In 2006, in Season 5 of America's wildly popular singing contest, American Idol, Mandissa, wanting to glorify God went to auditions and eventually made it to the final 8. But it didn't come without a cost. With a beautiful, rich voice and fun personality Mandissa impressed all the judges. "Idoleyes" is her story of her American Idol experience from the highs of winning the radio station contest which gave her an automatic appearance in front of Randy, Simon and Paula, to having all three judges love her singing and putting her through, to making the top 10 which guaranteed her making the American Idol Tour, to the extremes lows of being insulted about her weight by Simon on camera behind her back right after he had put her through to being misinterpreted by groups on something she had said to an unexpected disillusionment with God at being off the show earlier than what she felt God had told her.
Being an "American and Canadian Idol" fan myself and remembering Mandissa from her time on the show, I could hardly wait to read her book. What I remembered the most about Mandissa was the absolute gracious way in which she handled Simon the next time she saw him after the insult had aired. People were expecting and wanting her to really let him have it on camera, and with great dignity, on camera, she let him know that what he had said hurt her terribly but that she forgave him because Jesus forgiven her her sins. It was beautiful and left Randy with his jaw on the table whispering "Wow", and Simon at first flabbergasted and then hugging her. (The exact quote, of course, is in the book.)
Mandissa shares openly and honestly about her faith and how it was affected through the Idol experience, her struggles with food addiction and the sudden and relentless results of being famous and unwantedly infamous for something she had said. She shares so openly about her feelings that I was totally caught up in each emotion. American Idol changed Mandissa's life and as she shared her story I was blessed by her great insight and knowledge.
Whether you are an American Idol fan or not, this book is a great encouraging read for anyone.
**Today is the last day to enter the Fall Y'all Giveaway for an Amy Grant signed print. Go here for your chance to enter.**