It is probably a shock to you all to read those words, but it is totally authentic sentiment, I assure you. Sanjaya
does deserve to win American Idol,
and I have some very sound, rational reasons for saying that. Before I get into it though, meditate for a moment on what American Idol
is to you. Did your favorite win? Were you shocked when Chris Daughtry
was voted off American Idol even though he was the single contestant that most resembled a true rock star? What about Bo Bice
? Didn’t Bice have that Southern Rock thing down? None of them had what Sanjaya Malakar has, though, I am sad to say – the makings of a pop star.
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The fact of the matter is, I had an epiphany watching Sanjaya sing his little Latin number the other day. As Sanjaya warbled Bésame Mucho to a close, smoothly tracking the camera with his huge white grin and obsidian eyes and eerily clear skin. I thought to myself, this creep looks just like one of those jack-asses in the pop-rock videos. That was when it hit me. Sanjaya IS one of those short lived, flash in the pain, Aaron Carter types. He IS a pop star, not a rock star. Most of all, he is exactly what American Idol is trying to create: a pop idol. A new Leif Garrett.
Idol has been about pop music since the beginning. I mean we have a pop diva and the guy who filled in as the bassist for a pop-rock legend (Journey) as judges, for cripes sake. They draw most of their songbook from the pop world, and the production reeks of Donny Osmond more then it does Lollapalooza or the Grand Olde Opry. The fact that they run the contestants through the various genres does little more than establish the diversity of the contestant, and give false hope to fans of those genres that their boy or girl might make it on through.
In the end though, the refined, talented, and sophisticated artists are probably the last people American Idol’s producers want to win. One glance at the average age of a music buyer tells you exactly what American Idol needs to close the elusive other end of their success, durability on the music racks. Most American Idol winners have come nowhere near the estimated number of viewers when it comes to music sales, and there is a very good reason for that. Some reports say that the buying power of CD Consumers begins to become important, demographically, at the consumers age of 12. Once you get out of the teens, music buyers begin to disperse into the land of plenty known as I-tunes, and other music buying services that don’t force you through 10 b-sides to hear the one tune that gets you humming.
So with all that in mind, isn’t Sanjaya really the best contestant to win this contest? I’d be willing to bet you that American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe would agree, whole heartedly.
- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image from AmericanIdol.com)