One of my favorite lines from the Pinky and the Brain cartoon was "My humor is wasted on you, Pinky." Well, tonight the Christian world just got the snub from the American Idol judges panel.
Mandisa, the contestant who professed her belief in Jesus when forgiving Simon for his ugly comment about her weight, busted it out tonight. For those of us who know Mandisa from her "day job", we know she sings with Travis Cottrell, the praise team leader for Beth Moore conferences and other Lifeway functions. Anyone who has seen her in action knows her signature song is "Wanna Praise You" or better known to her fans as the Shackles song - originally recorded by Mary Mary. I'll never forget the last time I saw her sing it live. Of course, I didn't know she was "Mandisa" but I knew she was awesome. Travis and his team led a concert at a Lifeway Women's Conference I attended. When they sang that song, with Mandisa singing lead, you saw about 500 women dancing in the aisles. A bit edgy for a group of Southern Baptists.
As soon as Mandisa made it to the top 24, I had hoped she would eventually bust out with that song. Tonight's theme was 21st century tunes - could tonight be the night? Sure enough it was, and the moment she announced what song, I let out a big ole Taylor Hicks "woo hoo!" She did remarkable. That song talks about the freedom we have in Christ, but in a hip hop happening way. I even got a little teary eyed knowing that Mandisa was stepping out on the Idol stage proclaiming the gospel. Wow.
Then it happened. Randy thought it wasn't the best. Paula made some weird comment about everyone becoming a member of the church of Mandisa - to which she shook her head no in humble reverance to the true Head of the Church. Simon, who I normally agree with, was sorely in error as he called her indulgent to pick a song like that. My happy face got angry real quick. Lest you don't realize life is rough on the Christian who takes a stand, you experienced it tonight, live, on American Idol. I'm proud of Mandisa. She held her head high and I'm sure had no regrets for her song choice. I'm proud that she was bold enough to pick a song that may not resonate with the judges' panel. It's a sad testimony that those three people didn't "get" the song because they haven't "got" the gospel message.
As I sit here typing this blog entry tonight, just 30 minutes into voting, the lines for Mandisa are still busy. I have yet to cast my first vote for her. That's encouraging. I hope every Christian American Idol fan out there is flooding the lines and showing the producers of Idol what America really wants. No matter what happens, Mandisa knows that the shackles are off her and she will continue to praise God....