Don't Be Cruel
Tonight another episode of American Idol will air featuring Sanjaya Malakar, the young man who has been the subject of almost as much media attention as Britney's Haircut. He manages to be voted on to the next round of the competition week after week despite his limited vocal abilities as compared to the other competitors. As you all know by now there is a campaign by votefortheworst.com (whose link I refuse to supply) and Howard Stern, notorious shock jock, to keep him on for the sheer amusement of exploiting a 17 year-old boy and spoiling the legitimate competition for the other deserving singers.
It seems to me that at the heart of Stern's motivation is to ride the coat tails of American Idol's ratings since his own ratings have been in the toilet sincee he moved to Sirius satellite radio, a medium that may be doomed to oblivian despite a desperate merger with XM Satellite radio recently. Howard Stern has proven himself to be a man of little character over the years, but the blatant cruelty of using this boy, this high school kid, plucked from obscurity to be the court jester to this multi-millionaire egotist for his own ratings, is a new low even for Howard Stern. It's like some big school yard bully spoiling a game of marbles for a bunch of kindergartners.
But in all of the media coverage what no one seems to be discussing is that at the heart of this circus is a sweet, inexperienced 17 year-old boy who could not possibly be mentally equipped to handle this level of public humiliation. In an early interview on Idol, Sanjaya said that he took the GED test a year early so he would not have to go back to High School for another year. Immediately I suspected that Sanjaya hated high school, where he was known to do the hair styling for all the girls in the choir, probably because he is mercilessly teased for his effeminacy and for being of Indian descent. This kid has enough on his plate without being picked on by the likes of media-giant Howard Stern. He has no publicist, no managers, no one to speak for him and his parents are probably naive to the ways of show business. When Sanjaya crashes and burns from this experience I wonder if Howard Stern will pay for the rehab.
I genuinely feel sorry for Sanjaya now and can't imagine how his parents must feel having their son be the subject of such ridicule on every media outlet. If I were them I would probably pull him out of the competition just like at the end of "Little Miss Sunshine" when the brother jumps onstage at the pageant to shield his little sister from humiliation screaming "I DON'T WANT THEM JUDGING YOU!"