Thursday, April 05, 2007

America loves a man with flexible hair

A couple weeks ago a good friend -- although one who doesn't often call -- gave me a ring to ask an important favor: Would I watch American Idol and then vote for the Indian kid with the weird hair at the end?

I told him that I didn't think much of AI, so I probably wouldn't, but this upped my awareness of what has been going on with America's favorite television show and a young man named Sanjaya Malakar.

Not surprisingly my good friend is somewhat of a Howard Stern disciple, and one of the theories on why Malakar, the pitch-less crooner, has lasted so long on the program is the shock jock has been promoting the website and the idea behind, which aims to expose what some folks see as the style over substance hypocrisy of American Idol by encouraging voters to select the worst singer still in contention.

Malakar has the doe-eyes and sculpted eyebrows of a Tiger Beat cover boy (as well as unusually versatile hair) and others point to his perceived legions of 12-year old female fans, who would have no qualms about voting for him all day and all night, as the tasteless culprits. There was even talk of a plot where the one billion plus citizens of India, the place of Malakar's father's birth, nefariously flood the voting in what could be America's most important, if not just favorite, electoral contest. Although this seems to have been proven impossible.

Eager to get to the bottom of the foremost quandary of the day, I gave in and watched the show on Tuesday.

I tend to divide technical singing ability into two categories: Better than me and worse than me. The number of those who fall into the first category is gigantic, and those who finds themselves in the second should be reluctant to sing in the shower, let alone on national television.

It didn't take me long to realize that Malaker was clearly in the first category -- and there went my blog post mocking him.

In fact, and already acknowledging I'm not the keenest judge of singing, I really didn't hear that much of a difference between Malaker and the other contestants -- besides the two heavier-set black women, who clearly had the superior voices.

Where Malaker did differentiate himself was with his stage presence and showmanship. The kid was born to be under the lights. He serenaded the audience, danced with the judges and showed, in about thirty seconds, that he was having a great time, critics be damned.

I probably caught him on a good night -- the judges mentioned he was better than usual.

Still, if a few weeks pass and Malaker remains on the show and in the news, I'll probably check out American Idol again. And if his performance is like it was on Tuesday, I'll heed my friends call and vote for the "worst." Maybe even more than once.

1 comment:

supermom_in_ny said...

That's exactly what I wrote in my entry!

He is a natural. His smile is contagious and no matter what people say...he's still standing!

He may not be the best singer in the world, but neither are most of the celebs of the music world.

Can Shakira, Gwen or Madonna sing one of Christina Aguliera's, Jennifer Hudson's or Mariah Carey's ballads? I don't think so.

The entry can be found here:

BTW, I'm not an American Idol fan. I've just been following Sanjaya's story on the net...