Charles Christopher Sligh (born April 13, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, producer and pastor who was a finalist on the sixth season of American Idol, finishing in tenth place. He has released 14 albums since 2001 as a solo artist, with his band Half Past Forever or with his former church’s musical entity, Shoreline Music. He also starred in October Baby.
Sligh auditioned in Birmingham, Alabama singing “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal, after which Paula Abdul gave him a standing ovation and said, “I like you very much.” American Idol judges laughed at his ambition “to make David Hasselhoff cry,” a reference to Hasselhoff’s crying when Taylor Hicks won season 5.
Sligh was an early favorite of the judges, as all 3 judges spoke of a guy with curly hair who did not look like your typical American Idol. Paula compared him to Penn Jillette from the duo of Penn & Teller, to whom he bears some resemblance. However, by the third week of the semi-finals, after Sligh sang “We All Wanna Be Loved” by DcTalk, the judges criticized him more sharply.
During the top 24 week, Sligh showed his extensive knowledge of American Idol trivia, which he claimed to have learned while researching for hours at his job in South Carolina. Simon claimed that Sligh’s performance of “Typical” by the band Mutemath was “…like being at some weird student gig” and told Sligh that he felt like Sligh was there more on personality than vocal skill. Sligh retorted by saying, “Just because I don’t sound like Il Divo or the Teletubbies doesn’t mean that I don’t have a good voice” alluding to Simon’s creation of the classical boy band Il Divo and his work in making an album featuring the Teletubbies. Randy and Paula cheered at the supposed insult. Many fans were left bewildered by Simon’s dour reaction, which Sligh and Seacrest later cleared up in saying the dour expression was aimed at Seacrest.
Sligh was eliminated from American Idol on March 28, 2007 and is therefore the tenth-place singer in Season Six. While singing his last song, he told Phil Stacey “You owe me 50 bucks,” referencing their bet that he would be eliminated that show. The next day, Sligh said that he had not sought to win the competition and that he had considered quitting the show two weeks before, but stayed on the show in order to make it into the top ten so that he could go on tour with the other top ten finalists.Later he commented that his wanting to quit was similar to anyone working a job and feeling like they could not do it anymore. He also cleared the rumor that he never wanted to win, saying, “I never set my sights on winning because it would’ve driven me crazy…I just focused on small goals, the first of which was to make the top 10 so I could go on tour.”