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The Show Formerly Known As American Idol – Welcome To The Universe Of Sanjaya

April 04, 2007 06:55 AM by Joe Blackmon

Sanjaya_universeYes, it’s time for American Idol producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken
Warwick to throw in the towel and rename American Idol.  No longer is
their little television show about the search for the best undiscovered
pop singer in America, but it has officially become a show about
Sanjaya Malakar

Ryan Seacrest realized this last week when he sported a ponyhawk and admitted to being “Sanjayad.”  Simon Cowell apparently realized it this week when after Sanjaya’s performance he said “Let’s try a different tactic this week.  Incredible.”  Cowell’s feedback seemed to be a realization that no matter what criticism he gave Sanjaya that America was going to keep him on the show, so he tried throwing out a compliment as a different tactic to get him off the show.

What should American Idol be called now that Sanjaya Malakar has taken over?  Well, Sanjaya gave the perfect new name for the show in his reply to Simon Cowell’s comment.  Sanjaya said “Welcome to the Universe of Sanjaya.”  Sanjaya’s comeback was likely a sly reference to Simon Cowell’s comment from last week.  Cowell had told Sanjaya, “I think you are in your own universe and if people like you, good luck.”

However, Sanjaya’s own universe has now become American Idol’s universe.  While Sanjaya is by no means the best singer on the show, Randy Jackson hit the nail on the head when he called Sanjaya “a great entertainer.”  While Melinda Doolittle, Jordin Sparks, and Lakisha Jones can stand in the center of the stage and deliver great vocals every week, the show is desperately missing someone who can both sing and entertain.  Missing are singers like Bo Bice and Chris Daughtry, both of whom had great stage presence to go with their powerful voices.   

With no singer offering the complete package, viewers are left to either root for the great vocal or the best entertainer.  If the other finalists want to outlast Sanjaya Malakar, they need to realize that they are going to have to do more than just out sing him.  For the other finalists to stand a chance, they are going to have to become better entertainers than Sanjaya.  If they don’t, then they may soon find themselves eliminated from the show formerly known as American Idol. 

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43 Comments »

43 Responses to “The Show Formerly Known As American Idol – Welcome To The Universe Of Sanjaya”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:36 am

    You’re going to feel awfully embarrassed if he gets cut tonight or is in the bottom 3 after all that. Simon has done that reverse psychology before- it’s not the first time just for Sanjaya. Melinda has been the top vote getter since the TOP 12 started- she really is not threatened by Sanjaya at all.

  2. American Idle Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:51 am

    The show should now be called ‘American Idle’- the suspense stuck in neutral. Sanjaya shouldn’t have made it to the top 24! Lest, the top 12!

    No one has brought up the fact the JUDGES put him in there by putting him in the top 24!

  3. Steven Joseph Rotolo Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Yes, yes yes yes yes yes… and yes.

    Yes.

    This season is all about Sanjaya, and God bless him. The kid can sing alright, but obviously live performances in a big stage are not his strong suit. But he can sing in a Madonna-style kind of way where substance is buried under a mile high pile of gimmickry.

    But you’re right when you say this season sucks. It does. Mindy Doo, Lakisha and Jordin have the golden tonsils and the wind-pipes to blow off the stage anyone foolish enough to step up alongside them. And perhaps Jordin has more allure as a solo performer. But Lakisha and Melinda are too matronly to be in the same league sales-wise as Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, or even Kat Macphee.

    Sanjaya, on the other hand, can sell them records by applying his chamaleon-style of singing to his would-be records.

    Hey, it’s worked for Madonna these past twenty-five years, no?

    Welcome to the Universe Sanjaya, I am glad to be here.

  4. Algee Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Sanjaya is defintely an entertainer, though not one I would ever pay to see. If you’re talking about complete package, I really feel it’s Jordin. Unlike Melinda and Lakisha, she tries something different every week, doesn’t stay in the same groove. She IS an entertainer and has a great personality. Jordin is the American Idol.

  5. l-ro Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    American Idol is dulldulldull. I’m sick to death of big-voiced divas. Sanjay sings ok. He’s fun to watch. this is the 1st time I’ve even been dragged in by AI.

  6. Heather Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:48 am

    how can you say that there are no contestants offering the “offering the complete package”, that possess both an amazing voice and a fantastic stage presence? What about Blake? He’s a great singer, a great dancer, he’s interesting & different with his beat-boxing angle, he always looks cool & makes every song contemporary no matter what year it was originally released in.

  7. John Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Every week Ryan say’s it “MALAKAR MANIA” and now you can OWN IT!

    http://WWW.MALAKARMANIA.COM is up for auction on Ebay. This has to be worth a ton with all of the MALAKAR MADNESS going on with American Idol! It will definitely get a ton of hits and it will be interesting to see what it sells for!

  8. Pete Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 10:19 am

    You hit it on the nail, this season we either have mediocre voices with performance skill or big voices with mediocre performance skills. Am I the only one tired of Diva voices with Diva attitudes or performers with mediocre voices who think they’re the sh*t? American Idol peeked with Season 5, now it’s just a train wreck. I blame the judges and producers who chose this mediocre group while kicking out real talent in favor of snarky entertainment for ratings.

  9. I can't believe I'm reading this crap Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 11:16 am

    I can’t believe I’m reading this crap! people tired of talent…who the hell get’s tired of talent. and when does big voices automatically equal diva attitudes. I think John is projecting his own biased believes unto women who have not shown a bit of the big diva attitude. people seem not to be able to reconcile that there are people just that talented. and how interested that in a season when the finalists taste throws more towards R&B, the show is dull! Hm!! I guess I’m a bit biased too since I caught every season of AI except for last year. I thought last year was boring, guess musical tastes dictates what people think as boring.

  10. ginny Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 11:32 am

    The press is the one who is making Sanjaya the “universe”. If they would quit giving him so much publicity, then he would definitely be bye-bybe. My apologies to Sanjaya fans, but the kid is just flat out creepy and his remarks back to Simon is nothing more than the actions of a rude kid.

  11. Ted Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Hmmm…Blake a great singer? I think that’s stretching things. He’s a solid singer, but hardly more. He’s trendy and contemporary. He has style to appeal to the younger (under 30′s) crowd, but his vocals are not stunning. Think back on the male voices that we’ve heard in the past on AI alone, Justin Guarini, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Josh Gracin, Bo Bice, Elliott Yamin, and Chris Daughtry have all been a class above Blake. And even the likes of Taylor Hicks, Constantine Maroulis, Anthony Federov, Ace Young and Bucky Covington have been stronger vocally. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t talented. He’s an excellent entertainer and is a well-rounded package, but he is far from the best vocalist. Even this season, vocally, he was weaker than AJ Tabaldo, Sundance Head, Chris Sligh and Brandon Rogers. But he’s a more complete package than any of them and he doesn’t have any weaknesses (which they all had). He’s solid and well-rounded without any significant weakness, but just because he’s better than the other boys, let’s not overemphasize his talents. He’ll be one of the more successful finalists for this season, but I don’t see this season producing any record breaking stars. It’s a generally weaker field than the last 2-3 seasons.

  12. John Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=012&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&viewitem=&item=220099367712&rd=1&rd=1

    This is the link to the http://www.MALAKARMANIA.com auction for the Domain name / URL on Ebay …. still no bids at $9.95

  13. SANJAYA Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Sanjaya was not that bad. Yeah he should sing louder, but he wasn’t as bad as Phil or haley.

  14. Mike C/ Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    The picture here os Sin-Jalala is horrid–a real eyesore! Yikes!
    The singers did ok last night but it doesnt matter who gets cut.
    Prediction: Haley-who is the least talented of a lackluster bunch.
    They all need to step it up. Melinda and Latisha dangerous close to repeating themselves week after week.
    And what of Sin-Jalala’s “Cheek to Cheek” warbling? Could have been alot worse as we all know.
    Incredible is right!!! His sheer foolishness every week, I hate to admit, almost makes up with his very limited talent!!

  15. Dawn Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Sanjaya’s gonna be here till the very end, hopefully.
    My two cents for the eliminations and reasons:
    Haley Scarnato- She just can’t sing. I haven’t liked her since Sirbrina Sloan was cut!
    Phil Stacey- This is the first time this season that I think that Phil Stacey is done for.
    Lakisha Jones- Same with her, this may be a shocker this week.
    I voted for Sanjaya last night so um, I think Sanjaya will be safe at this point.

  16. suns Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Peolple kept on saying this is singing competition. Cowell keep on emphasizing it. The truth is every time I watch Doo-lot and Lakish it becomes more boring… Like a car who only have one speed… always the same week after week… difinitely not an entertainer… If they keep going like this they might see the door way out sooner… Am I going to vote for them? Idon’t think soooo… Its booooorrrrrriiiinnnnngggggg…

  17. Anonymous Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    It isn’t really his fault, you know. The reason he is that way is because of the producers, vote for the worst, and YOU people!!!!

    And no, I don’t vote for him, but I think you’re all targeting the wrong person. Sanjaya NEVER asked to be treated that way and NEVER said he was the best singer nor that you should make him stay and vote off the very good singers.

  18. Anonymous Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    AMERICA FUNKING BLEW IT. HOW THE FU.CK DOES FU.CKING NO TALENT CAMEL JOCKEY SANJAYA STAY AND GINA GOES HOME.

  19. Anonymous Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    FU.CK SANJAYA! HE SHOULD BE BOOTED JUST BECAUSE OF THE VFTW FAGGETS AND HOWARD STERN THAT NO TALENT HIPPY ASSFU.CK

  20. vickey Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    unfair what everyone is doing to sanjaya.its going to realy be painfull for him when he finds out he is the butt end of some sickos joke.fox and idol producers shoulda put a stop to it right away.last idol show for me

  21. mike Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    NO MORE AMERICAN IDOL FOR ME!THIS SHOW HAS GOT TO BE RIGGED!ALL THE OTHER CONTESTANTS SHOULD REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE ANY LONGER!ONLY WAY TO STOP IT.LET SANJAYA WIN,AND FORGET IT!SURE HOPE HE HAS A DAY JOB!BOO ON FOX!!!!

  22. JD Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I TOTALLY AGREE!! EITHER THAT IDOT SANJAYA GOES OR I QUIT WATCHING IDOL FOREVER!! I TOO THINK THIS IS RIGGED, HE CAN’T SING, FACE IT! THE ONES THAT HAVE A SHOT ARE BEING VOTED OFF, AMERICA IF YOU KEEP VOTING FOR THAT IDOT AND IF HE HAPPENES TO WIN THAT UGLY THING WILL NEVER GET A RECORD DEAL BECUSE HE CAN’T CARRY A TUNE! MAYBE THEY SHOULD OF KEPT HIS SISTER, AT LEAST SHE COULD CARRY A TUNE! WAKE UP!!!

  23. DaMama Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Don’t blame Sanjaya. It’s not his fault. I don’t know who is voting for him, but they must be hitting speed dial for 2 hours. Yes he’s cute and he can sing somewhat, but he does not deserve to be on that stage. I wasn’t a big Sundance Head fan, but he deserved to be there rather than Sanjaya.

    Both Haley and Sanjaya need to go home. They are completely out of their league here.

    This is the worse top 12 they’ve had. I think that AI had jumped the shark this season. Melinda and LaKisha are great. Blake is good but he’s limited on talent. You can only take beat-boxing so far. Jordin is good but she’s got a lot of growing up to do. Gina is OK but she’d sing a lot better if she’d get rid of that stupid tongue ring. It impedes her pronunciation. Phil – has potential but just doesn’t pull it off. Chris Richardson is terrible and I can’t figure out why the judges like him. He butchered his song last night.

    I won’t be attending the concert this year. I’ll buy Melinda’s CD but I really don’t care to see the concert, which is a shame. We’ve looked forward to the concert every summer.

  24. Dave Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Sanjaya is the most entertaining person on the show. When I read all the hateful things said about this kid, I vote for him even more. No tolerance for bigots and idiots;

  25. Sally Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    I think Sanjaya will win idol this year. Enough of all the hate spewed forth by the bigots and idiots on this thread

  26. emily Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    it is not only about vocal but look as well..lakisha is way too fat and ugly to be on the stage! I cannot believe watching an ugly and fat woman singing on the national telivision! I won’t pay a penny for someone like her!

  27. Medini Pradhan Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    I have watched American Idol 6 from the start and have actually grown to like Sanjaya Malakar ‘s ever fun personality – even in the face of harsh and absurd criticism !

    Ok yes, his Indianness has a lot to do with my voting, but that is not all ! I do think he is a much better entertainer than Lakisha, Phil or Melinda who belt fabulous tunes……which no teenager would download ! Would you?

    I do like Blake, Haley and Jordin….great contemporary artists !

    I have watched Simon when he judges…..he does not look at the contestant…..he judges the way a person sounds. Although many of the singers on this year’s American Idol sound PERFECT…..like Lakisha and Melinda…..It is not perfection in singing that will sell records.

    I see myself tuning to another radio station if I hear Lakisha ……yes they are very good singers but they have NO PERSONALITY and are definitely not contemporary!

  28. linda Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:43 am

    Lakeisha and Melinda are too matronly so they will not win the title of AI.Great voices but,not entertainers. I believe Jordin will win it all,if Sanjaya doesn’t’

  29. linda Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Lakeisha and Melinda are too matronly so they will not win the title of AI.Great voices but,not entertainers. I believe Jordin will win it all,if Sanjaya doesn’t’

  30. linda Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Lakeisha and Melinda are too matronly so they will not win the title of AI.Great voices but,not entertainers. I believe Jordin will win it all,if Sanjaya doesn’t’

  31. linda Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Lakeisha and Melinda are too matronly so they will not win the title of AI.Great voices but,not entertainers. I believe Jordin will win it all,if Sanjaya doesn’t’

  32. linda Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Lakeisha and Melinda are too matronly so they will not win the title of AI.Great voices but,not entertainers. I believe Jordin will win it all,if Sanjaya doesn’t’

  33. linda Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Lakeisha and Melinda are too matronly so they will not win the title of AI.Great voices but,not entertainers. I believe Jordin will win it all,if Sanjaya doesn’t’

  34. linda Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Lakeisha and Melinda are too matronly so they will not win the title of AI.Great voices but,not entertainers. I believe Jordin will win it all,if Sanjaya doesn’t’

  35. Sara Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Sanjaya is NOT a “great entertainer”. Anyone who seriously quotes Randy Jackson — who has a vocabulary of what? Maybe 25 words? (Half of which he can’t use correctly) — is being foolish. The fact is, Sanjaya doesn’t DO anything (i.e., “entertain”) except show up and sing off key. That is NOT being a great entertainer. What Jackson meant was that Sanjaya is entertainMENT — simply because he’s so odd. That oddness makes for tons of jokes about Sanjaya (laughing AT him, not WITH him) and creates curiousity about his tenure on the show. But that’s NOT the same thing as being “a great entertainer”. There are simple-minded sheeple who vote for him because they think it’s funny to do so, or because Howard Stern commanded them to (and they’re not intelligent enough to realize that’s stupid and just plain wrong), or because they’re little tweenagers who think he’s cute, or because he’s a fellow Indian. But no one in their right mind can call Sanjaya an entertainer. He’s simply this year’s untalented oddball/freak — like the “She bangs” guy. Neither is an entertainer. They’re just curiosities.

  36. Larry Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 5:44 am

    American Idol’s Sanjaya Malakar JUST WON’T GO AWAY! Sanjaya Malakar incites weeping and gnashing of teeth, in purists who appreciate artists who have the vocal ability and emotional maturity to do justice to pop standards….But Sanjaya is still around because he sings the songs that makes the young girls cry — and vote repeatedly for him on their pink cell phones…..This week the Sanjaya and the rest of the American Idol finalists were mentored by Tony Bennett; but Sanjaya still performed like he has only a passing acquaintance with concepts like pitch and melody……The judges have given up assessing Sanjaya as a singer; instead they make references to his hair, clothing and charm………Sanjaya knows how to reduce a 13-year-old Ashley Ferl to tears, but he also has the knack to charm a middle-aged Paula Abdul. During his performance of “Cheek to Cheek” he danced for a few moments with the giddy judge. …..And it’s the little girls and the grandmas, not to mention Howard Stern, who are responsible for the Sanjaya phenomenon. …….My ears tell me that Melinda Doolittle is the best singer; my eyes are pulling for the sexy Haley Scarnato — but my head is rooting for Sanjaya Malakar to win it all. The longer Sanjaya stays in the running, the more fodder he will provide for my pop culture essays.
    From..http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=23417

  37. Larr Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 5:47 am

    SANJAYA IS ALREADY THE AMERICAN IDOL! New York, April 5 Indian American Sanjaya Malakar was rated among the top six from the eight contestants left in the fray for ‘American Idol’ Wednesday. But going by his swelling fan following and rising popularity, the 17-year-old Washington boy is already the American Idol……..Yahoo asked whether Malakar has saved the show on Fox channel. Fox, too, may like to crown him come May so that America keeps watching. ABC News aired a programme asking New Yorkers to identify presidential candidates and Idol contestants………Of course, younger people predominantly identified the Idols. From the contestants, the first photo flashed by interviewers and most easily identified was of Sanjaya……..Originally conceived as the US version of Britain’s ‘Pop Idol’, the show has contestants belting out stirring renditions of classic pop songs each week while enduring the barbs of the judges, before America votes to decide who will be the next American Idol….READ THE REST OF STORY HERE… http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/48089.html

  38. Genie Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    I disagree with your (the columnist’s) basic premise that, “[w]hile Melinda Doolittle, Jordin Sparks, and Lakisha Jones can stand in the center of the stage and deliver great vocals every week, the show is desperately missing someone who can both sing and entertain.”

    Melinda Doolittle does not just stand center stage and sing. She moves around the stage a lot and always ‘reaches out’ to the audience with her performances. Her looks may not be as marketable as Hayley’s, Blake’s, Jordin’s, Chris’s, or Sanjaya’s, but her stage presence is amazing!

  39. Genie Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    I disagree with your (the columnist’s) basic premise that, “[w]hile Melinda Doolittle, Jordin Sparks, and Lakisha Jones can stand in the center of the stage and deliver great vocals every week, the show is desperately missing someone who can both sing and entertain.”

    Melinda Doolittle does not just stand center stage and sing. She moves around the stage a lot and always ‘reaches out’ to the audience with her performances. Her looks may not be as marketable as Hayley’s, Blake’s, Jordin’s, Chris’s, or Sanjaya’s, but her stage presence is amazing!

  40. whateva Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    I kip on watching AI bcz of Sanjaya. It’s not right to blame him cz he NEVER EVER admit tht he is a better singer thn anyone else. This is so obvious since the first selection. He said tht his sister can sing better thn him. but the judges select him n not his sis. So, who to be blame here? and he never ask personally to vote for him. bt America vote for him cz thy like him. So, pls dun blame him for tht too. If this is a singing competition, shud jz let the judges to make decision for thge elimination. but this is voting based elimination. if u din like anyone DUN VOTE for them. But we have no rights to blame any singers where i think tht all of them are much more better singers thn most of us.Thts y they can b on the AI stage n not de others. So stop blaming and jz let the way it goes while kip on watchin it. i LIKE AI.

  41. trina Says:
    April 6th, 2007 at 10:08 am

    I agree with the writer. The show is lackluster this year. We have three boring girls with big voices who are not marketable. None of the rest are any good. At least Sanjaya is an entertainer, he’s a nice looking kid and he provides some fun to the boring show. He could be a hit on Radio Disney. I sure miss Chris and Bo, like the writer said.

  42. Joel Says:
    April 6th, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    All I can say is that my friends and all our dialing computers are going to be voting for Sanjaya right thru the finals.

    Thank you Howard Stern for keeping us in the right path

  43. Anonymous Says:
    April 11th, 2007 at 8:48 am

    how come everyone talks about sanjaya being bad when Haley stinks also id like her to leave before Sanjaya

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