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Don’t Disrespect American Idol Underdog Sanjaya

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For several weeks now I predicted correctly that Sanjaya would continue on in his quest to become the next American Idol. It is amazing that a shy 17-year-old could elicit such strong emotions from so many across the U.S. Love him or hate him, everyone has an opinion.

So let me ask you these simple questions. Have you ever been in the top eleven in anything important? Are you the kind of person that has the courage to go in and ask the boss for a well-deserved raise? When you see that someone special that you want to talk to across the room or across the bar, do you go over and talk to them or clam up? If you answered yes, congratulations — you are Sanjaya-like. If you answered no, stop dissing my guy.

This young man, Sanjaya, by his own admission is shy. Gee, I guess most of us figured that out by now. It seemed from the way they cut the show at the beginning that he only went into the room to audition because he happened to be there with his sister. Next things he knows, it’s off to Hollywood and now the elite eleven. We should be rejoicing in his success and seeing him as a young role model.

SanjayaIn the comments section of my previous article, "Long Live Sanjaya, American Idol Underdog", a young twelve-year-old named Terrie wrote that she is voting for Sanjaya because she read in his bio that he is shy. Being shy herself, she is attracted to the young man and sees him the way he should be seen — as a role model.

Now some people are trying to explain his success by pointing to Vote for the Worst. While I have no doubt that this helps, I am certain this accounts for only a tiny fraction of the votes he is receiving. The teenagers of America are keeping this young man alive.

We should cherish Sanjaya and accept that he is well-liked around America. Maybe all those teenagers see something in this young man that we as adults cannot. Maybe they see a role model. Maybe they see someone aspiring to a dream. Or maybe they just don’t like the fact that so many are “dissing” him.

I’ll have my prediction out this week on Wednesday afternoon. I am happy to say I correctly predicted that Sanjaya was safe last week, and I also correctly predicted that Brandon would be the first of the top twelve to hit the dirt.

Is a major surprise in store in the next two weeks? The answer is yes, stay tuned.

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About Bob DeMarco

  • With all due respect, being shy does not merit becoming an American Idol. As Simon says over and over again, it’s a singing competition. Compared to the others, Sanjaya is just not up to par. Perhaps in a few years he could be, but right now he’s just not as good as the rest, not even Jordin, who is also a kid.

    People are supposed to vote for the best singer, not who is the prettiest girl, the cutest guy, or the person with the best personality. Of course, if the contestant was a great singer AND was good looking AND has a great personality, then that’s wonderful.

    But of course people have their opinions. Sanjaya is a nice kid and a good sport at all the bashing he receives, but I still don’t think he deserved to be there in the first place.

  • Kaonashi…

    I understand when you say “people are supposed to vote for the best singer”. Of course, that is your opinion.

    I have never heard them say there are any rules about voting on the show. So while it is implied that this is a singing contest, many of the viewers have a different point of view which they have made clear over the the years.

    Do you really believe that Taylor Hicks was the best singer? Not. The guy was a good singer that had a great act that really appealed to voters.

    Do you really think that Diana Degarmo was the second best singer?

    If it was all about singing you would have been looking at Eliott Yamin up on the podium last year.

    There is something speical about Sanjaya. This is being made clear each week as he continues to move on in spite of the fact that he is “clearly” not the best singer.

    For me, I find the entire affair uplifting. And you could say, I don’t mind that it is driving many people crazy.


  • Katelyn

    I agree with this completely. I am a fourteen-year-old, and I see Sanjaya as a role-model. Sure, American Idol is a singing competition. But look at the second part of the shows title. It says “IDOL”, an idol of any kind should be a role-model. So truthfully, this is not just a singing competition as everyone says it is. It is also a competition to show who is the best person to look up to. Honestly, parents out there, would you want your child listening and idolizing someone who does drugs and is drunk all the time? Sadly, a lot of america’s most talented and recognized people are like that. And I think American Idol is an oppurtunity for people with talent and a good heart and personality to be discovered. Sanjaya is a good singer, though his voice is weak sometimes (his performance in “Waiting on the World to Change” was AMAZING), he can sing. There is no way around that, the auditions weren’t rigged (like some people want to think the show is now), so he was put through to Hollywood because he has talent. Maybe not as much as some of the other top 11, but nonetheless he has talent. Sanjaya is being kept alive on this show because so many people see something in him that they see in themself, and they like the way he is handling it. Sanjaya is shy, but he still got up on stage with intentions to recognize his dream of singing professionally. It’s sad that people trash him because he takes his criticism well (people say “he sits there with that stupid smile on his face while being insulted”), it’s great that he handles criticism well. So many people that have reached a high point in America’s entertainment (I.E Paris Hilton), get upset when criticised. Sanjaya is an amazing person for being only seventeen.

  • KC

    I predict this Sajaya guy is going to go further

  • Snortles

    I said this in posts elsewhere that I don’t buy Simon’s complaints this is a singing competition. The name of the show is American IDOL, not American singer. The audience voting automatically opens popularity up as a factor. The only one that benefits over the Sanjaya controversy is American Idol itself. More controversy, the more viewers, the more $$$ Idol makes. I’m even beginning to find it hard to believe that the different “scandals” that pop up with risque photos, contestants with criminal records can keep catching Idol off guard again and again. Simon quit if Sanjaya wins? Not a chance in hell, unless he just to busy taking bags of money to the bank.

  • We should be rejoicing in his success and seeing him as a young role model. How true Robert, and how sad that he’s being so ridiculously treated by many. I too find his story uplifting. If you haven’t been over to the A.I. MyIdol site, go and check out his recorded rendition of last week’s song. The boy sounds pretty good.

  • Martha

    But this is a singing competition and it’s not fair to all of the other idols to vote for Sanjaya because he is shy.

  • Marilyn

    I think it is sad that the only type of voice recognized by the American Idol Judges as being worthy of aclaim, is the very loud big strong powerful voices. If you listen to the most popular Pop singers over the years, many many of them have soft melodic sweet voices. I think Sanjaya has a beautiful smooth controlled voice, and I have never heard him be “pitchy” or off key, while many of the others are often flat and off key. He has never forgotten his words either. Why can’t we cheer for all types of good voices, instead of ONLY the loud powerful voices. Thank God that every song on the radio is not sung by a power voice, or we would never have any soft, mellow, soothing romantic songs to linger over. God bless Sanjaya, for being such a gracious person in the face of all the mean spirited comments in the press, and from the judges! Personally, I love Melinda, and believe that she or one of the other power singers will and should win, however I think at least 2-3 of the others should go home BEFORE Sanjaya does, due to their singing off key so much. And I hope that however far he goes, that he makes a career out of singing, and becomes that Teen Role Model that we need and can look up to!

  • rooster

    please don’t advertise your ignorance..america did not vote for sanjaya..it’s the indian people wasting their money..for vanities sake..so that an idian will go to the top even without talent…please understand that some people who accidentally read your comments are not idiots.Not a single normal human being weill buy his cd because of his voice…he has no voice talent..maybe your deaf.as simon says america is turning down the volume everytime sanjaya sings…pls…maybe thier is something wrong with you..take some medication.

  • Marilyn

    That last comment should not be dignified by a response. However, I’m going to respond because to be silent is to allow you to spread your rediculous hatred! It is clear by your comments that your are a racist who sees only a persons race and not the indifidual! I know a lot of people voting for Sanjaya, and not even one of them is Indian! Why don’t you grow up. Do you only listen to singers of your own race or ethnic background? This is America, and I was hoping there were not very many people nowadays that think like you do! I’m hoping that you are an EXTREMELY small minority with that kind of hateful way of looking at the world. Maybe you should think first before you reveal your stupidity and racist thinking to EVERYONE.

  • Cathy

    Marilyn, I agree 100% with your last comment.

    Sanjaya is not the best singer, but he is definitely a good singer. He has a very sweet, pure voice.

    Regardless of what Simon say, American Idol has never been simply a singing competition. Besides, he flip flops constantly. Within the same show, he will tell one contestant that it is a singing competition and will tell the next contestant that it is also about stage presence and appearance. He critiques the clothing of the contestants every week. If it were truly a singing competition, no one would care how they dress.

  • Ahjahta, And I love SANJAYA!!!

    I love Sanjaya! He is sooooo hot! I will vote like CRAZY on Tuesday. He is the ONLY reason I waste my 2 hours googling at American Idol

  • ricky

    I don’t get it. It’s pure fact that he’s been off pitch. Notice how the crowd doesn’t boo very loudly when he gets hammered by the judges? The audience is actually THERE! They can hear every note. There is no “maybe” about it. He’s clearly not even close to the talent level of several of the other contestants. I don’t blame him at all. He seems like a nice kid. But, that does not make him an idol. I know lots of shy, attractive, nice kids who have some kind of marginal musical talent. That doesn’t mean I’m going to buy any albums they may produce. Remember Cory Clark? He seemed like a nice guy too at the time. Where’s his album? Oh yeah, in the same place Sanjaya’s will be.

  • tabitha

    Sanjaya is not a bad singer, he just needs to bring the energy to the stage. There is something wrong with his song selection, what I feel some of the best singers have been kicked out and he’s lucky to make it through week after week, he should learn from this. All he needs is to bring energy to the stage and stop singing in a monotonous tone.


  • rooster

    well please accept reality and don’t twist anything…its all about vanity..which is the greatest sin..american indians wants to be known..but i hope they will chose someone better…and not vote for sanjaya because he is one of there own… thats why sanjaya is there….the indian americans will support even the sanjaya which has the worst singing of all…okey then according to simon lets be positive..he is brave.

  • Snortles

    I’ve been contacting some of my Indian acquaintances to get their opinion. Most of them don’t follow American Idol, but the ones that did just watch the show and don’t even phone in to vote. I had them check their friends and we couldn’t find any evidence that there was ANY indication that Indians are voting in mass for Sanjaya, or anyone for that matter. This whole thing seems to stem from the Indian call center myth, which is obviously absurd. I find it so shameful that in this day and age, with no evidence that America quickly plays the race card.

    ~ From a white guy.

  • Robert, to be honest I see nothing special about Sanjaya. Like I said, he seems like a nice kid who tries his best every week, but he’s no different from some of the other nice teenage contestants who have been on the show in the past that are clearly out of their league, i.e. John Stevens. But can he sing? Not really. Does he have great stage presence? No. Does he look like he owns the stage? No.

    But don’t worry, John Stevens was able to beat Jennifer Hudson, so I’m sure that several better singers will go before Sanjaya.

  • Clara

    As a 57 year old Caucasian, I can tell you that not only teenagers appreciate the beautiful smooth voice and talent Sanjaya has. I have many friends who vote for him and I think the youngest is 43. JT may have brought sexy back but Sanjaya could bring back singing worth listening to.

  • samantha

    omg.. i love love loove sanjaya !!!! i would never diss him.. i love him sooo soo much hes soo sweet and he improved this week. the judges got it all wrong.. i think as he gets better he’ll really bring it and then more voting for him yaa.. please vote for sanjaya =)

  • Pete

    Shyness isn’t the issue. Sucking is.

  • J stewart

    Please american. Paula, Simon and Randy put SanJaya where he is today. So please lay off the kid. He not that bad. Hell I done heard worse. Like chicken litte and John Stevens. The kid has a great personality,and he have shown me as and adult how to take critcism and still reach for your dream. So what if he stand and smile and dont say anyting. This kid has character. I hope and pray that he make the top 10. And yes he is a great role model for the young youth. If Simon felt that he was that bad then they should have sent him home when he made it to Hollywood. So everybody just shut the hell up. Love you SanJaya.

  • Jared

    This is the lousiest premise I have ever heard….”he’s shy, so therefore he should win”….its a SINGING CONTEST to PRODUCE AN ARTIST WHO CAN SELL ALBUMS…..he’s a terrible singer that wont sell many albums….there are thousands of us who have banded together to vote for him to show how dumb it was that the he even made it there to begin with…

    why do u think hes made it this far already? Hod do you think he beat Brandon? Honestly? I hope he wins so that finally we can have a winner who’s both a lousy singer and a symbol of what’s wrong with American Idol….when he wins and then is only able to sell a few albums you’ll see what I am talking about. Who wants to listen to a shy musical artist?


  • alicia

    Thank you i couldent agree more!!!!He rox and if any 1 doesent like him then screw them!!!!

  • Just imagine how far a white person could have gone with Sanjaya’s hair. I have always believed that in order to succeed in pop music one has to have talented hair. It is no secret that any young man in Britain who has a modicum of musical talent and a shock of good hair can make it big. This is because the British have a genetic trait that makes good luxuriant hair for males a rarity. You can look at all the Brit musical greats and their hair. So enjoy your success Sanjaya before the hair falls off.

  • Lupita

    He is shy, he is courageous putting himself out there for the world to see BUT, he does not deserve to stay in over more talented competitors. Sanjaya has absolutely no power. He has a relatively nice voice, but he is just plain boring. He is sort of cutsey and he seems to be an incredibly nice person but he is becoming an absolute joke on this show. Every one of his performances in the top ten have sucked royally mainly because he gets swallowed up by the music and he doesn’t have all that much depth. I KNOW that the judges put him into this and it isn’t his fault, but I think it is cruel and unusual punishment to keep this ‘idol dream’ alive.

    I could say more and go into more depth about this subject but I think a lot of the points have already been covered.

    One more thing though: Sanjaya is shy. Melinda is shy. LaQuisha is hella shy. Is Sanjaya even in the same league as these people? Heck no.

  • John A

    Sanjaya Blows

  • sarah

    i like sanjaya i think hes great but all this stuff going around bout y he should be kicked off and runing the show is driving me banans.

  • the guy who doesnt even watch american idol

    I do not follow the show and claim to have no expertise in the merits of each candidate. It says something about the controversy being plastered over newspapers and blogs all over that non viewers are drawn in. Firstly, the accusation that indians here and abroad are propping up Sanjaya, most Indians do not watch the show, call center workers have their calls made automatically through their computers, they couldnt call their friends if they wanted to. I’m sure there are Indians voting for him but hardly enough to keep him there without other support.
    Secondly, its a t.v show, people are free to vote for whatever reason they want. It is both a search for an idol and a singing competetion. Let people vote how they want and for the reasons they want.
    Thirdly, in the big scheme of things who the hells cares. In the big scheme of things it doesnt matter. Ironically, people who dislike Sanjaya are only fuelling his popularity by creating controversy and making him a personality far beyond the show.
    In this age of pop culture and goldfish memory syndrome. People need do gain some prespective and balance in how the react.