Archive for April, 2007

Sanjaya Safe Again

At least we know who is in the top, middle and bottom of the “American Idol” competition.

Tonight, Gina Glocksen, Haley Scarnato and Phil Stacey all landed in the bottom. Phil got the first reprieve. I thought he sang better last night, and I think that saved him.

Then it came down to the rocker and the wannabe Vegas show girl.

Apparently, Haley’s scheme to keep viewers interested with her revealing wardrobe just begging for a malfunction is working.

Voters ousted Gina, who was significantly better last night than Haley. At least Gina got a chance to do a sing-off.

It was more than we got from Tony Bennett, whose bout with a cold led to the legendary singer’s no-show. He was replaced by the next generation of crooners, Michael Buble.

Michael managed not only to wow the crowd with his singing, but also with his joke on former contestant Antonella Barba.

“American Idol” let viewers know who was in the first tier, and it came as no surprise to see LaKisha Jones, Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks on top.

That left boy singers Chris Richardson, Blake Lewis and Sanjaya Malakar planted firmly in the middle.

Can it be that Sanjaya’s time can be coming close to the end?

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Is American Idol Tamper Proof?

Let’s say some big radio jock _ we’ll call him Howard Stern _ decides he’ll mess around with the biggest show on TV.

Can he really muck up a show dependent on American voting, a show we’ll call “American Idol”?

Producer Ken Warwick says no way in Hades.

With close to 40 million votes cast each week, Warwick says the impact anyone like Stern has on the program is “minimal.”

“There’s very little hype anyone could do that would affect the vast number of votes cast, even if all of Howard Stern’s audience cast votes,” Warwick ays. “The gap above and below Sanjaya (isn’t affected by Stern).”

So, Sanjaya is doing this all on his own merits?

“Say what you may, but he’s a good looking kid and young girls like him,” Warwick says. “He’s not as bad as everyone makes him out to be. Part of this business is communicating with your audience and he does that. If the American public likes him enough to put him up at the end, it’s out of my hands. We always have one or two contestants that shine for reasons you think they shouldn’t, but it’s part and parcel of the show.”

Chris Sligh, who was voted out last week, says he thinks people are coming down too hard on Sanjaya.

“I think that people underestimate Sanjaya. I think that Sanjaya is actually a very good vocalist,” Sligh says. “I have a lot of respect for him. I do not envy his position at all. He’s a very, very sweet kid and he’s just 17. I think that he gets a bum rap.”

Warwick says that people might be surprised at how fluid the weekly results are, with so-called front runners often ending up near the bottom of the mix.

LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle aren’t necessary shoo-ins just because he and others believe they are the best singers on the show.

“Last week, there was someone who was second that the week before was ninth or 10th. They move around like no tomorrow,” Warwick says. “It depends on their performance (that week). Some grow through the series. It’s always the way that the winner comes up in the competition and was not there (in the top) from the beginning.”

Which bodes well for someone like Jordin Sparks.

Warwick says in the history of the show, there has only been one contestant who was always the favorite who ended up winning the entire competition.

Fantasia.

“America normally gets it right in the end, and I’m confident that Sanjaya will not be the `American Idol,’ ” Warwick says. “(If he does), it’s because the American public wants him. (`American Idol’ has always been) the story of a journey of somebody who started out with nothing and ended up a huge star.”

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