Amanda was nervous as she sat on the hard wooden bench in the large auditorium, crowded among young hopefuls all trying to get their first real break. The Star Search crew had come to her little town of Meadville, Pennsylvania, looking for a young, new, fresh face that could also sing their heart out. With other reality TV shows like, “American Idol,” this cast wanted to compete by introducing a brilliant new STAR to America on their show. The newspaper’s article explained that this was not a cattle call and that only singers that were serious about their voices should attend. The cast wouldn’t even allow anyone that was not a resident of a 50 mile radius to apply. Star search was going to find raw talent and they came to the Mid-Atlantic state, “America Starts Here,” of PA.
Twenty-eight was the number assigned to her and the auditions were about to begin. How long would it take for them to get to her? Her mother, Michelle, held her hand, sensing the tension.
“Amanda, I know you must be scared out of your wits but remember you have a gift that the good Lord gave to you and he will be right there with you as you sing His praises,” she said.
Selecting the song by Avalon, “I Don’t Want To Go,” was a perfect song to illustrate her incredible range of notes. Amanda knew in her soul that this melody was the one that God had directed her to select. She recalled the first time she heard it on the local praise and worship station, 90.3, while in the car driving to a church dance with her girlfriends. The chorus was easy to learn and she was singing it before the song ended. Her friends, Tara, Victoria and Lisa had all been talking and not paying any attention to the song until Amanda joined in with the tune. Their heads turned in awe and they closed their eyes, just to listen and focus on her singing.
After the song was over, Lisa reminded Amanda to remember her when she made it famous, she commented, “With a voice that beautiful, singing for others must be your destiny.”
“Twenty-Seven through thirty, report to the audition table!” came over the loud speaker.
Michelle lovingly looked into her daughter’s eyes and the unspoken words of encouragement passed between them as they embraced. Amanda walked over to the table and handed her number to the professional looking woman seated behind it.
Without even looking up, “Name?” she asked.
“Amanda Leeve,” cracked her voice.
“Song?” continued the woman. Amanda finished answering all of the questions and now it was time for her to head over to the sound room.
With head phones on, Amanda said a short silent prayer to Jesus, “Dear Lord, thy will be done.” She knew the Lord already knew what was in her heart and she wanted her voice to bring glory to Him and witness to others. Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson both are very talented young women; however, they were influencing young girls to be sexual beings. Amanda wanted to show that you can be famous and ladylike at the same time. The purity program that her youth group attended last year sent the message that girls’ language and dress should reflect who we are in Christ.” Being able to give tweens (girls 9-12) and teens a positive role model without selling sex was her dream and with God’s help this would be the beginning.
“I don’t want to go somewhere, if I know that you’re not there!” sang Amanda.
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