Season 5 finalist Mandisa recently did a QNA with BlogCritics Magazine . The singer is the author of "IDOLeyes" and her debut album, "True Beauty," drops July 31. She currently has a single, "Only the World," out. Here is what she had to say:
What is your passion in life?
My passion in life is to have a life on purpose, to make a difference. I’d like to be an example to those living with no reason.
What do you want the world to know most about you?
I serve a God who has saved me, redeemed me, and given my life purpose. I want to show people the joy that comes from living a life serving Jesus.
Your book, "IDOLeyes," and your upcoming album, "True Beauty," both send the world two messages. The first is that your struggle with weight has been the biggest struggle of your life. And the second — your faith as a Christian has taken you out of a comfort zone and put you into the ring of light. In what way do you wish to impact the world of overweight women?
My message is twofold: Our bodies are temples, and we have to take care of them. This is a day to day struggle for me, and I overcome it meal by meal. It took me 30 years to get to this point. My weight will not disappear overnight. Whenever I face temptation, and overcome it, this allows me to overcome further temptation.
Second, we will not allow society to dictate who is beautiful. My beauty comes from within, and I will not put my life on hold until I’m a size 5. I live my life full force every day.
As a Christian artist in the 21st century, what lions are you facing?
There have been many who have come before me that have represented the Lord and who have condemned others. I have a relationship with Jesus, I don’t judge or condemn. We’ll all face a judge at the end of life. His name will not be Mandisa. He has given me joy, and it’s been amazing. I want them to know what I know — God is good all the time.
How does your faith help you overcome your weight issues?
When I face temptation, I rely on strength not my own. I quote Scripture when driving by Krispy Kreme. God provides a way out when tempted, through His word and prayer. He gives me the ability to get through this struggle.
Do you have a trainer?
No, but I have an exercise room in my house.
What do you eat?
I’ve been on many diets; I know what to do, fruits and veggies, no white flour or sugar. During some situations I choose poorly. I’m an emotional eater — it absolutely is an addiction. My substance is food. For others it’s drugs or alcohol. My automatic propensity is to turn to food. Now, I turn to the Comforter instead.
Where do you wish to be in five years?
I love where I am right now. My life has purpose, I love my friends and family. In five years I’d like to be the picture of health. I’m thirty years old, I’d like this to be reflected on the outside as well.
Do you have a special man?
No, I’m Super Single — I’m busy. There’s so much going on, that I don’t know how he would fit in. He’s out there somewhere though.
If you could change today’s world, what one problem would you fix?
Hmm ... hate. If we would eliminate that, we would eliminate many problems. The answer to hate is tolerance. I believe we can still love each other, but still be able to disagree.
How did the rape [she discusses this in her book] you endured hurt you emotionally?
I think so many women have been violated or forced to do something that they didn’t want to do. I’m a stronger person today because of what happened. I have mercy on the guy who did this. I want people to know that you can move past this. At a point, you must forgive, it’s not for the other person, it’s for yourself. It freed me, and released the bitterness and rage from my heart.
AJ TABALDO CLOSES POPS SEASON
The Lompoc Record reports that Lompoc’s very own Pops Orchestra will wrap up its 10th anniversary season with a sensational finish on tomorrow evening, June 18, at the Lompoc Civic Auditorium, in Lompoc, Calif. Soloists include Season 6 "American Idol" semi-finalist AJ Tabaldo, 22, from Santa Maria.
Tabaldo, who likes to refer to himself as an ethnic "mutt" because he's a proud mix of Filipino, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and Chinese, will sing his moving version of "God Bless The USA."
Expected to be a sellout, patrons should arrive early — curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. at the Lompoc Civic Auditorium, 217 South L St. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger and full-time students of all ages are with identification. For additional information and ticket reservations, call 805-735-6463.
DAUGHTRY TO PLAY S.C. STATE FAIR AND MONTANAFAIR
South Carolina's TheState.com says don’t take it too hard if you were shut out of "Ameri-
can Idol" finalist Chris Daugh-
try’s sold-out show at Headliners on May 29. Daughtry will be one of this fall's headliners at the South Carolina State Fair, which runs Oct. 10-21. Concert tickets, from $10 to $15, go on sale Aug. 1 online here. The grandstand, which holds 5,000, will be all reserved seating. Daughtry will appear on Oct. 11.
Meanwhile, The Billings Gazette reports that country-music hit makers, rock stars, arenacross, bull riding and Championship NRA Rodeo are coming to Billings during MontanaFair on Aug. 10-18.
MontanaFair will kick off Aug. 10 with country-music artists Phil Vassar and Josh Gracin.
Gracin made the Top 10 in the Season 2 of "American Idol" and was the first finalist to bring country music to the pop-oriented hit show.
Tickets for their fair concert cost $32 for reserved seating and $27 for general admission. Showtime is 7p.m.
At 7 p.m. Aug. 11, the main act is Daughtry, the five-man rock band fronted by Chris Daughtry, the fourth-place finisher from Season 5. Daughtry's self-titled debut album spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Hits include "It's Not Over," "Home," "Gone" and "What I Want."
A post-grunge band, 12 Stones, will open the show. Tickets cost $37 for reserved seating and $32 for general admission.
For $60, you can get general admission into all seven nights of entertainment with the MontanaFair Discovery Pass. The pass can be shared with family and friends, and fair gate admission is free with the pass on the event days, which are every day except Aug. 13 and 15. Discovery Pass tickets may be upgraded to reserved seating.
Tickets are on sale at the MetraPark Box Office, Rimrock Mall Customer Service Counter, four local Cellular Plus stores, online here and here and by phone at 800-366-8538.
SEACREST SATIRIZES HIMSELF
The Associated Press says that Ryan Seacrest is known as a lot of things -- slick "American Idol" ringmaster, hotshot radio deejay, ubiquitous E! channel host -- but funny guy's not one of them. Which makes his scene-stealing cameo in "Knocked Up" such an amusing surprise. Even more so because he's the butt of the joke.
Seacrest sends up his pompous image in the Judd Apatow-directed comedy about an ambitious entertainment reporter (Katherine Heigl) whose life is flipped when she learns she is pregnant. She takes her job seriously at E! Entertainment Television -- but not as seriously as the film-version Seacrest, who launches into a riotous rant during a scene that lasts barely two minutes.
Seacrest, playing himself, becomes ticked off on the set when Jessica Simpson throws off his busy schedule by arriving at her leisure for an interview.
He angrily suggests that maybe he'll retaliate by asking for her thoughts on an "exit strategy" in the Middle East.
"I don't understand the young talent in this town," the movie Seacrest goes on. "It doesn't make any sense. I got four jobs - hell, I'm more famous than half the people we talk to anyway!"
The rant then escalates into an R-rated diatribe with Seacrest dropping the F-bomb and denouncing the superficial workings of the entertainment industry. The apoplectic host finally has to be ushered into the green room with a promise of a cookie in an effort to calm him down.
Seacrest is not nearly as divalike in real life. ... Or is he?
At the beginning of a recent telephone interview with the Associated Press, the 32-year-old took a moment to jokingly exercise his authority: "Hang on one second - "Linda, WHERE'S MY LUNCH?! ... Sorry, just kidding," he deadpanned, back on the phone.
Seacrest, whose poker-faced demeanor during those ominous "Idol" elimination shows was spoofed on "Saturday Night Live," said he relished exposing his not-so-serious side in "Knocked Up."
"Oh, I love it! I don't mind being the butt of the joke. ... It doesn't really bother me. I quite enjoy it," said Seacrest.
He even suggested a headline for this story: "He's funny and YOU don't know it!" In the movie, he makes another statement: He can laugh at himself.
"I believe that one of the things I've tried to do is work hard and take the business very seriously. ... But, at the same time, you can't take the [TV personality] role too seriously. Then you really begin to lose it."
When it came time to film the scene, Seacrest -- nervous about how he'd be "received by the movie world" - was delighted to "have fun and ad lib" with Apatow ("The 40 Year-Old Virgin"), who is big on improvisation and collaboration.
"I'm not used to a script," Seacrest said. Apatow, he related, asked him: "Hey, can you use a bad word and make fun of a couple people and, at the end of this whole scene, really make sure you make fun of yourself?"
His response: "Absolutely, let's roll."
"This was a very therapeutic exercise," he said. "I mean, I didn't want to stop that day. It's a shame I only got to do it for however long I got to do it."
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