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Sanjaya's Big Night

Thousands of young girls across America are experiencing the sudden onset of puberty, older women are getting over scary Mrs. Robinson flashes, and at least one chick is doomed to starvation -- all because of Sanjaya Malakar deciding to grow into his big hair.

It starts off innocently enough on "Idol's" 60's Mishmash night. Sanjaya is trying to decide whether to sing The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" or the Herman's Hermits tune "Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good."

Hermits lead Peter Noone, who is guest coaching the guys this week, tells Sanjaya it would be great for him if Sanjaya picks his sweet little tune and goes on to win "Idol," but maybe he should just go nuts with the Kinks tune because it would be totally out of character.

Apparently all Sanjaya has been waiting for all these weeks is for some aged 60's pop singer father figure to give him permission to get freaky. He does, starting with the tongue unfurling he gives the camera -- like Kiss only without the face paint.

Then, he starts to sing. It's like Carrie Underwood covering Courtney Love. For anyone who may have missed it, imagine little Sanjaya -- his eyes like two smoldering pools of diet coke -- head tossing, hair flinging, Prince-prancing, and Paula teasing his way through these lyrics:

Girl, you really got me goin'
You got me so I don't know what I'm doin'.
Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night.

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

See, don't ever set me free
I always wanna be by your side.
Girl, you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night.

Little pig-tailed Ashley in the audience weeps hysterically during the performance, representing for all those pre-teen girls who have kept Sanjaya in the competition to date, god help 'em.

"Idol" judge Randy Jackson is so stunned he's had the dawg talk shocked out of him. Paula and Simon are practically speechless, though one in a good way and one not - extra points for correctly guessing which is which.

Then, when show host Ryan Seacrest gives the Sanjaya phone number blah blah, Sanjaya winks self-confidently at the camera like a guy who has just cheated death, and sticks out his tongue again. We start getting e-mails from women having those Mrs. Robinson flashes.

This is all bad news for that chick with the starvationforsanjaya campaign on her MySpace page and on YouTube; she's staging a hunger strike of one -- herself -- until Sanjaya gets booted off the show.

Before Sanjaya's breakout performance even airs she's reporting she doesn't know if she can keep up this non-food thing much longer. She later concedes Sanjaya came out of his shell a little bit with his Kinks number, but still thinks he'll get tossed. On the other hand, she's also blogging that she's starting to have "slight hallucinations."

Aren't we all.

Editor's note: For complete play-by-play of last night's "Idol," read Lisa's We Watch So You Don't Have To column.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  March 21, 2007; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: So Many Losers
Next: "Idol" Results Show: Time Flies When You're Being Had


OK, so who was Ashley? Just some random girl who happened to be sobbing the whole time?

Posted by: cm | March 21, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Lisa, how could you not mention Jordin Sparks amazing performance in either your column or blog? I thought she tied with Melinda for best performance of the night. Her vocal was technically perfect and she performs with so much more maturity and emotional depth than we typically see from 17-year-old contestants.

Posted by: Amanda | March 21, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Haley's top wasn't tight enough to give full effect to her "shoe" shaking. I don't know if her legs and back are going to be enough to save her.

Amanda is right, Jordin was awesome.

Posted by: marco | March 21, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Lisa - just wanted to say, I love your columns and blogs. Lines like

"Losers ... 'Andy Barker, P.I.' See 'Raines,' under Winners."

absolutely make my day.

(Ok so you have to read the whole column to get the proper effect, but you get my meaning).

Posted by: T. | March 21, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Wait - it was brittish invasion night and no one sang a beatles song?

Posted by: beatlemania | March 21, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse


Sanjaya's performance only seemed good because we have such low expectations of him now. He was actually much more style than content and his weak voice was sometime almost inaudible during the song.

Meanwhile, Amanda is right on about Jordin's performance. I think this will rank right up with some of the best ever and be one that people will remember for a long time! If you deliver a sad song and the worst thing someone can say afterwards is that they want to jump off a bridge, then you've nailed it! Jordin was fantastic and I think may soon become the frontrunner, supplanting Melinda, if only because Jordin's youth may give her an edge with the music-buying public.

Posted by: Dsmac | March 21, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Haley's top was tight enough to get my vote!

Posted by: Mike | March 21, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't stop laughing ebery time they showed that sobbing child. my husband was shocked by my lack of compassion. Seriosly funny.

Posted by: EF8 | March 21, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget how awful it was seeing Sanjaya's tongue every two seconds. It's a wonder he was able to sing with that tongue hanging out of his mouth like a dog on D.C. summer day. Who does he think he is? Mick Jagger? Kiss?

It's disgusting. He should get booted off just for letting that tongue hang out like that. That said, his voice is much better when he decides to actually sing in a MALE register, rather than his usual Michael Jackson/female register.

Posted by: Ryan | March 21, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to talk about Sanjaya but a few other things. First, LaKisha is great but this is the second consecutive week she ASKED for advice from the "mentors" and then didn't take it. Last week she asked Diana Ross if she should use a mic stand, then did the opposite of what she said, then this week she sung Diamonds are Forever against the advice of whoever that female mentor was (the judges confirm she should have sung that other song.) One more thing....when they have these theme weeks, I highly suspect there is a pre-determined list of songs that the contenstants must choose from..they don't just pick any song. How do I know? last night, stephanie let slip that she "wasn't familiar with many of the songs" from the british invasion. if that's true, that means she doesn't know any Beatles songs and that's just not possible. Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

Posted by: Sophie's Mom | March 21, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

My hubby made some sort of mean comment about the crying girl every time she was on, too. What is the story with her? Was she a 'Make a Wish' kid? I tried doing a google search and didn't come up with anything. . .

Posted by: star11 | March 21, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry EF8, I thought it was funny after they started showing her crying repeatedly. The bit at the end of the show was total got to love it! I think the kid had to be a reject from 'Are you smarter than a 5th grader?'

BTW, Jordan was great but not that great. I think this is Melinda's competition to win. Lakisha's going to fall when they do a country music theme night.

Posted by: k-gotham | March 21, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I, too, was laughing loudly with "poor little Ashley's" crying tears of joy. Her tears during Sanjaya's performance pretty much made my day!

I was disappointed Lisa did not mention Jordin's performance. I thought she was the best of the night, even better than Melinda, who is consistently excellent. I agree that when a sad song elicits the comment "I want to jump off a bridge," then she clearly nailed it.

To Sophie's mom: I, too, wondered if there was a pre-determined list. (After all, the band and backup singers must perform 11 songs.) But I think choosing a Beatles song may have been AI-suicide since they are so well-known.

Posted by: LK | March 21, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Sophie's Mom, I would assume that the list of songs were ones that the show was able to get the rights to. I think iTunes was just in battle to get the rights to sell Beatle songs, so they may not have been available.

Posted by: dym | March 21, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Sophie's Mom - they are open about the fact that there is a list of songs to choose from each week. Its a pretty lengthy list from what i understand. i think Lisa did an article about the whole process the contestants go through from week to week including picking a song from the list and then letting the arrangers cut it down to a 90 sec version.

Posted by: beatlemania | March 21, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Copyright! Royalties! Permission! You can't just get up and sing anything. Remember last year's stink when Kelly Clarkson initially denied permission for contestants to use her songs? I wish Celine and Whitney would do the same.

And what's with the all Sanjaya article? Was someone lazy and forget to set the Tivo, or just didn't want to put any thought into the other, not-quite-as-heinous (Chris Sligh, Haley, Phil) performances?

Posted by: cj | March 21, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Forget the others. Doolittle is a freak with no charisma, Lakisha is a church singer, Sanjaya should be put out of his misery. He...can't...sing!
My attention was devoted to Haley Scarnato! I want her to have my children! And, she can sing.

Posted by: drooling | March 21, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

jordin was fantastic...better than melinda do-little or nothing for me. melinda is boring and i do not buy her "little 'ol me?" schtick. randy said to her, "you're a pro." uh, ye-AH... why is she even on this "singing competition that isn't a singing competition or is it a singing competition?" (maybe fox needs to put out a memo clarifying that.)
best male performance was either blake (yeah, he's a gimmick but he connects)or chris 'what-do-i-do-with-this-mic-stand' sligh.
and i'm REALLY tired of the whole judges sniping, ryan/simon battle, thing. my husband said last night that my complaining was putting me on a much-needed AI hiatus. thank heavens.

Posted by: methinks | March 21, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

1-Blake delivered with a radio-ready song and confident stage presence.

2-Jordin showed star potential for sure. Performance last night should carry through to at least the final 5.

3-Melinda's the best singer, but does she have the charisma?

4- Sanjaya brought his A game and saved himself for sure.

5- Chris S- Safe but forgettable performance. Will have to step it up.

6- Lakisha sang the wrong song.

7- Stephanie (see Chris S)

8- Gina was waaay off.

9- Haley's legs will keep her around another week but her sexiness is not appealing to the core, repeat-dialing AI voters

10- Chris P- Boring

11- Good Bye bald dude

Posted by: mikopedia | March 21, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Jordin did a wonderful job last night - I've been a fan of hers since her original audition. While not a supporter of the boys, I have to say I really loved Blake's interpretation of Time of the Season. I am no fan of Sanjaya and even less of one (if that's possible) after last night.

Posted by: Milwaukee | March 21, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry, but my girlfriend and I laughed EVERY time the crying girl was put on screen. More info would be great Lisa if you have it. It wouldn't be funny to laugh at her if she has some uncontrollable condition...

How come the performers I look most forward to watching, albeit Jordin, are NOT the best singers? Although great singers, I am bored out of my mind listening to Melinda and Lakisha! This week was British INVASION and it seemed more like the British surrender from Jordin, Lakisha, Melinda, and Stephanie!

I want Sanjaya to stay just because of his performance last night. It was great...well at least funny and entertaining.

Posted by: VA IA Watcher | March 21, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

If the trend continues, Haley will be in a string bikini next week.

And maybe just a banana skirt with a couple of strategically-held palm fronds for the one after that.

Posted by: NoVA | March 21, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Haley used to be the contestant whose name nobody could remember. Thanks to Simon, her full name is probably better known than anyone else's now.

If she can turn it on now with some "wow" performances, she may surprise everyone and go all the way to the final 2. Melinda and Lakisha may be great singers but they're not really Idol material, and besides, Simon likes Haley now and even knows her name.

Now Haley is singing and prancing to "Tell Him" in smoking Hot Pants and High Heels. She's found her "Yo" and Simon has officially Picklered her as a "Naughty Little Thing."

Holy Toledo! Haley Scarnato!

Posted by: Christin | March 21, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"If the trend continues, Haley will be in a string bikini next week.

And maybe just a banana skirt with a couple of strategically-held palm fronds for the one after that."

If that is the case, then I am definitely voting for her!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

has jordan always had a nose ring?

Posted by: silver spring | March 21, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes and you all can thank me for voting for Haley last week.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Please stop disparaging older women by saying that Sanjaya inspires some sort of Mrs. Robinson fantasy.

During the auditions, his voice sounded okay,but he is obviously not ready to perform before a large audience in a pop music venue.

He can't project, and his act is annoying.

Finally, I can't believe I'm commenting on a blog about AI.

Posted by: Kate | March 21, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm sorry. I could hear the Kinks' Ray Davies wincing from 3,000 miles away over Sanjaya's rendition of "You Really Got Me." That is raw, edgy testosterone-packed classic. Sanjaya was, is, and forever will be a wimp of a singer. Just this time he was a yelling frazzled wimp.

While Melinda and Lakisha have the best voices, they kind of bore me and are far too safe, predictable, and frumpy. Jordin is definitely one to watch, but I guess I tune in every week basically to see what Blake will do. He doesn't have the best voice of the men (I guess Sligh does), but he has the presence and the creativity. His song from the band 311 the other week totally charmed me. I am put off (rationally) by the fact he adores Michael Jackson and (irrationally) by the fact he has no lips to speak of, but really I think he comes closest to what Idol is about, and that is the package for commercial success. Think Chris Daughtry, not Taylor Hicks.

Posted by: Leila | March 21, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Haley looked hot, although I was glad the tape that was holding her top to her bod stayed in place. The cryin' little girl thing was cute the first time, puzzing the second, and increasingly annoying the rest of the umpteen times they cut to her. Like what, it was shades of the Beatles or something? I think not.

Posted by: Meg in PA | March 21, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Even my 11 year old looked over and asked "Dad, what's wrong with that girl?(reference the crying crucible repeatedly shown ad nasuem last night) Is she retarded?

Of course the highlight of my evening was watching my son mesmerized by Haley the Hooker, her bouncing C cups and her performance of Street Walk Mary.

Posted by: JT in OT | March 21, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse


completely agree with you about Blake - not my type of music, but I look forward to him every week - and I thought he was GREAT last night - the creativity he has, as you noted, is better than anyone else's on the show. I loved him from the time he auditioned - he is very talented - and I think more so than the rest - and even if its not my preferred stuff, I think its the best on the show. I hope he shows that he has more to him than just the beat-box stuff, but I think he did that in week 1 - he just needs to remind us of that.

Posted by: star11 | March 21, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Definintely not Payless shoes on Haley...but anyone know what they were? I loved them...

Posted by: shoefan | March 21, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

For the first time this season both my hubby and I got goosebumps. We think Jordin is most definitely the one to beat!

Posted by: jordinrocks | March 21, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

My early prediction top three Lakisha, Melinda, and Blake, in that order.
Who's going home tonight, toss up between Haley and Phil. Sanjaya bought himself another week I think. The little girls face said it all.

Posted by: sadie | March 21, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Our office pool is betting that Stephanie read this blog and that's why she finally gave up the lil ol' me routine.

BTW Christin, if Lisa ever goes on vacation, she should get you to fill in on the blogs. Loved your comments!

Posted by: It's all Hooey | March 21, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

For help with finding Hayley's shoes - go to - or try - I read about these web sites last week!

Posted by: star11 | March 21, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Neither of those sites of the shoes, but thanks anyway. I thought someone might perhaps recognize them...

Posted by: shoefan | March 21, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Totally IDOL again. Wall to wall. You really need to change the name of this blog. Or, hey here's a radical idea, talk about SOMETHING ELSE on tv. I know there are other shows. Did you?

Posted by: Not a Fan | March 21, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but I thought Sanjaya's performance was embarrassing. Jordin was fab. Melinda looks like she is stuck in a tube (the woman has no visible neck). Blake, Chris (Timberfake, though he look kind of hot,),Lakisha were good. Sanjaya needs to go home.

Posted by: Lisa1 | March 21, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree with "Not a Fan". I have a limited amount of time in my life to surf the internet and comment on TV blogs. And I don't want to waste my time coming to this blog and commenting about how much I hate it. So please change the name of the blog, so I will know not to come here and waste my time creating a name and telling you how much I don't like your blog.

Thank You!

Posted by: Justin | March 21, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Now you know, Justin and Not a Fan. So, don't come back.

Posted by: Milwaukee | March 21, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind that AI does pay royalties whenever a song is sung on the program and the performers need permissions from the singers (there's an interesting article at Entertainment Weekly about Blake getting the 311 song). All Beatles songs are owned by Michael Jackson, who basically gouges anyone attempting to sing them, including Paul McCartney.

Posted by: Jen | March 21, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Jordin Sparks appears to be the most versatile when it comes to musical genre. She may very well win AI for this reason.

Posted by: disputatio | March 21, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

i think justin was being facetious.

Posted by: hmm | March 21, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

About the little girl (Ashley) who cried virtually through the entire program -- I don't know who she is, but I didn't get the impression that she is a Make A Wish child or that there is anything "wrong" with her. When I was a little girl, the real British Invasion was happening, and I remember watching the Beatles on television and seeing many camera shots of girls in the audience who were doing just what Ashley did last night -- crying, sobbing, et cetera -- as they watched the Beatles perform. I used to wonder how they could get so excited that it made them cry. But thinking back, I realize that they were seeing their idols and they were carried away with emotion at the experience of being there. When I watched little Ashley last night, I got a kick out of her emotional behavior because she looked just like those girls sobbing over the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I don't know if I'm correct, but I think that Ashley was simply overcome with the emotion and excitement of seeing HER idols onstage, of being there, of being part of the crowd. I actually thought it was sweet to see that a little girl could still, even in this cynical age, be so excited about seeing the performers. Just my thoughts.

Posted by: Abigail | March 21, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Haley Scarnato, Batman! Where did she get my grandmother's tablecloth and what the heck is holding it on???

Couldn't help but notice that the cameraman was similarly mystified by this obvious violation of a law of physics. Since this is a "singing competition" isn't there a rule about the camera being pointed to the FRONT of a person (where their mouth is located) a certain percentage of the time? Haley definitely wins the Buttshot Camera Angle Award for last night.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 21, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention that it was not the lack of Beatles songs that surprised me. I assumed it must be rights issues. But I was surprised that Lulu's huge hit To Sir With Love wasn't picked. I adore that song and it has lots of nice building.

Posted by: Leila | March 21, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, you make me laugh! Can we have lunch?

Posted by: Steve | March 21, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Sunjaya's whole androgynous thing is going to carry him for a while. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if he and Blake are the last guys in the competition.

Tuesday's episode was one of the most entertaining ones I've ever seen. I agree with Abigail that the little girl was overcome with emotion (and my husband and I laughed hysterically each time we saw her.)

No surprise that Stephanie is gone. I figured, and not because she was the worst singer. It's just that she's not the best, and she didn't really have a "gimmick". She doesn't beat box, she's not the big curly kid, she's not Timberfake, and she's not Melinda, Lakeisha, or Jordin (who was AWESOME). In short, she's not memorable. I think we can safely say that AI is about a lot more than singing now.

Posted by: tyeinmd | March 22, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

[Now you know, Justin and Not a Fan. So, don't come back.]
Honestly, you don't want to waste your time reading the blog, so you take the time to POST on it? There are always columns devoted to AI when it's on. When you write a TV column, how can you ignore the #1 show with upwards of 30 million viewers? It would be like ESPN not covering the Super Bowl or the World Series because some people don't care about them.

Posted by: Wastin' Time | March 22, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Haley was wearing shoes? ;)

Posted by: Ron | March 22, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Sanjaya rules! His version of YOU REALLY GOT ME was so moving he made a thirteen year old girl cry, not to mention Ray Davies.

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 25, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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