Tuesday, April 03, 2007

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!"

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7 Comments:

At 3:28 PM, Blogger TCho said...

I almost don't even see what the big deal is. It's not like winning Idol is a guarantee for success. Taylor Hicks won and his album did squat. Ruben hasn't done much either. We have short attention spans, and after the show, the whole Sanjaya debate will be forgotten even if he wins the whole thing.

So far I haven't really been that upset, because I don't really think that any of the people who've gotten voted off so far had much of a recording future either.

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger Donnie said...

I only have two words for everyone...."She Bangs!" ROFLMAO

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Y | O | Y said...

I agree 1000% I'm less worried about the other contestants because fame and semi-fortune has been found by many of them down the roster.

It's just that he's the laughing stock week after week and they're feeding him to the lions one piece at a time for their amusement.

People suck.

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger judy said...

I must admit that I've been really worried about Sanjaya, too, but last night I had another thought. After watching him (of course, listening to him was painful) with that big smile and white suit and hearing sweet Tony Bennett's comments about his likability, I had the thought that maybe someone in the Indian community will do something relatively big with this kid. Who knows, maybe in a recording studio and with the right grooming, he may have a future in Ballywood. Wouldn't it be great to see this kid have the last laugh?! Let's hope so.

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Snap said...

Yeah Donnie: I say that Hung and Sanjaya cut an album together

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Joey P. said...

I don't think Sanjaya will win. I think once the cast is narrowed down that the "regular" American Idol fans/voters will trump the Stern effect. I used to feel sorry for Sanjaya, but I get the sense the kid is taking it in stride and knows it's sort of a joke, and he's just enjoying it for what it is.

This kid is getting more press nowadays that most other "celebrities."

My guess is that he is going to parlay Idol into success on some other reality show, like Amazing Race, Real World, ect. He'd be smart casting for producers interested in ratings. But please, just make sure he doesn't sing.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger BigAssBelle said...

is a sweet, inexperienced 17 year-old boy who could not possibly be mentally equipped to handle this level of public humiliation. this makes me sick. it is shameful that it could be considered entertainment, but then it seems as if the humiliation of public figures in trouble passes as sport these days. the more pathetic, disturbed, in need of help, the more they are held up to ridicule. i hate it. civility and decency are missing from this godawful thing that holds people captive for 25-30 hours a week. i just can't watch it for the most part.

 

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