Sayonara Sanjaya

Is nothing sacred? Can’t even Howard Stern and a web campaign keep a terrible singer in an overblown singing contest? Tonight, after a ridiculous 38 million votes were cast (more than the population of Canada), Sanjaya Malakar was sent packing.

For a while it looked like the toothy teenager had a shot at becoming the next American Idol. Despite night after night of sub par performances, Sanjaya kept rising through the rounds. No matter what bile judge Simon Cowell spewed it slid off him as if his mop of hair was made of Teflon.

Ever since the voting began a heady mix of pre-pubescent teens and ironic voters, aiming to derail the Idol voting process, came together to cast their electronic ballots for the safe-as-milk Malakar, propelling him into the upper reaches of the competition. But tonight something changed and the hairdo that sings like a boy is gone.

So what happened? Did fans of the show come to their senses and see it was a joke that Sanjaya had made it that far? Did they realize that to vote for him would mean more talented singers would be eliminated? Or did the joke voters just get bored with the hoax after it dawned on them that their participation in the process was seen as a validation of the show, no matter what their intent was. My guess is it was more the latter than the former.

In any case Sanjaya will be missed by the show. Sure, a mostly talentless hack has been voted off, but his continued presence guaranteed constant chatter, in both the media and online – it was the kind of exposure you can’t buy. If Sanjaya didn’t exist the producers would have had to create him. Not that I’m so cynical as to suggest that’s what happened in this case…


  1. Wasn't Simon (and AI team) responsible for bringing sanjaya in Top 24.
    Does that mean that AI producers judges found Sanjaya to be Top 24 from 100,000 of AI contestants.
    Man another so called reality Tv show where 90% of the script was already written.
    AI got lot of PR because of poor sanjaya. During the audition rounds they made lot of fun other guys. AI kept Sanjaya to get publicity on making fun of Sanjaya. Sanjaya is no way a good singer. But these were the same judges who bought him in Top 24.

  2. I haven't seen one episode of Idol this time around and even I knew who this guy was, and I didn't even have to look it up! It was everywhere!

  3. My brother was actually disappointed that Sanjaya was voted off. He was hoping it would be Chris Richardson who would be voted off. He says he can't stand his nasally voice (which my brother picked up on weeks before Simon did).

  4. I suspect the real reason was that all of the votes against Sanjaya were simply being split amongst a smaller and smaller group each week. This was inevitable.

  5. I'm with Marina -- haven't seen a single episode, but I feel like I could write Sanjaya's life story. Now THAT is great PR.

  6. You've got to hand it to the producers - they know how to milk a controversy and every show needs a villian.