More sad news from the American Idol world. Season 7 top 24 contestant, Joanne Borgella, died early Saturday morning (October 18) from a rare form of cancer, according to several close friends and colleagues.
Before Idol, the plus sized model was “Miss F.A.T.” 2005, and winner of Oxygen network’s Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance season one. After, Joanne did more TV and plus sized model work. The singer appeared as a coach on MTV’s Made in 2011.
Joanne hailed an Oyster Bay Cove, Long Island, NY native, was of Haitian descent. She eventually became a resident of Hoboken, NJ.
In October 2013 Joanne posted a video sharing her cancer diagnosis with fans. She continued to update friends and fans as she fought the disease. You can check out her timeline on Facebook. You can also check out Joanne’s career at her official website.
“It’s a rare case because it’s spread to my chest,” Joanne said in the first video, “but it’s really not about a stage [of disease]. God is with me and I feel his presence every day. I just wanted to share this information with everyone to let them know what I’m going through and I’m going to update everyone every week as much as I can.”
Here’s Joanne’s initial audition in front of Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. Her audition, which took place in the summer of 2007, did air during the audition phase of the show.
Joanna sang “Say A Little Prayer” during the semi-finals, and was eliminated during the first week, along with Colton Berry, Garrett Haley and Amy Davis.
This sad news comes on the heels of another death from the Season 7 family. Top 12 contestant, Michael Johns, died in August.
Longtime Idol musical director, Michael Orland, shared his thoughts on twitter this morning.
— Michael Orland (@MichaelOrland) October 18, 2014
Thoughts and prayer go out to Joanne’s friends and family.