In Which Mandisa Is My New Pretend-BFF And Oh, By The Way, You Can Win Some Things


About a month ago I was talking to a couple of nice people who work at Mandisa‘s record label about giving away some CDs, and during the course of the conversation I said something along the lines of, “Hey, you know what? I would love to ask Mandisa some questions.”


Much to my surprise, they didn’t hoot and guffaw at my idea – they totally made it happen.

And oh, were my questions for sweet Mandisa ever hard-hitting. Because any good journalist will tell you that the path to interviewing success is to ask your subject WHAT KIND OF MAKE-UP SHE LIKES.

I mean, Diane Sawyer has built her whole career on that very strategy.

Anyway, Mandisa was oh-so-gracious to answer all of my questions – and there was so much good stuff from her that I’m actually going to post the interview in two parts. Part One will be today, and I’ll post Part Two this Friday when I announce who has won the fabulous prizes.

What fabulous prizes, you ask?

Well, since Shannon is having the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway this week, I thought it would be a great chance to give away five copies of Mandisa’s new book, Idoleyes – and ten copies of Mandisa’s upcoming full-length CD, True Beauty. To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.

And also: as you read the interview, be sure to notice that Mandisa actually mentioned Emma Kate in one of her answers – probably because I mentioned Emma Kate in one of the questions. But still. It’s really only a matter of time before Emma Kate has a t-shirt made that says, “MANDISA MENTIONED ME IN AN INTERVIEW, Y’ALL. ON THE INTERNET.”

So here’s part one.

Now tell me the truth, Mandisa: did you ever dare to dream that one day, as the result of a new book and a new CD, you’d have the opportunity to answer questions for a blog with a klassy name like “BooMama”?

Now I feel like my dreams have finally come true!!!

I’m a Southern girl by birth, and I know you’re a Southern girl by choice, so I think we need to get a few Southern girl questions out of the way. Ready?

– favorite brand of make-up?

MAC eye shadows & lip glosses and Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation.

– favorite place for BBQ?

My best friend Chandra’s dad’s house in Conway, AR. He can throw down!

– Coke or Pepsi?

I’m a Pepsi girl.

– favorite home-cooked meal?

Fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and corn bread…mmmmm!

– favorite place to shop?

Ashley Stewart

Another Terribly Important question: what do you use to clean your face? I ask because YOUR SKIN IS GORGEOUS, and I want to do whatever you’re doing. Rightthissecond.

Awww, thanks! I use Proactiv Solution because I have battled acne and this not only helps with that but gives my skin a really smooth surface.

All righty – now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about singing. Because you can’t just sing – you can SANG, and there is SUCH a difference.

I first heard you sing (SANG) at a Living Proof Live event in Knoxville back in 2005, and I hummed “Shackles” the whole way home – because YOU ROCKED IT. How did you first meet Travis Cottrell and the LPL praise team?

I used to work in the customer service department of LifeWay Church Resources and would sing in their chapel services occasionally. One year they were having a spring revival featuring special guest Travis Cottrell and they put together a praise team of employees to sing with him. He called shortly after and invited me to sing with him at a Beth Moore event in Charlotte, NC. I became a part of his team from that moment on and continued with those events for 5 years.

Do you look back on your time with LPL and think OH YEAH – God was totally laying the foundation for the time on “American Idol”?

Absolutely! I can trace the hand of God all over my life, including my time with Living Proof Live. I certainly wouldn’t be the woman I am today if I had not been trained and taught through those very crucial years.

I remember looking on the “AI” website the day after the competition was down to twelve finalists, and you mentioned Beth Moore in your Q & A. It really resonated with me because her ministry has affected me (and so many of the women who read my blog) in a huge way. What kind of impact has her ministry had on your life?

Beth is the godliest person I know. I did her “Breaking Free” Bible study in college and it resonated with me so deeply. You can imagine my elation when I met her in person and became a part of her ministry. I could have died a happy woman right then! Beth tells a story of one of her mentors, Buddy. She was a young, green, bound up girl when she attended a Bible class Buddy was teaching. She left crying out to the Lord that “whatever it is he has, I WANT IT!”. I found myself praying the same thing about Beth. When I saw her passion for God and love for His Word, I prayed that He would bless me with the same passion. God used my time under her teaching to shape me into who I am today.

Singing seems so natural to you – effortless, almost. But when did singing start to feel like God’s calling on your life? Was it just a general impression you had – or something much more specific?

I have been singing since I was a little girl. Even as a child, when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always a singer. As I grew older people would begin to follow up with, “What will you fall back on if that doesn’t work out?” My reply would always be, “I’m not planning on falling back”. It is what I have always wanted to do and I believe God placed the desire in me at a very early age.

My best friend Emma Kate was FURIOUS when you were voted off of “AI” – so will you please assure her that you’re okay? I mean, things seem to have worked out pretty well for you, what with your fabulous new CD and a #1 single and all.

While I must confess that being eliminated was very difficult for me in the beginning because of some controversies surrounding me, I am a living witness that you don’t have to win American Idol to be successful from it. When I got off of the AI tour I had a recording contract, a book publishing contract, and a modeling contract. Please assure Emma Kate that I am better than okay. I am living a bigger dream than I ever dreamt for myself!

She is, in a word, delightful.

And for more great giveaways, visit Shannon’s place. All week long.

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  1. Count me in!!!

    Great interview though…..great job on the questions!

  2. I am in awe.

    Next thing you know, you’ll be taking the place of Rosie or Katie Couric or someone. Not only do you get to the meat of the matter, as in the makeup selection, but you make sure EK gets her due as well.

    That is nothing but PURE GENIUS.

    In all seriousity, great stuff BM! And count me in for the giveaway!

  3. See? SEE?

    Lookie what happens when you sit back and let God do some blessin’.

    Rock On BooDawg!

    Btw- I’m looking for that M and N interview anytime now. Can’t wait!

  4. I can’t wait for Part 2! And would love to win a copy of Mandisa’s CD and/or book. Thanks for bringin’ us the good stuff!

  5. awesome interview and exciting giveaways! thanks!

  6. How very fun!!


  7. you totally rocked with those interview questions, girl!!

    and I got my Monk and Neagle CD saturday, and you are my new BFF for introducing me to them… LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!


  8. Look at you go… just a regular Diane Sawyer. Amazing, I tell ya! Mandisa should feel oh-so-privileged to be interviewed by such a person as BooMama. Oh, the fame of it!

    And since I’m just feeling oh so “win-ny” thanks to that M&N cd, I’m leaving a “draw my mane! draw my name!” comment here. I mean, I still haven’t ever won a drawing in my life, but you just never know… ;)

  9. Yeah BooMama! I think you SANG a great interview! How fun and delightful! I am looking forward to reading Part II of the interview with BooMama & Mandisa!

  10. Sign me up for the drawing Boo Mama! I love me some Mandisa AND I love to read so either way if I was blessed enough to be chosen it would work out great. Good interview too! Diane Sawyer would be proud.

  11. Oh, please count me in! I loved her on AI – and I don’t say that about many of the contestants!

  12. Well goodness Boomama, you are becoming quite a celebrity yourself! Giveaways…interviews! WOW. :) You’re so cool. ;)

    Maybe I can get you an interview with THE Queen.

  13. Only you, Boomama. YOu amaze me. Enter me in the contest even though I’ve already downloaded “Only the World” AND listened to it repeatedly.

  14. Melissa says:

    I am commenting to enter the contest and to ask if you are going to start working at the View?

  15. Great interview! You pulled out those hard hitting questions with such ease! But the main question is, did you make her cry? I’m hoping for some tears in the Part Two of the interview. Oh yea, PICK ME TO WHEN HER CD!!!!!!!

  16. Absolutely awesome! And I’d love to have a copy of Mandisa’s CD!!

  17. jen thompson says:

    can i win both??? i am so excited!

  18. BooMama,

    You are the greatest! Count me in! Any friend of yours is a friend of mine!


  19. Oh- thanks for sharing the interview:-)

    I would love to win her cd… my girls and I love her!!!

  20. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!! Great interview. I. Just. Love. Her. Oh, yeah, and totally enter me in the drawing! Yippee!! :-)

  21. You make me laugh out loud! Can hardly wait till Friday : )

  22. Please enter me!

  23. How fun and cool that you got to interview her and get some free stuff!

    Please enter me!


  24. wow, a famous blogger interviews a famous SANGer…NICE!

    Count me on on the draw, I love free stuff, it’s my favorite kind of stuff :)

  25. Count me in too! I’m also doing the Dog Days of Summer.

  26. Count me in too!

  27. Please enter me, She’s great!

  28. Oh, I’m so excied for you that you got to interview Mandisa! I love her! And she mentioned Emma Kate? What a bonus? Congrats on your budding journalism career!

  29. Great interview!! I’m so glad you asked the make up question. Inquiring minds want to know :)

  30. Amy Martin says:

    Great interview! Loved her on AI, too. I thought she was great.

  31. Wonderful! I am enjoying your blog more and more. I am so glad to have found it!!!

  32. Definitely count me in. I thought she was my BFF when we met a couple weeks ago in Atlanta, but I will share with you, Boo. : )

  33. Count me in please! Would love the chance to win. I’ve heard a lot about her book and music but never had the chance to hear her. Thanks for making this possible.

  34. I’d love to win the book or cd! Her music is great, and thanks for the interview too!

  35. I always thought she had an amazing voice! Wow, you got to speak with her?!?!?!

  36. count me in for the countest!

    And awesome interview, can’t wait for part two!

  37. She is the BEST!!! She lost points w/ me on “Pepsi” but won DOUBLE points w/ me when she mentioned fried chicken and baked mac and cheese. ;-]

    Loved her on AI. Had such a regal presence.

  38. Neat interview, and interesting questions and answers. :-)

    Definitely sign me up for the giveaway!

    Love and hugs,


  39. How awesome! She sounds like an awesome person. I look forward to reading part 2.
    Sign me up for the giveaway.

  40. Now THAT’S a true southern girl interview! You could give some of these journalists out there a run for their money!

  41. Ooooh. CanNOT wait for her album. Please enter me for the album and book. Woot!

  42. Sign me up! I loved your interview! BooMama, Journalist. You should get business cards printed.

  43. It’s lovely to see an obviously talented, attractive woman who is getting to the top of the industry but still manages to keep her feet on the ground. She said a lot in her interview that I liked & seems like she will be a great role model & we definately need some of those.

  44. That interview is great! She is an amazingly wonderful woman and it is great to se her praise God often.

  45. Yay for the nice people who send you stuff! Thanks for sharing it with us :) The bloggy interview definitely allows you to claim BFF status.

  46. Deborah says:

    What a great interview! Count me in. :)

  47. Mandisa was a favorite of mine on AI. Like EK, I was quite upset at her elimination. Lovely to know that God has seen fit to use her talent to His glory. Please enter me for the drawing. Thanks.

  48. What an awesome opportunity for you! Enter me!!


  49. LOVE her! Sign me up!

  50. She seems like such a down-to-earth person!!!

  51. Great interview!! Can’t wait for the second part.

    Love that she’ll dish on make-up. She’s is just beautiful isn’t she!!

    Sign me up!! Thanks.

  52. BizzyMom says:

    Hey Boo! You da bomb! (Channeling a little Randy from AI)

  53. you’re a natural at the journalism thing!

    my sister-in-law is a hairsylist for AI and she said that what you see from Mandisa on camara is the same as the Mandisa off camara. she is the real deal.

  54. Oooh, me! Enter me! Me!

  55. Bailey's Leaf says:

    I can see you still smiling from all the way over here in good ole Ohio!

  56. What a treat to get to interview the girl herself. Looking forward to Friday’s follow up!

  57. Okay, so you need to know something.

    You and Mandisa are both my BFIMM.

    (Best Friends In My Mind)

    So, when are we having a sleep-over?

    Huh, huh? When???

  58. UNBELIEVABLE. I didn’t know she had a book out – I would LOVE to read it!! EK…girl, you are famous!!
    Mandisa is absolutely gorgeous!!
    P.S. I am amazed to see how many people are not sleeping at night…I noticed the times of the comments!

  59. I am so jealous you got to “talk” to Mandisa! She is such an awesome woman! Please pick me to win!

  60. Great interview – I look forward to Friday’s continuation! I love reading your blog every day!

  61. I am surprised to hear that Mandisa has a book out. I thought she was incredibly gifted when I saw her on AI and am happy to hear she’s doing so well afterwards.

    Thank you for persisting and getting the interview. And for Mandisa (since you just KNOW she must be reading all these comments) – May you be blessed as much as you are a blessing to others. God surely has trusted you with an important gift. Thanks for using it!

  62. Please enter me in!

    Great interview Boomama!

  63. Mandissa is an amazing woman of God! I cannot wait to hear more!

  64. Can’t wait for the rest of the interview.

  65. Good job on the interview! Please enter me!

  66. Gretchen says:

    Loved Mandisa on AI and would love to win either of these giveaways :)!!!

  67. Definitely count me in. First time to comment, great blawg!! Brings a smile every time i read.

  68. You did a great job on the interview! She sounds like a wonderful person.


  69. What a great interview, count me in.
    I enjoy your blog everyday!

  70. Inspiring…

  71. I’m in and looking forward to part two!

  72. Interesting interview! She is just so likeable!

  73. Really enjoyed your interview and I can’t wait for Part II! (and I would really enjoy a CD or book too!)


  74. Kelly Anne says:

    Please enter me in the drawings! I love Mandisa almost as much as I love BooMama!!

  75. Can’t wait for part two. Count me in!

  76. How totally awesome is that! Count me in and I can’t wait for part 2.

  77. BooMama, you truly are an amazing woman with an amazing way of getting incredible things done. It must be a gift or a calling or something. I have no doubt we’ll be seeing you on the View or something one day soon.

    Of course I am so interested in the CD giveaway.

    Thanks for always hitting the issues and just for being so fun all of the time :) You are a blessing to the internet(s)!

  78. So fun! Looking forward to part 2 and hoping to win her CD or book!

  79. Girl! You are just TOO much! I’m sure CNN will air this interview again! :) Loved it. Great questions!

    And sign me up!

  80. Thanks! I would LOVE to win!

  81. I love Mandisa! Please enter me!

  82. Thanks for the great interview and the wonderful prizes! Mandisa sounds like a wonderful young woman…can’t wait for part II!

  83. dallimomma says:

    We don’t have TV reception where we live and have chosen not to supplement with satellite so I’ve only ever seen one episode of American Idol. Can you believe it was the one episode where Mandisa sang “Shackles”? Yes it was! So I am so pleased that she’s doing so well. Thanks for the contest; hope I win!

  84. Stephanie says:

    What an awesome testimony she has! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  85. Great job on the interview! I love her!
    Also,your blog rocks!!I read you every day!

  86. What a great opportunity! You did a great job interviewing her.

    Count me in for the contest!

  87. Count me in! She’s great.

  88. That was a great interview :) Count me in!

  89. Thanks for the interview. I would love to win something! Loving your blog all the way “in the north” West Michigan! You make me smile everyday!

  90. You’re a legend BooMama! Thanks for this, she seems sooo nice, I would love to get her book or album xxx

  91. That was a great interview. I am anxiously waiting for part 2.

    Count me in for the drawing I think she is wonderful!!!

  92. Count me in please. I love Mandisa. She was my pick definately, but I knew she would do well!!

  93. You are an excellent interviewer! I would have been all nervous and goofy!

  94. You are a lucky woman to get to speak wtih the great Mandisa! Count me in for the giveaway! :)

  95. Look out, Barbara Walters! Love the interview!

  96. Wow, what a great interview, BooMama! Can’t wait to read the rest. Hope a win her book or CD.

  97. This girl is a true princess. Please count me in for the giveaway

  98. This was the best interview EVER! We all know the “hard hitting” questions are all about makeup and BBQ!! And btw, Conway, AR. IS the best place for BBQ!!

  99. Great interview. How exciting that you could do that.

    Please sign me up I would love to read the book or listen to the cd.

  100. Count me in…I loved the make-up Q & A!

    Sarah, TN