The Sanjaya Effect

This is a good one. As American Idol Season 7 is revving up I can't help but to remember last years worst contestant Sanjaya Malakar that made it into the top 7. I also wonder if it could happen again.

Some Reactions from Last Year:
Simon Cowell told Extra that had Malakar won, he would not have returned as a judge to the show, even though he is contractually obligated to return. Some commentators have remarked that the judges seemed to have stopped giving thoughtful critiques of Malakar's performances. The judges seemed stunned by his large following of voters. Randy Jackson went as far to remark that "I cannot even say anything on the vocals anymore", in his critique of Malakar after his performance during the top nine. Some believe that it would have been a turning point leading toward decline and eventual cancellation for American Idol if Malakar had won. One American Idol fan on MySpace claimed to be on a hunger strike until Malakar was voted off. She later admitted that she was canceling her strike, after Sanjaya's stay was longer than expected.

There has been a phrase coined since then called the Sanjaya effect.

The Sanjaya Effect:
The ability of a mediocre or poor performer to rouse the support of the masses. Also, a competition in which the popularity of an individual is valued more than their ability to perform.

"That guy can't dance at all! Why wasn't he voted off this week?"

"I don't must be the Sanjaya Effect."

Feb. 13, 2008