Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Abraham McDonald Gives God All the Credit
By Niele Anderson
Published November 19, 2009

Abraham McDonald Gives God All the Credit

Abraham McDonald

Out of thousands of hopefuls McDonald wins Oprah’s 1st Karaoke Challenge. 

By Niele Anderson
Sentinel Religion Editor 

Call it destiny or call it fate but if you ask Abraham McDonald he will tell you it was nothing but God’s favor that landed him the title of Oprah’s 1st  Karaoke Challenge.

In a series of daily life issues, a nudging of his sister Breeze McDonald (she entered him in the contest) and a broken down car, McDonald was lead to Chester Washington Golf Course to audition for the LA County Fair Karaoke competition. The prize was $1000, what he needed to get his car fixed. After being chosen as a finalist for the fair, McDonald had no clue what was in store.

Not only did he win male vocalist of the year at the LA County Fair, the Oprah Winfrey Show was searching the country for the best Karaoke singer at the fair. The show was impressed by his vocals and he got a maybe.

Thirty days went by and nothing. “For days after Oprah announced it I went to my phone religiously (he laughs) if the phone rang I was like hello hello, is that you Oprah,” states McDonald.

Next he gets a call from Harpo asking him to audition again. He received a Fed-Ex package with a Skype kit and chuckled “I ask people what is the latest you can get a Fed-Ex package and they say 8p.m. I say that’s only if your not Oprah because my Fed-Ex package got here after 8p.m.

The next morning he was waiting to audition but instead Oprah appeared and tells him he is live on the Oprah Show and he has made it to the semi finals.

“Until that point I had never seen myself happy. I can smile for your life and celebrate you to the days end, but when it came to me, I didn’t feel worthy,” McDonald said, “I didn’t look at myself as anyone who deserves anything. I had gone through some rough times in my life that I just did not understand.”

After Oprah announced he made the semi finals, within an hour he checked his email and plane reservations to Harpo Studios in Chicago were waiting for him.

Within a few days, Harpo field producers arrived and filmed McDonald and his life in Los Angeles. He heads up the 0711 Initiative at Morningside High School. 0711 is a mentorship program he started with the freshman class of 2007. He follows, encourages and mentors them until they graduate in 2011.

Upon arriving in Chicago, McDonald competed and made it to the final three, then won it all the following week. When asked his thoughts about Oprah, he replied, “I consider her one of God’s little angels, but in a big way. She to me is an example of stewardship. “

McDonald walked away with $250,000 and a song recording with Island Def Jam. The runner up received $100,000 and 3rd place $50,000.

The joy and excitement was all over McDonald as we talked and he closed with this, “If there is nothing else I want people to know its this, how you think is what you become. Push your dreams as if they are as light as a feather, because the weight of favor is very heavy if you are not focused on God.”


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