Anorak News | The Party Line – American Idol Sanjaya Malakar Is Not A Rat

The Party Line – American Idol Sanjaya Malakar Is Not A Rat

by | 9th, April 2007

sellers.jpgARE India and Indians responsible for the success of Sanjaya Malakar on American Idol? There are many questions on the matter of Sanjaya.

Is Sanjaya worthy of comment primarily because he is of Indian extraction? Is he the victim of Celebrity Big Brother-style bigotry? Is he Shilpa Shetty with bad hair?

Sanjaya is the funny Indian. He’s Peter Sellers in The Party, the bit-part player who by quirks of fate and luck has wound up surrounded by the star talent.

Any moment Simon Cowell is going to ask him to sing the Birdie Song and say “Birdie Num Num”.

Sanjaya is the unthreatening foreigner in the midst of madness. He’s not Hrundi Bakshi, he’s ruddy Manuel from Fawlty Towers. That thing on Sanjaya’s head? No, not his hair. It’s a Siberian hamster. Not a rat. A hamster. I tell you, Mr Fawlty, is a hamster.

Whatever the reason, Sanjaya is popular. Hey, he might even be a decent singer, at least as good as his agonists.

Tabloid Baby notes an Associated Press story claiming that support from India has nothing to do with Sanjaya Malakar’s success on American Idol.

The article also rubbishes the Indian phone centre theories with “most workers have calls automatically dialled for them by computers. They couldn’t even call next door if they wanted to.”

But Indian blogsites, including India Uncut, whose founder is quoted in the article calling Sanjaya “an object of ridicule” in India, show that interest is high.

And for the first time, the popular Uber Desi website, whose postings helped launch the call centre theories, is suggesting that racism may be at the root of the anti-Sanjaya movement:

“…Is it really Sanjaya’s singing why so many folks in America hate him or is it the colour of the skin that is making them uncomfortable and hence the hatred?”

And there’s another reason why Sanjaya’s story is reverberating through India and the Desi community around the world, writes TB: his rise on Idol is drawing many comparisons to a contestant on the first season of Indian Idol.

As TB recalls, two years ago, an impoverished Punjabi housepainter named Ravi Ravinder became the public’s favourite after he sang “Khuda bhi aasman se jab zamin pe dekhta hoga.”

basiltherat06.jpgBecause Ravi lacked any formal training, the judges became more frustrated as “talented” singers were voted off and he stayed in. Judge Anu Malik hated Ravi more than Simon Cowell hates Sanjaya– and spoke these words long before Randy Jackson threw up his arms: “I have nothing to say to you because it seems our words carry no weight and the people of India seem to love you.”

Said another judge: “I hope the people of India realize that they have to vote for someone who will represent the country. It’s high time we started acting in a mature manner instead of being emotional fools.”

Ravi became the most talked-about contestant on the show. Each week he survived, there were more conspiracy theories about voting irregularities and lost phone calls. And all the controversy and fuming judges only translated into more votes.

He made it to the Top 5. When he was finally voted off, some charged that the vote was fixed against him!. After Idol, Ravi was cleaned up and became a bigger star than ever. He released an album, accompanied by a music video shot in Barcelona and starring a former Miss Norway and is one of the busiest Indian Idol performers.

Birdi Num Nums.

Anorak And Tabloid Baby

Posted: 9th, April 2007 | In: TV & Radio Comments (7) | TrackBack | Permalink