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Joanne Borgella, former 'American Idol' contestant, dead at age 32 from cancer

By Reality TV World staff, 10/20/2014 

Joanne Borgella has died at 32 after losing a battle with cancer.

The former American Idol contestant's family revealed she had passed away Saturday morning from endometrial cancer in a posting on her Facebook fanpage.

"To God be the glory! With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne," the family wrote in the posting. "On Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 5:45AM, Joanne Borgella Ramirez was called by the Lord to heaven."

"At an early age, Joanne made a choice to serve and trust the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world. Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered. Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven."

Borgella, a successfully plus-size model, competed on American Idol's seventh season in 2008 when she was 25.  While she made the season's Top 24 semifinalists, Borgella was eliminated in the first results show which determined the competition's Top 20 contestants.

Due to Idol's contractual requirements, Borgella actually left her high-profile Wilhelmina Models modeling agency to compete on the singing competition.  However she had insisted she didn't regret her decision.

"For me, singing by far is always going to be my favorite," she told reporters following her Idol elimination.

"I mean if the world could be a musical, I would be the lead singer in it.  As far as modeling is concerned, I absolutely love doing it.  I've never thought about doing America's Next Top Model, because I was [already] with Wilhelmina, which is one of the No. 1 agencies.  And I actually made the decision to leave there, in order to pursue American Idol, because you know you can't have any contracts when you join with the show.  So it was a big decision I made, but it wasn't hard, because singing is my passion."

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