, Ga. He is currently one of just 11 singers left in the competition.
"I am not of this world," he posted in a message on Facebook Saturday. "We were created to spend eternity with the Lord. We all have purpose. No one is less important than the other. He died for YOU."
Colton told TODAY.com that he prays before and after every live performance.
"I wake up and I do devotional every morning," he added. "It reminds me why I am here, which is to share the love of God. I know there are several other contestants who can say the exact same thing. But it is a part of me and I want to share it -- no matter what, good or bad outcome. It is me."
Are you a Colton fan? Share your thoughts about the singer on our Facebook page.