traditionally, i have only watched the early stages of american idol—generally just the auditions, so i can see all those bizarre outsider auditions from delusional folks who think they can sing but clearly can't. that stuff is fun; the final 12 nonsense, not so much. but this year, i'm still watching, for whatever reason. (i could blame it on the girlfriend, but i'll be nice.)
sometime in the last week, i went from passively wondering when sanjaya malakar would be voted off to actively rooting for him to stay in. votefortheworst.com probably had something to do with my conversion. in terms of pure singing ability, sanjaya is probably the worst contestant left on the show, but VFTW helped me come to terms with the that sanjaya is by far one of the most interesting and entertaining contestants up there, precisely because he doesn't have "what it takes" to be a conventional AI star. and as such, he definitely deserves to stay in the competition longer than perenially-dull contestants like haley scarnato, who has nothing going for her but sex appeal, or phil stacey, who doesn't even have that.
not just that, but his continued presence in the competition really seems to piss some people off, which just reaffirms my commitment to keeping him there. the sanjaya buzz is so loud that today, there's not only an AP story about him, but two stories in usa today about how civilization as we know it would end if sanjaya manages to win it all. which is just silly. for one thing, AI is as popular as ever, despite taylor hicks winning last year, which demonstrates that the quality of one year's winner doesn't affect the next season's ratings. for another, even if AI were suddenly canceled, life would go on. and finally, there's no chance sanjaya will truly win. his constituency—consisting of tweenage girls who love his unthreatening good looks, asians and indians voting for him because he's the only asian, and VFTW devotees—is just not big enough. he might get into the top 6 or so, but there's no way he'd win if it were down to just him and, say, melinda doolittle.
so before last night's broadcast, i'd already decided that this week, for the first time ever, i would pick up the phone and vote... for sanjaya malakar. my decision was reaffirmed when i watched the show and saw sanjaya's hair. his trademark floptop locks are one of the keys to his charm, and this week he took his hair to the next level—literally—by tying it up into what has been dubbed a "faux-hawk". that alone was enough to keep him on. so i eagerly picked up the phone and started dialing. by the time voting was over at 11pm, i'd probably voted for the kid a couple hundred times.
if dialidol.com is to be believed, sanjaya is once again safe this week, and either haley and chris sligh are most likely to be voted off. while neither of those two would be mourned too heavily, anyone other than sanjaya leaving will result in another week of sanjaya madness, with the haters becoming increasingly rabid (and throwing out increasingly more racist, homophobic, or transphobic invective) and sanjaya fans like me eagerly awaiting his next performance. i didn't know if sanjaya would be able to top last week's performance of "you really got me", but he did this week with the faux-hawk. what could he possibly do next week to top that? i'm dying to find out. ¶