I am surprised that a storm has been brewing [CelebTV video] outside the die hard American Idol fan base over the continued presence of Sanjaya Malakar. However, after yesterday’s episode, he might just stay another week if not more. Sanjaya shed his shy guy image, sang “You Really Got Me“, pranced around the stage & among the audience, and flailed his hair around. He still sucked but I repeat American Idol is not a singing competition.
That was enough to get a little girl crying tears of happiness. As if this week’s theme British Invasion wasn’t enough that Fox had to repeatedly show a typical symptom of Beatles Mania while Sanjaya was singing. Nope, it wasn’t a desi teenager as some would like us to think. Personally, I think it was a classic stunt by Fox of playing to the masses who’ve kept Sanjaya in so far [can't beat them, join them.] They even got Sanjaya to hug the little girl probably giving her immense joy. I don’t think she stopped crying even after Sanjaya was done. Even Simon couldn’t help pointing to her as a judgment of Sanjaya’s performance [video and 40+ screen caps.] What do pre-teen girls know about singing, right? Again, you’ll ask that if you think American Idol is about singing and not reality TV at its watchable best. Take a look at the little girl. It is not call centers or desi (south-asian) ghettos organizing ‘Malakrazy’ parties to keep him on. It is the American tween girl demographic. It is the same demographic that made Britney Spears popular. I should assume Sanjaya Malakar is the least of their crimes.
If the tween wave wasn’t enough to tide Sanjaya over, the folks at Vote for the Worst have been joined by shock-jock Howard Stern and his 5 million listeners in making Sanjaya’s case. Responding to accusations of a desi conspiracy, the newly-crowned specialist, Confused (now outed) shares his wisdom with ABC News:
“There’s not a concerted effort to make him win,” said Rohit Pradhan, a frequent blogger on DesiPundit.com and other sites catering to Indian interests. Pradhan added, however, that there is online chatter about Malakar being on the show. “I definitely think Indian-Americans take him as one of their own,” he said. “There’s a feeling of pride, or being part of mainstream America.”
But that doesn’t stop the hidden racism from rearing its ugly head [see this comment (slightly edited)] I hadn’t seen such a wave of hatred for John Stevens couple of seasons ago (it’s a frikking TV show.)
PS. Why are people still searching for Shyamali, his sister?
Update: MTV has the scoop on the ‘star crier’ on American Idol. It turns out that Ashley is from Riverside, California and was not a ‘special guest’ on the show or an American Idol plant. “Ashley and her mother got tickets on a Web site to attend a taping of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” that also included a dress rehearsal for “Idol.” When producers spotted her crying during the run-through, they offered her the prime seats. Now that’s one classic example of 15 seconds of fame that your tears can get you. By the way, she cried throughout the show and supports Sanjaya Malakar, Melinda Doolittle, Gina Glocksen and Jordin Sparks equally. Bur fortunately, Idol showing her crying during Sanjaya’s performance helped him survive at least one more week.