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Mandisa Diane Hundley, most commonly
known simply as Mandisa (born October 1, 1976) is an
American singer and was the ninth-place finalist in the fifth
season of American Idol.
She grew up in Citrus Heights, California
(Sacramento County) and graduated from El Camino Fundamental
High School. Mandisa then attended Fisk University in Tennessee
and graduated with a bachelor's of music degree with a
concentration in vocal performance. Mandisa currently resides in
the suburban Nashville community of Antioch, Tennessee. When she
auditioned for American Idol in Chicago, she asked the
judges to call her "just Mandisa", and she has been billed as
Mandisa (with no last name) on the show since the show's
Hollywood round. Mandisa is a backup singer for famed female
Christian author and speaker Beth Moore.
Idol judge Simon Cowell made several
comments about her weight during her audition. When he first saw
her, he asked if they were "going to have a bigger stage this
year." Later, when Paula Abdul commented that Mandisa had a "Frenchie"
growl to her voice, Cowell responded that a more apt comparison
would be to France itself. These were among comments that drew
the ire of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.
When Mandisa presented herself to the judges
prior to the final cut-down to the season's 24 semi-finalists,
she told Cowell: "what I want to say to you is that, yes, you
hurt me and I cried and it was painful, it really was. But I
want you to know that I've forgiven you and that you don't need
someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figure that
if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I
can certainly extend that same grace to you." Cowell told
Mandisa that he was "humbled" and apologized to her immediately.
On the March 7, 2006 Idol show, she
stated in her pre-performance video that she sucked her thumb
until she was 24 years old. She performed a rendition of Chaka
Khan's "I'm Every Woman" which drew praise from all three
judges. She was among the 12 contestants chosen on March 9,
2006, as a finalist in Idol's fifth season.
On March 28, she preceded her performance of
Mary Mary's “Shackles (Praise You)” with this statement: "This
song goes out to everybody that wants to be free. Your
addiction, lifestyle, or situation may be big, but God is
bigger." In a later interview with MTV, Mandisa responded to
speculation as to whether "lifestyle" was code for
"homosexuality", saying it "broke my heart because I really do
try to live my life according to the value system that you treat
others the way you want to be treated. I absolutely hate nobody"
and added that by "lifestyle", she was referring to how she has
given in to "every food indulgence [she] ever had." However, in
an interview with The Advocate, she also stated that she
would not perform at gay events due to her personal beliefs.
Some have criticized Miss Hundley for her association with the
Southern Baptist Convention and author Beth Moore.
Mandisa was eliminated from American Idol
on April 5, 2006, in round nine, having never previously been in
the Bottom 3. She, like most eliminated contestants, appeared on
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno one day later.
Serving meeting planners since 1983
Grabow Entertainment has a proven history since 1983 in the
corporate and private entertainment industry, and acts as an entertainment contractor and producer of private and corporate events. We do not claim or represent ourselves as the exclusive agent for Mandisa or Mandisa management or any artist included on our roster. We concentrate our efforts on serious inquiries of talent buyers. We are unable to answer Mandisa fan club information requests, fan email, public relations contacts or questions , or personal requests for Mandisa contact information for artists or speakers.