Family and friends defend Sanjaya

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Apr 12th 2007 4:45PM
SanjayaSanjaya Malakar might not be American Idol's best vocalist -- but he is the one receiving all the press. He is also fodder for countless parodies (including this one with bunnies and Bob Dylan), and has caused desperate people to embark on ridiculous hunger strikes .

However, Sanjaya doesn't just have his haters. He is loved by J.Lo, and backed by Howard Stern. And this week, even Simon Cowell didn't completely hate him.

While America may be split on Sanjaya, his hometown friends and family still love and support him.

Sanjaya's aunt, Christi Recchi, recently defended him against his critics, saying, "There are better ways to spend your time and energy [besides] bashing some 17-year-old kid who has been swept up in this whole thing."

Sanjaya's pastor and choir director said, "I hope people know I'm so proud of this young man. He's a perfect example of what our young people are made of these days."

I defended Sanjaya weeks ago in a post that caused even more heated debate. Here's the thing -- I'm not even a Fanjaya. I just wanted to point out that the hate wasn't necessary. It shouldn't be personal. Whether you like his singing or not, he's still just a human being like the rest of us.

But the debate will rage on. The haters say he's killing Idol. His supporters say he makes things interesting. The press can't stop talking about him, because the public can't stop talking about him. He's just a 17-year-old kid who was plucked from obsurity and now has become a household name. And that is the power of American Idol.

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April 18 2007 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You can't have a singing contest where the person that gets the most votes wins. Anyone, even the worst singer can win by getting their family and friends and a phone bank to call and vote for them. You need the judges to vote to him some impact on the final vote.
Because my favorite singer this year, AJ Tabaldo was voted out, I hope Sanjaya wins so they will change the way the winner is selected.

April 13 2007 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd rather have Sanjaya win than Lakeshia. At least when he sings you don't feel like you're being screamed at.

April 13 2007 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think his Aunt Christi is right on the mark. People's willingness to mercilessly "bash" the kid is just another sad sign of America's descent into a culture of cruelty.

Guys like Don Imus have been infecting us for years, slowly coaxing us into viewing their noxious spewings as normal behaviour.

Vicious putdowns ain't cool: they are the weapons of choice for the hateful, envious and mean-spirited among us.

To Sanjaya, I say: best of luck in your life, kid.

To Imus: hopefully you, and your kind, are finally in our past.

And, while I'm at it, to Rosie O': look at Imus, and learn. Your targets may be different, but your malicious style of attack is often much the same. Spare us the bad example.

April 12 2007 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SOme Dude

I dont care what he sings. I just hope to see his hot sister in the audience again. Have you seen his Sister's Hooters pictures? CHeck them out right here:

April 12 2007 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

steveg -

I'm torn between two theories. On the one hand, maybe the judges made an honest mistake. They thought Sanjaya sounded OK in his initial unaccompanied audition, and that's why they gave him a golden ticket (although how he managed to go from there to the top 24 is still a mystery).

On the other hand, maybe Simon and his cohorts engineered this farce, but simply pretend each week to be as shocked as everyone else that Sanjaya still survives. They know their audience, they know who's voting, they know which contestants are going to wind up on the covers of teen magazines. Maybe they could see this coming and that's why they chose him for the top 24: to please the little girls, stir up controversy, and generate ratings.

April 12 2007 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Liz.....GREAT article and right on the money! I'm not a Fanjaya either, but the hating is ridiculous! When I was Ashley's age, I cried over seeing Shaun Cassidy in concert, so I guess it's all relative. I love Idol, but let's get real here; it's a TV show and the Earth will not spin off it's axis if Sanjaya stays on there and GASP....even wins the whole darn thing! (Not that I think that will happen, but I also didn't think he'd make it this far).

April 12 2007 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Judging by the nonstop coverage - - of Sanjaya - he may well be the most talked about idol of all time. All he needs is a sex tape and he will be bigger than the Beatles.

I think it is interesting that the judges seem unhappy that he keeps making it through each week when they selected him out of the hundreds of thousands of applicants as one of the 12 best singers.

April 12 2007 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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