Singer and model Joanne Borgella, living in Hoboken, New Jersey, was a contestant and in the Top 24 on Season 7 of American Idol at the age of 25. She died at the age of 32 after battling endometrial cancer that had spread to her brain.
Her goals in life are to perform at the Super Bowl, have a plus size clothing line and to produce Grammy-worthy albums.
She thinks her friends wouldn't be surprised to any album that she owns because she listens to everything.
Before a performance, she always does vocal warm-ups and a light workout.
Her most embarrassing moment was when she was singing a Christmas song and her bra kept falling off.
List of Songs Sung on American Idol:
February 20, 2008 - I Say a Little Prayer by Dionne Warwick
February 21, 2008 - I Say a Little Prayer by Dionne Warwick (Eliminated)
She was voted off American Idol Season 7 on February 21, 2008, garnering 21st/22nd/23rd/24th place.
She auditioned for the 7th Season of American Idol at Philadelphia where she sang Celine Dion's I Love You.
In 2007, she sang the Nation Anthem at the College Basketball Finals Games.
Before auditioning for American Idol, she worked as a plus-sized model and modeled for magazines such as Essence Magazine and covered for PLUS Size Magazine.
She won Mo'Nique's FAT Chance in 2005.
She only started to take formal singing training after Hollywood Week on the 7th Season of American Idol.
Other than singing, she is also very talented in designing clothes and making jewelry.
Quote: That which doesn't kill you will only make you stronger.
Favorite Male Pop Artist: Chris Daughtry.
Favorite Female Pop Artist: Leona Lewis.
Joanna started to sing at the age of 3.
Joanne's musical influences include Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Alanis Morrisette, and Andrea Bocelli.
Her audition number for American Idol was 82653.
Joanne (on what she wants to do after "American Idol"): 'American Idol' is so huge. I know anything I want to do is going to be at my hands. Modeling, definitely. Singing, of course, number one -- I want to have an album -- and acting. I went to school for that. You're gonna see me dabbling in everything. I'm a multi-tasker. I think it's just opened like 80 billion more doors.
Joanne (on how "Idol" compared to her previous appearance on "Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance"): I was on a show, a beauty pageant, called 'Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance,' which was amazing, and I won that show. But 'American Idol' in general ... nothing can prepare you for this. It's so amazing, it's such a whirlwind.
Joanne (on what she meant when she said her voice might not have been what viewers expected): Usually, with a plus-size woman, you tend to think that they're gonna sing neo-soul, that genre of music. I love that music, but that's not the kind of performer I am. I listen to pop, R&B, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston. I love doing power ballads, but I also want to do the song that you would love to dance to in the club, and you don't usually put that with a plus-size woman.
Joanne (on what the hardest part of leaving "American Idol" was): It's hard to say goodbye to my friends. And some people say, "Oh my God, I made lasting friends," and you think, "You just met." But when you're put in a situation and your dreams can come true within a few months -- it's pressure, it's anxiety, it's happiness, fatigue, it's all these things. You get these bonds that you would never think you could make. Anyone could see last night how hard it was for all of us to leave. Everybody was crying hysterically ... it was a beautiful moment.
Joanne (on if she was sad to leave the Top 24 of "American Idol" so soon): I feel amazing to be part of Top 24 and to be part of the crop that's been the best that they've ever had. I know my vocal abilities, I know my performance strengths and I know that 23 of us are going to have to go home at the end of the day. I didn't know it was going to be the first week, but it just happened to be the first week. I seriously feel like a winner. It was just amazing to even be part of this experience.
Joanne: The most embarrassing thing I've ever done on stage was probably almost falling. When I was walking up, there was this huge wire and I didn't see it and I tried to play it off and everybody was looking. I laughed it off though, but I almost fell, kinda' like one of those, "Did anyone see that?" but everyone saw it.
Joanne: The weirdest thing I probably ever eaten was like, there was this weird little Haitian recipe, this little dish, it's pork and it was, I mean, if you see it visually, it's nothing pretty. I was really ambitious that day, it was part of a pig's body, it was kinda' nasty actually. I took a bite, it was strange in my mouth, I stopped, that's probably the weirdest thing, I don't even know what they call it, I don't know how to say it in English either, but definitely it wasn't that tasty.
Joanne: About jobs, see I never really had a job, so as far as like the most, besides singing, I've just been modeling, and if I wasn't modeling, I was working on my singing because my parents were so supportive, they gave me that freedom to do that.
Joanne: My family has been extremely supportive from the minute I said I wanted to be a singer. My mother and father have just been there with me throughout the entire journey and the process of me working with producers when I was younger you know, going to the studio with me, always trying to make a demo and they've just all been amazing. My three older brothers have always been supportive and very protective as well, but they've all been great, I know I have some people who don't get the support from their family and that's really hard; I couldn't even imagine what that's like.
Joanne: Since I'm pretty much an open book though which like what you see is what you get, everybody knows everything and I never really hide anything, but people would probably be surprised to know that I like sports. I always had to watch with my brother and he always thinks that I'm just so annoying, I'm not into it, but I actually really do like football, it's fun, everybody's running, I like the uniforms.
Joanne: I don't really think, I don't believe I'm like any of the former contestants who have been here. I grew up listening to so many different kinds of song and music in general because I speak in French as well and I sing in French. I'm just like Celine Dion then Andrea Bocelli, then I'm like Barbara Streisand, then I'm like Jay-Z, it's like crazy, like I have such a mixture of music, so I don't think American Idol has seen someone like me; I really wouldn't be able to compare myself to anyone, however there are people who I absolutely love on this show vocally, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson was outstanding, obsessed with Chris Daughtry, he's great.
Joanne: I would love to be the next American Idol because obviously other than loving to sing, I want to be able to touch people's lives the way music has touched my life like I know I can turn the radio on and if I hear a certain song, which is from the '70s, the '80s, the '90s, it's going to flash me back right into a moment and I'm going to feel those emotions; I wanna be able to do that to someone when they hear my voice. I don't know, music for me is like my life, my world. If I could live in a musical, I would. Like sometimes in my head, I'm in the subway in New York and I'll just be like, "I wonder if I start singing, everybody will just start singing with me" and I'm like, I don't want people to think I'm crazy, so I calm myself down, but I know if I were to become the next American Idol, I'd just be super happy.
Joanne: Well, being that performers, performance is different from singing, the person I think that gives a great show visually, I would say is Beyonce. She's good and fun to look at you know, when she's doing all that dancing and she's working hard out there, you're like, "Woah, she's good" and vocally just in general, I'd say Celine Dion just 'cuz I'm like, I love her.
Joanne: If I don't become the next American Idol, I'll probably just continue to sing of course, and modeling, continue everything that I was doing actually and just keeping it on for another day tune in back whole on becoming this huge great singer.
Joanne: My other talents, let's see. I make people laugh, they say I'm funny. I like to make jewelry, that's what I do in my spare time and I like to design clothing.
Joanne: My mother sang a lot to me when I was younger, so I think it just kinda' grew into a passion of mine. They always told me that I'd just sing a little bit around houses, I was singing or humming. And then 13, my first performance was a Christmas Special. I sang Silent Night and it was the first time I ever performed in front of anybody and my mother dressed me, I looked like a tree, it was horrible and my brass jacket kept falling off, I'm 13, I'm feeling crazy. I totally remixed the song. I missed like the first half, it was probably the worst performance I've probably given in my life, but the minute I got up that stage I was like, "I want to sing professionally," it was great.
Joanne: When I found out I was in the top 24 I went crazy. I was the last girl to go. I had to go up with Cardin, which was pretty hard. It was just the two of us there, so it was just a bunch of emotions, but in the end after it was down I felt like I lost 20 pounds. It was just great because it was so many hours of waiting.