Hair and Gone: 'American Idol' Trims Sanjaya

'Dos and Doesn't: Sanjaya Malakar cried at the news.
'Dos and Doesn't: Sanjaya Malakar cried at the news. (Taken From Tv)
By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sanjaya Malakar is gone. Kaput! Booted off the island. "American Idol" voters spoke and in a great cosmic correction threw Sanjaya off the show last night. There were no audible boos from the live audience. Only cheers. It was time for Sanjaya to go. Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight! Sanjaya, buh-bye!

As he watched the video montage of his time as the hirsute monster that threatened to bring down the "AI" empire, he wept.

Judge Simon Cowell at the mere sight of Sanjaya in the bottom three -- along with Blake Lewis and LaKisha Jones -- was grinning like the Cheshire cat.

Simon had other reasons to beam. He had produced videotaped evidence supporting his argument that he should not be pilloried for an ill-timed roll of the eyes.

During Tuesday night's performance, contestant Chris Richardson performed a version of the Rascal Flatts song "Mayberry." It left Simon complaining that Chris sounded like he was singing through his nose. The two had at it for what seemed like an interminable time, at least in the land of live television. But then, Chris, who is from Chesapeake, Va., abruptly changed the subject and announced his love and support for the folks at Virginia Tech. A camera caught Simon rolling his eyes.

Soon a mob of Internet vigilantes was demanding that Simon beg for forgiveness for insulting the victims of the Tech killings. Simon said he didn't hear Chris offer his condolences but instead was reacting to his lame explanation for his gosh-darn awful singing. It was supposed to be nasal, said Chris, who apparently thought people would actually believe this.

But those wily folks at "AI" produced video of Simon babbling away to judge Paula Abdul and ignoring everything else coming out of Chris's mouth.

Finally, Simon offered this to his critics: "I may not be the nicest person in the world, but I would never, ever, ever disrespect those victims or those families."

With the cyber lynch mob thus appeased, we sat through commercials, back-patting, mindless chatter, Fergie singing while dressed up like a Bratz doll, and Martina McBride crooning to the Idolettes that even if their dreams are in vain, they should dream anyway.

We watched the self-congratulatory hoo-ha related to Idol Gives Back, which may just win an award for the most-worthwhile-but-painfully-annoying charity of the century. The Idolettes went to a screening of the upcoming film "Shrek the Third," for no apparent reason other than to promote "Shrek the Third."

Then, finally, the results. Host Ryan Seacrest announced that more than 38 million votes had been tallied. Right off the bat, Melinda Doolittle was safe. Thankfully, she did not look surprised, but merely relieved. Jordin Sparks, Phil Stacey and Chris were all safe.

Blake was declared safe. And then it was down to LaKisha and Sanjaya. Remember when LaKisha was a favorite, back when she rattled the roof with her vocals? No more. A lot of people seem to be over LaKisha. We are over LaKisha. But it was not her time to go.

It was time for Sanjaya to go! Pack your curling rods, your flatiron, your extensions, your bandannas, your hair gel and GO! Go forth and make the rounds of the chat shows. Hook yourself up with a nice spokesmodel gig at Clairol. Do your television cameos.

There is no need to weep for Sanjaya. As Simon said, he is in his own universe. Just be thankful that he has left this modest little talent show in peace.

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