- American Idol just lost Mandisa Hundley, arguably the best singer on the show. Why did America kick Mandisa out? Was it Mandisa’s performance last week, or something more sinister? My one friend put it this way: “Mandisa had three strikes against her. She was black, fat and a single Christian who couldn’t keep her mouth shut about Jesus. Three strikes and you’re out. The cumulative effect of those three did Mandisa in.”
For starters, I really do not believe race had a factor in Mandisa’s American Idol departure. Afterall, two of the last three American Idols have been African-American: Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino. So that leaves us with the two other variables, Mandisa’s unabashed faith in Jesus and her weight problem.
So did America kick Mandisa off American Idol because of her love for Jesus? Both Ruben and Fantasia were also outward Christians. Of course, that’s not to say some folks were not put off by Mandisa sharing her faith on stage. Afterall, Jesus told us the world would hate us because we are His (John 15:18). Yet, there are definitely many Christians (like myself) watching the show too, so I suppose that balances things out.
Finally, we come to Mandisa’a weight, which has been an issue on national television and the internet. Early on in the American Idol competion, Simon Cowell rudely suggested the show would need a bigger stage to accommodate Mandisa’s sizable girth. In her American Idol web page, Mandisa also mentioned that “…my battle with weight has been the biggest struggle of my life. But I am overcoming day by day and will be victorious.”
So what part did Mandisa’s “struggle” play in America dissing her? It’s really hard to tell. With a recent ABC poll suggesting that over 50% of Americans are overweight, one would have expected the audience to empathize with Mandisa. But culturally, people are much more tolerant and accepting of an obese guy over an overwight gal. That’s just the way it is.
Overall, we may never find out why Mandisa left American Idol. But that doesn’t really matter: She is definitely going to be a successful singer. What does matter is that Mandisa, a Christian single woman, practiced humility, love and faith in Jesus in front of millions of viewers, and left a positive impression. Read her fan mail, and you will see what I mean.
As single Christians in this world, how are we living out our faith?