So, are we all picking up the phone and voting for the fat one on American Idol just to stick it to Simon? Thing is, she's good. That she's fat should be a secondary consideration, but this is after all, America, and while a vocal competition, its about the total package. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if Simon hadn't made the comment at her first audition about the size of the stage they'll need. But he did, and that has sent Fat Nation into action.
I thought it was brilliant that Mandisa chose to cover Heart. Because when you think of Heart, you think of Nancy Wilson's fabulous voice. Then, after you're done listening, you remember, "Oh yeah, she's fat." In fact, I remember when Heart first came out. We didn't know Nancy was fat. The pictures were carefully taken and cropped to hide that from us. She didn't dress fat. You didn't find out that Nancy was fat until the 80s, when people started talking about how fat she'd gotten. Now we find out (thank you VH1) that she was always fat, and it has always been a source of grief for her. But you know what? Nobody really cares now: she's still the voice. But it's sad that we had to be convinced of her voice first, then find out she was fat, instead of accepting her fabulous voice along with her weight and realizing that girlfriend could sing. I'm sure the Aretha reference will come later, but for a first time out of the gate, it would have been too obvious.
So Mandisa covers Nancy Wilson, and subversively reminds us: It matters not that she (Mandisa or Nancy or Aretha) is fat. Her voice is what sells records. But I gurarntee you she's going to make it to the final six, if only because every fat girl watching Fox Tuesday night picked up the phone and dialed 866-IDOLS-01 for her. I know I did.
Side note: Stella voted for her too -- but because her voice was great. (Well, she voted for Katharine too, but anybody who has the balls to even reference Streisand, much less cover her, and then cover her successfully, well, that's worth a vote even if she isn't fat).