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So Long, Sanjaya

This is John Maynard completing the last day of his two-day stint as guest "American Idol" blogger in place of the vacationing Lisa de Moraes. She's back to the blog next Wednesday.

The Sanjaya media tour begins today. No TV show will be safe from the Sanjaya PR machine in the upcoming days and weeks: "Regis," "Oprah," "SNL," "Meet the Press," etc. Anyone want to start a pool on when he signs his first sitcom or reality show contract?

It appeared his fate was sealed when Ryan gave him a very ominous look in the show's opening moments, didn't it? "Is you favorite safe?" Ryan asked, staring extra, extra long at Sanjaya. Oooh, foreshadowing. Deep.

Next, Simon "absolutely sets the record straight" about Tuesday night's controversial eye roll after Chris paid tribute to the Virginia Tech victim. "I would never, ever disrespect those families or the victims," Simon says humbly. The audience cheers and the Idols clap.

Wait, still don't believe him? Here's a replay of the Tuesday night incident, complete with exclusive footage that provides a split screen of Chris and Simon proving he really didn't hear what Chris was saying. O.K, we believe you, Simon!!

After a break, the gang does their best Brady Bunch family sing-along imitation with the country tune "I'm Alright" (likely to be performed during this summer's "American Idol" concert tour). Hmm, Sanjaya is limited to one brief solo. Smart.

Later, Fergie performs but it's not that dirty song about the position of the London Bridge. Awww, that spontaneous handshake with the little girl was cute. That was spontaneous, wasn't it? Fergie's gorgeous, but this song's kinda boring. So un-fergilicious.

Cut to commercial -- Oh, there's Fergie again pimping Candies shoes.

More ads within the show: this week's Ford commercial is some sort of '80s new wave/"Matrix"/James Bond hybrid and the hype continues for "American Idol Gives Back" programs next week which promises a surprise duet by "two of the biggest stars in musical history." Is this the start of the Michael Jackson comeback tour?

Finally, after 9:30 we get some actual drama. The groups are divided into threes: Blake, LaKisha and Sanjaya, and Jordin, Phil and Chris. Melinda is declared safe but then the poor thing is forced to guess which threesome is more likely to go down. Melinda won't do it, so down on her bottom she goes.

Wow, what did Dreamworks pay Fox for that lengthy plug for "Shrek the Third"?

Martina McBride is terrific and her daughter's cute. Ryan gets the best line of the night when Ryan asks Martina which of the remaining contestants she likes.

"Everybody's really, really good," her daughter pipes in.

"Thanks, Paula," Ryan says.

One more commercial and then Sanjaya's universe collapses around him.

He's gone.

Outta here.


He weeps more than even Gina did a few weeks back. He doe his swan song and butchers "Something to Talk About" all over again.

Is that Phil suppressing a malevolent grin?

Editor's note: For more on last night's American Idol, check out Robin Givhan's guest TV column: Hair and Gone: 'American Idol' Trims Sanjaya.

By Maura McCarthy  |  April 19, 2007; 8:54 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: Give Back My 'Idol'


Hallelujah, Sanajay is gone! It is going to be a good day.

Posted by: Lisa1 | April 19, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Fergie didn't look gorgeous, she looked angry. She seem pissed she had to wear the boring outfit and sing that boring song.

Posted by: Big East | April 19, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, the tipping point was finally met when the guys outnumbered the girls 4 to 3 on the finals of AI. There was no way this was going to last, given the seemingly great talent imbalance between the sexes. So, Sanjaya had to go. It didn't even matter that he shouldn't have gotten this far, that's a story for another day. We're now left with three each. Blake, Chris, and Phil along with Jordin, LaKisha, and Melinda. Now the fun begins. They're all good, now we separate out the great.

Posted by: Medium sized Mac | April 19, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

WooooooHooooooo! Finally, no more Sanjaya. Now how long before some low life slimey record exec gives this idiot a record contract?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse


Your are wrong on one account - Chris is not good. It was unbelievable that LaKisha was up there with Sanjaya - it should have been Chris and they both should have gone. The nasally whiny voice needs to be gone - if it wins, there is something wrong - he isn't even cute.

Posted by: star11 | April 19, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Boy, I wonder how much Lisa's kicking herself for going on vacation this week?

Posted by: fs | April 19, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I am not really an Idol watcher, but I really did like Sanjaya, not because he was going to upset the Idol universe, but because I thought he possesed way more charisma than all of the contestants combined. Best singer---no, but hey here is the big secret--most pop stars aren't great singers anyway. I think Sanjaya has some star potential in him. I guess I can go back to not watching idol now.

Posted by: Go Sanjaya | April 19, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe, in some LOST kind of way, Lisa had to go on vacation for Sanjaya to be voted off. I'm just saying ...

Posted by: Dsmac | April 19, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thought the funniest part of last night was Sanjaya singing "Not About Hair" instead of "How About Love" in the "Something to Talk About" song? That was GREAT!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Now how long before some low life slimey record exec gives this idiot a record contract?"

Probably has one already. There's money to be made off that boy -- think of all those teeny-bops with money to burn!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

If only this meant voting Sanjaya out of the recording world and the media as well...

Posted by: Life is Good | April 19, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Now that Sanjaya is gone, my world is over. There is no reason to go on - I wanted him to win and voted for him 20 times on Tuesday - America GOT IT WRONG !!!

Posted by: Kalis | April 19, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Fergie has a nicer voice than I realized.

Posted by: Tom T. | April 19, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

i was at the braves/cubs game last was the bottom of the 7th inning, the braves were down by 1 run, and suddenly the braves began a phone rang, my husband said, "it's over. he's gone."
i screamed, "you mean sanjaya's been booted off idol???"
the braves scored and took the lead.
coincidence? i think not.

Posted by: methinks | April 19, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Buh-bye ya' Sanjaya! Can't say it's been fun ...

Posted by: see ya! | April 19, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Well--the pirhanna are out in a feeding frenzy already.

"If only this meant voting Sanjaya out of the recording world and the media as well..."

Posted by: Life is Good | April 19, 2007 10:55 AM

Why? What childish vindicativeness. If he gets a recording contract, great. You don't have to buy or listen to his music, but for the clearly large population of probably mostly teen and pre-teen girls who loved watching and listening to him, let them have him. He's off the show, he won't win the competition and sully the AI reputation. You can all have your singing competition back. But, I for one admire him as a teenage with a heck of a lot of maturity and strength of character. He's a heckuva better role model than so many of the sophmoric sports stars that are much older than he is. He has charisma and starpower even if he is a weak singer.

Grow up.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 19, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

dadwannabe, as randy jackson might say, dude, chill.

Posted by: methinks | April 19, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I actually like Sanjaya. Not because he could sing, but because he actually injected some personality into this show and gave me a reason to talk about it at work the next day. Would have liked to see him make the final four.

Posted by: hoos30 | April 19, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I am so sorry, I forgot, we are a nation that values style over substance. Of course Sanjaya should have won, what was I thinking.

Posted by: dym | April 19, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Now that the fun has started, its time to get the other guys off as well. None of them has much of a voice. Its hard to believe AI couldn't have done better with its selection of guys.

Posted by: kieth miller | April 19, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If, by "personality", you mean creepy androgynousness, then sure, Sanjaya was great.

If you live on planet earth with the rest of us, Sanjaya was atrocious in many ways.

Posted by: Ryan | April 19, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

John, your write up was great but just not the same as having Lisa's comments on Sanjaya getting the boot. Can't you coax her into posting just one snarky comment?

Posted by: Missing Lisa | April 19, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm betting we see Sanjaya very soon on the Disney Channel. He was made for Disney.....

Posted by: Not a Sanjaya fan, but..... | April 19, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I am SO happy that awful kid is gone.

Posted by: Milwaukee | April 19, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Try my new recipe for Sanjaya Jambalaya!!

Posted by: Rachel Ray | April 19, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

If you think Sanjaya had personality, then you need to get out of the house more often. He has the personality of an acne pimple.

Posted by: NYC | April 19, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

i would like to point out to "dadwannabe" that sanjaya has not been the benign presence that you seem to think he is. no, we've had to watch his giant ego and listen to his weak singing for months, at the expense of much better singers who got booted too early (sabrina, stephanie, even gina)...he had to be stopped!!! good riddance. and if he does get a recording contract, then i'll have to hear him on the radio, and that is much more than i am willing to accept!

Posted by: wats | April 19, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

methinks - since when have the Cubbies needed some cosmic excuse to blow a lead in the bottom of the seventh?

Posted by: MB | April 19, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that you've been tied to your couch and forced to watch (ala "A Clockwork Orange") Sanjaya's singing. I suppose it's a little complicated, but if you don't like it, don't watch it. And if you don't want to hear it on the radio, turn it off.

There are many artists out there that I can't stand and I either ignore it or turn it off.

I agree that he's a weak singer and he doesn't appeal to me either. I'm just not sure I understand the pettiness of wishing him ill or gloating over him leaving. And worse, wishing he doesn't get a recording contract. The great thing about American Idol is watching careers start. If he has a career, I will blissfully ignore it, but I'll be happy that he got something out of the AI experience.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 19, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

MB, you are so right, but after living through the braves 2006 season, i'm never sure what will happen.
it's good to know that the universe was lined up appropriately last night.

Posted by: methinks | April 19, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone in their right mind believe Sanjaya was actually voted off the show? He was one of the top vote-getters from the getgo, and suddenly he receives the least number of votes? Yeah, right!

More like the producers stepped in and hit the eject button lest their billion dollar franchise be turned into a laughing stock.

But, if cancer boy Phil and nose-breather Chris continue to out poll Blake, the series may yet end up a laughingstock.

I think Kiki will be back in the bottom three. While she has a fine voice, five just like it can be found in every Baptist choir in the country. It is the same reason Jennifer Hudson did not win is POP idol, not Dreamgirls finalist.

Posted by: filmex | April 19, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Our long national nightmare is over!

Posted by: CJ Wolf | April 19, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

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