It may seem hyperbolic to call Mandisa's ninth-place American Idol ousting a shocker, but fans were invested in her fate. After all, she was the woman who humbled Simon Cowell. (After he made snide "fat" jokes, Mandisa graciously replied, "I figure if Jesus died so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend the same grace to you.") She brings that same grace to her Grammy-nominated contemporary gospel-music songs, which are imbued with elements of effervescent funk and anecdotal pop. And though Mandisa is not a typical bellowing gospel powerhouse — her voice is sparkling and lithe, suitable for a Disney princess — her boundless range and empowered energy rouse like a one-woman choir.
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