Democracy Simply Doesn't Work

At what point does ironic subversion become active participation? Take the case of American Idol’s Sanjaya Malakar, the talentless teen who continues to blandly warble his way deeper into the Top 10, despite any discernable singing ability. Each one of his songs is safe, genteel and painful to watch yet he not only advances he also is avoiding the bottom three and sending people with genuine ability (so to speak) back to obscurity. He is William Hung, writ large.

I was perplexed as to how he was managing this feat. I know it’s foolish to underestimate the musical tastes of the reality show voting public but I figured that even they would see through this sham. Not likely, but it’s more than hormone-addled pre-teens keeping this doe-eyed hack in he competition. People are voting in droves for Sanjay for all the above reasons, trying to subvert the process by crowning the worst singer the new American Idol. Which is actually quite funny. Howard Stern has also sent his slavering masses to the telephone banks and it appears to be working.

But are they really making a mockery of the show by subverting its voting process or are they just cogs in the marketing machine? The winner of the show is irrelevant as it is often the runner-ups that go on to better careers (Kelly Clarkson notwithstanding). His continuing presence is encouraging people to vote for others so he doesn’t get in and others so he does. I’m sure the show doesn’t care why you vote as long as you continue to do so.

Sanjay appears to be aware of his status as the Snakes on a Plane mass joke of the moment and is playing it for all it is worth. How else to explain what he keeps doing that rats nest of hair? He’s also playing to those young fans just in case people get bored with the prank. Put those groups together and we may have ourselves a winner. Here’s hoping!


  1. I don't watch the show but the consistent panning of this guy is making me curious to check it out for myself.

    I may have to do a YouTube search for some of his performances...

    Do I dare?

  2. I think if he does win Simon might actually stop doing those shows because he sucks!!

    marina dont bother but if you do make sure you have something to drink with it cuz you're gonna need it :/

  3. Personally, I think the reason he survives each week is because of the all the teenage girls voting for him. It's not the first time...In the first season Justin Guarini actually made it to first runner-up based on that alone!

  4. I have never watched an episode of American Idol in my life but I do know this, with the exception of Kelly Clarkson, all other Idol winners have disappeared into obscurity so hopefully if this bigtooth, androgynous troll wins he'll be gone forever!

  5. He definitely is set to transform the show's Phil donahue side into Jerry Springer's later years.

    This is my first year watching it and despite the tremendous talent of a few, I doubt that 80% of the top ten represent America's top singing talent.

    What intrigues me is the number of votes for Sanjaya out of contempt for the show.

    Simon's under a $30M contract so it's highly unlikely he'll quit should Sanjaya win?

    My vote? The kid's a flash in the pan in a flash in the pan and his last moment of limelight will disappear as he's voted off.

    Watch Melinda Dolittle.

  6. I don't think it much matters who wins at this point. Those with talent will get record deals, those who don't will become trivia answers and the show will move on to Season 7, none the worse for wear.

    Stumbles - you're right, Simon won't walk away from that kind of money. Everyone has a price and they found his. While I agree that Melinda Dolittle has the voice I can't imagine anyone buying her album - her sound is a couple of decades too old. I think Blake Lewis is the guy to beat.


    Pablo Francisco on Hung