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Monday, April 30, 2007

"Think Different"

Think Differently

Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing that you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can
change the world, are the ones who do.

Thanks to benjyfan over on the Idol boards. Forgot about this sweet poem that proved an immensely effective ad slogan for Apple computers.

This is for any and all of us that fit into the overly cliched realm known as 'Think Outside the Box', those of us who teeter on the edge of the sanity shelf, looking down into the abyss called crazy, those of us whose minds continuously flow with ideas and ideals.

It's a great morning inspiration. Now if I'd just figure how to turn it all into a fraction of what Steve Jobs has crafted monetarily this poor ol' starving wanna be artist would be content. Money is not the end all but it do buy you freedom. That's what's really important - and love and family.

Yes, here's to the crazy ones.

Groove on.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sanjaya Interviewed on TV Guide

Sanjaya gives a humble, sweet interview for TV Guide about his Idol experience. I this interview off of rickey.org.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sanjaya on Jimmy Kimmel Video

Sanjaya Malakar on Jimmy Kimmel video. I had been reading that many folks not happy with the 'vibe' of this interview, but frankly I am not 'feeling' any awkwardness. Granted, Sanjaya was not sure how to respond to the 'gay' question but hey, he's 17. A good response would have been, "I've been reading questions regarding my sexuality everywhere so thought I'd breech this topic".

(courtesy of eric82oslo - Nice video Eric!)

I can relate to not having a snappy one-liner always at the ready, I do much better with the written word, where I can take a moment to think... In open conversation, words sometimes evade me and my A.D.D. kicks in and conversation can turn into a train wreck.

As an example, I was talking about my trip to Belize to my neighbor - relaying some of the most amazing sites, the ruins we saw, the great food, and our adventurous riverboat cruise; I felt like a jungle explorer. We saw manatees, monkeys and crocodiles... next thing I know I'm on a rant about that guy I had to walk up to and confront about speeding through my kid's school zone.

You see this smuck came zooming through, like he usually does, he takes this route often, and it's obvious he's in a wildass hurry to get to work. This time he has to actually stop at the stop sign, the crossing guard out in the intersection. Normally he lucks out and slides through the stop. I take his license plate down on my hand - I carry a pen clipped to my shirt for those random moments I think about something to write down - anyway I knock on his car window, tell him I was sick of his disregard for the kids, and told him in the future, coming through the school zone he was going to slow down. He swore at me, called me a 'hussy' (what?). Some of the mommies nearby, and the crossing guard in the intersection applauded me. I took a bow. Since then, when he comes through, he's going below the 20 mph. hah! Go me!

Altuna, ruins we visited in Belize.

Taylor Hicks Music Videos from Tour

Videos from Taylor Hick's current tour:
Pink Floyd's "Brick in the Wall"(morphs to Hell of a Day)

(video courtesy of 1brc)
"Medicated Goo"

(videos courtesy of mssc10 and youtube)
"Long Distance Love" (acoustic)

Taylor Hicks "My Friend"

(courtesy of lacilovebug)

Groove on Soulman.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Idol Gives Back, Yet Takes More from Sanjaya

Sanjaya's a big fan of Jack Black, who isn't, and Idol and Simon can't stop themselves to one more roasting of this season's boy wonder.

Carry on Sanjaya, you handle it all so beautifully.

Taylor Takes Time to Hug Special Boys

The Herald News of Joliet, Illinois ran a touching story written by staff writer, Catherine Ann Velasco. Two boys, Joshua Good, 12, and his autistic brother, Jonah, who thought they were going to dinner as a treat; Jonah was scheduled for surgery, his 12th procedure to correct cranial facial hypoplasia. The parents intended this to be a treat for big brother Joshua, who often has had to take a back seat to the needs of his younger brother. Ms. Velasco describes the encounter to have gone like this:

Taylor greeted Joshua with, "Hi buddy, what's going on?"

After giving the boys high fives, Hicks signed the boys' CD and Joshua's cast.

"That was awesome," Joshua said.

"He gave him a hug. He gave him a high five," Jennifer said. "It's nice for someone to take the time out. It's very nice."

As he watched Jonah bounce away in delight, Hicks said he was glad to help keep him happy.

"I think the mind is a very powerful thing," Hicks said. "You never know how it can affect the outcome. Any kind of positive energy you can apply ... the better. I'm just a conductor."

Undoubtedly the boy's parents were grateful for the kindness and consideration Taylor extended the boys. This is one of the most important aspects of celebrity, the power to give something touching and special to your fans. It's a small gesture, but can carry very big, positive ramifications.

Nice going, Soulman. Groove on.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sanjaya Mobbed by Fans on Good Day + Ratings Drop on Idol

Wow, watching this skinny kid in his t-shirt, handling the crowd with his sweet humility confirmed everything I saw and still see in him. He's one fabulous kid and all the folks who lambasted him so brutally are that much lower in the humanity chain. This boy has such a good heart and so much soul. His Mother must be so proud.

Sanjaya - One of the most beautiful men in America?
Poll at ABC NEWS Folks just can't quit talking about Sanjaya.

Ratings for Tuesday night's Idol Gives Back extravaganza are down, Toni Fitzgerald writes in an article in MediaLife Magazine, "The reality singing show fell to its lowest Tuesday rating of the season last night, a 9.6 Nielsen overnight among adults 18-49, as the contestants and a huge array of celebrity guests appealed to viewers to pledge money for numerous American and African charities."

Of course this number still tops the night in number of viewers but experts think that ratings for next week without the perk of the special guest stars featured this week, the ratings will continue to fall. Perhaps AI6 needed Sanjaya much more than they realized.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Becoming Jaded? Taylor, Where is the Fun?

Taylor Hicks performs in Columbus, Ohio this evening. Prior to the show, Taylor provides Aaron Beck, writer for The Columbus Dispatch yet another dry interview. Of course, it seems every interviewer asks the same questions, so I can't really hold it against Taylor for becoming jaded, but man, would it hurt to once show some humor or give some evidence there is a sense of humor behind the gray-haired solemn facade? During television interviews and radio interviews, Taylor has consistently come across as almost bland in his lack of personality. Pushing a new book soon to be released, a snappier interview persona might increase the curiosity seekers to purchase the book. At this rate only his dyed in the wool Soul Patrollers will be interested in having it as part of their Taylor Hicks memorabilia collection. I hate to sound off negative about the man who I admire for his drive to succeed at his passion in life - music, but a sense of humor makes a person seem more attractive and interesting. The repeated lack of wit and continued unimpassioned answer deliveries might not inspire folks to really get to know the man better.

Talking American Idol, and comparing two of my favorite past contestants, Bo Bice and Taylor, I have to comment on one striking difference between the two of them; Bo Bice is ever ready for a laugh, he flashes his charming smile with an ease born from never taking himself too seriously. Taylor Hicks seems eternally wary and guarded. Take young gun, Sanjaya Malakar, even at the tender age of seventeen, he's caught onto to this concept and it's working for the kid, becoming a major portion of his appeal. Every one who watches Idol knows Sanjaya's smile.

Even Elvis, famous as he was, wore his heart on his sleeve and always had his humor at the ready to let fans know he was still just the same good ol' boy. That was always a huge part of The King's charm and appeal. In one of my favorite Elvis albums, "Tiger Man", a live album chock full of him poking fun at himself, a perfect example of how Elvis welcomed his fans inside his heart and soul. Once fans perceive an entertainer to be taking themselves too seriously it begins to ebb at their appeal.

John Mayer another great example of an entertainer with the ability to share himself with others, he's even ventured into performing the occasional stand-up comedy. Johnny is one of today's most gifted musicians, but he remains a personable and unselfish performer. His blog, one of the best blog reads I've ever stumbled across. I 'visit him' on a regular basis, he always delights me. I also love the apparent enjoyment of words that his vocabulary reflects.

Back to the topic of Taylor. I'd read an interview in which one of the concert attendees had initially upon meeting Taylor felt rebuffed by his rather cold demeanor at a meet and greet. This person (I'm not providing her name) expressed dismay, having traveled hundreds of miles to see Mr. Hicks live, and face to face he did not even look her in the face, instead he signed the CD she presented while carrying on a conversation with someone else. She naturally came away with the impression that he was really not interested in the fans. She, in particular - her perception, he was just going through the motions. Of course she had gone on to the show and wound up enjoying herself immensely anyway.

I can imagine what a draining lifestyle being a celebrity must be, people pulling at you and each wanting to take a small piece of you with them, but it's the price you must pay. Dance with the Devil has many connotations.

Certainly from all the reviews, The Soulman delivers once he's on stage. Being able to move a live audience, of course important; an entertainer has to be able to do that - but to really become a legend and a superstar you've got to have it in you to give away those small pieces of 'you'. Having heart and soul is one thing in regard to your art, but you've got to be able to share it with your public.

Lighten up, and Groove on Soulman.

Sanjaya on Dave Letterman

Whoaaa, whoaaa, whoaaa-ah, oh yes he did! Love number 4.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sanjaya Goes to the White House

The reporter with CSPAN obviously is not aware how important it is to research your subject matter. She has Sligh and Sanjaya gone the same week. Notice how there is no one around Sligh and a mob around Sanjaya. Interesting.

and Saturday Night Live loves him:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sanjaya - no it's not Sayonara

Today, according to The Times of India, Pop tart Britney Spears became a fan of Sanjaya's while spending time during her luxury re-hab stint. She reportedly began watching Idol and thinks that it may be a good move to record with him, may help in her now efforts to revive her dwindling career. Star Magazine is apparently scheduled to have an article out about this in the upcoming week's issue. (But, seriously how credible is the Star really?) This posting on the site, The Gossip Girls, Britney Spears and Sanjaya Malakar: Duets Remix brings up the story as well, complete with pictures of Spears doing what she does best.

To recap some of the interviews he's done so far - recap of the interview with host J.D. Roberto:

What was he thinking when he was in the bottom 3?
“I knew that I was going home. I kinda felt like I was going home when I first saw the show, ’cause…I don’t know…my name means ’spiritual psychic’ so I guess I’m a little bit psychic…when I was next to Blake and Lakisha I knew that I was going home, ’cause they’re amazing.”
Sanjaya says the hardest part of being eliminated was leaving everyone
“We had become a family…and it was like not being able to see them until the finale.”
About the ‘Life is Beautiful’ shirt he wore Wednesday night
“I wanted to wear this [the shirt] next week, but I felt that I probably should wear it this week just in case…”
What did Sanjaya think was his best week?
“My strongest week was definitely Latin week, ’cause…(audience breaks out into applause)…”
Was the facial hair he wore Latin night real? “It was real, but it was a little bit enhanced, because I’ve never…I’ve been kind of lazy, so I haven’t ever really shaved…so it hasn’t ever grown in fully…because I am 17…but they had to touch it up a little bit…just a little bit…but there was stuff to work with, so…”
How did he stay positive in the face of all the negative press?
“I read both the positive and the negative, because I know that if I do, it’ll keep me balanced and I won’t get too hot-headed by reading all the good stuff and I won’t get too, like broken down by reading all the negative stuff…I just read it all, I guess…and then it keeps me grounded and it keeps me able to focus on who I am, and staying who I am.”
How did Sanjaya deal with Simon Cowell’s negative remarks?
“I take Simon’s criticisms as more him knowing that I had more potential and me kind of letting him down, ’cause I felt like the very first audition, he saw potential in me, and then when I didn’t live up to that he was disappointed.”
What was it like to receive Simon’s “praise”–he said it, “wasn’t horrible”– during Latin week?
“It was very…relieving…and it kind of put a weight off my shoulders for that week. I felt like I was safe for that week. And I was.”
Has he gotten really close to some of the other Idols?
“We’re a family, Jordin’s like my sister [about hugging her] that was definitely a “siblingly” hug…we’re in it for so long, and we are basically the people that we see every day and…to all of a sudden be torn away from that is like, being torn away from your family.”
How did his style evolve?
“I think I kind of found myself, because when I first came in I was just a normal 17 year old and I don’t think any 17 year old really knows who they are…’cause that’s the time where they learn. And so this opportunity made it so that I was able to learn faster and faster ’cause now I get to start my career ’cause it’s over…the show, not my career (laughter) …I was just able to find myself and I think that showed in my style and…I am quirky like Jordin said, so that showed in my hair, I guess.”
What was his favorite week style-wise?
“When I sang ‘Bathwater’ of course, with the ponyhawk. That was me in a nutshell.”
How does he stay so poised at 17?
“Very good family. My family has been the most supportive people…I don’t know how they do it…”

From MTV:
Why does Sanjaya think he was voted off this week?
“Honestly, I’m not a country singer. I think that that really took a toll on me, and I didn’t have enough really strong performances to have people forgive me for that. For example, LaKisha, she’s not necessarily a country singer either, but she had enough really strong performances to get her through, and I don’t think I did. I think that might have been what got me this week. But I [leave the show with] an amazing amount of education that I never would have gotten anywhere else.”

Well said Sanjaya. He's just now steppin' out...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sanjaya Begins his Press Tour

Sanjaya Interviewed in Los Angeles on FOX.

I love this piece by Marc Hirsh on Sanjaya in it he writes,
    “Idol” loses the best and worst thing that has happened to the show all season, and maybe going back even further. For two and a half months, the 17-year-old with the endless parade of hairstyles (flatironed! permed! the now-infamous, never-to-be-bettered pony hawk!) has dominated discussions about the show as both his fans and detractors couldn’t help but try to figure out just what the heck was going on with this kid. He was, in short, the star of “Idol” 6.

    That’s because there’s never been anybody like Sanjaya on “Idol” before. In a very real way, he was the single most original contestant that the show has ever seen.

Sanjaya on Leno April 19th

Tributes to Sanjaya: (sort of LOL!)

The Universe of Sanjaya continues.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Sanjaya Express Runs out of Track

Sanjaya Malakar, my Little Engine That Could, ran out of track on American Idol's Country theme week. Country music theme week can be a daunting week for many contestants, including last season Taylor Hicks who suffered a close call during this theme week last year. It proved the undoing of Sanjaya. The straw that broke the Cowell's back, Sanjaya's song choice, "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About", referencing all the media buzz he's generated top that with his featuring his hair once again, sporting a wacky bandana-do. The fact he did not deliver as sound a performance as he could have did not help his cause either.

Following Sanjaya's Tuesday night's performance, Cowell let it be known he was through with the boy. In order for Sanjaya to have remained on the show, he needed to give the type of performance he delivered the previous week with "Besame Mucho". He had made a positive impression on Simon Cowell as well as many others, definitely this was not a week to flaunt a goof or toss up the hype he'd been receiving via the media. Adding to the fact that Cowell did not appear to appreciate the joke Sanjaya made with Ryan Seacrest during the Tuesday night's pre-performance interview in which Sanjaya said he'd like to hear Simon sing, "Shiny Happy People". I imagine Cowell may have interpreted the entire performance as an insult to the show, and therefore an insult toward him.

Sanjaya's death knell was ringing during the American Idol interview the public segment seen in the beginning of Wednesday night's show. This segment featured interviews 'randomly' selected, of Seacrest talking to folks about the show and the contestants. The clips struck me as highly manipulative, I found that entire segment hard to swallow, it reeked of false production and slanted portrayal of show-scripted public opinion. I drew my analysis by contrasting that seemingly scripted segment with the previous week's many, many endorsements of support for Sanjaya that came sprouting forth from various celebrities and viewers of the show, carrying growing positive feedback. That said, hardly anyone, whether it was good or bad, talked about American Idol without mentioning Sanjaya and yet this segment relatively ignored him, placing the focus on the other contestants.

Of course, next week is the special Idol event, "Idol Gives Back" and I'm venturing a guess the producers figure the guest stars will be sufficient to keep any ratings drop off from occurring. Following next week's special, the show enters top 5 and heads for home stretch and the finale. I think the show capitalized on the bad choice this week made by Malakar and took their opportunity to evict him from the show, feeling that he was not needed any further as a ratings draw. I'm thinking with all the buzz he's received and then a recent surge of positive feedback, the show's man behind the curtain decided it time to pull the plug, lest there be another outcome similar to last season when Taylor Hicks won.

When it came time to announce Sanjaya's departure from the show last night, the studio audience broke out in cheers and stood clapping when it was announced the LaKisha was safe. I attribute this to two factors, one it was a celebration for LaKisha's remaining on the show, as well as a tribute to the Sanjaya's achievement in staying on the show so long against big odds. I would hate to think that a studio full of adults would cheer for a seventeen year old kid being kicked off the show. I salute LaKisha in her standing with the boy while the audience clapped and cheered. She really impressed me with her lack of selfishness at that moment.

Ironically, for all the claims of Sanjaya bringing about the ruin of American Idol, this season with all the scandals, such as Paula's questionable interviews prior to the season's beginning, and the shortness of talent this year, he had actually greatly helped contribute to saving this season. I know I'd have tuned out long ago if it wasn't for this boy. One person, on the Vote for The Worst website, wrote, "The synergistic pair of Sanjaya/VFTW was the best thing that could have happened to AI6. This season has been visual Ambien from day one. I suspect this was why Antonella and Sanjaya were even let through. But as much fun as our Princess 'toiletta was, Sanjaya was our "Willy Wonka" Golden Ticket to the Chocolate factory of WATCHABLE IDOL."

I agree with the assessment and possibly without the debate between the show and the Vote for the Worst website, this season would have been even more sorely lacking in entertainment. I have to hand it to Sanjaya as well for catching onto the concept and the spirit. He demonstrated it in his clothing choices, hairstyles, and his performances. He's provided more fun, and more interest this season, for me, than any of the other contestants combined.

Sanjaya has been pivotal this season in drawing in a more diverse news coverage for American Idol. Howard Stern and his cohorts, jumped aboard the VFTW bandwagon to help 'Save Sanjaya', NPR gave the show ample coverage in reports - all featuring Sanjaya, Bill O'Reilly devoted time on the O'Reilly Factor to talk Sanjaya news. Vote for the Worst website founder, Dave Della Terza, due to the buzz behind the Sanjaya phenomenon, appeared on the Stern radio broadcast and Dave Letterman had him on this week to discuss how it felt to be, in Letterman's semi-joking assessment, 'maybe one of the most powerful men in the world'.

I have taken a great deal of verbal shrapnel in my support of Sanjaya, I've been called all sorts of derogatory names, told I'm deaf, crazy, the list goes on and none of it has bothered me. It has not deterred me or made me question myself. I found something special within this kid. Sanjaya has provided me with hours of enjoyment and uplifting emotions as I have watched him reach for his star. I have never claimed I thought Sanjaya the best singer on this show, but what Sanjaya possesses the others lack, the X-Factor. That brilliant elusive, shiny make-your-heart-sing factor. He's one in a group comprised of possibly three of the contestants to show much heart and any soul.

Sanjaya wore a shirt Wednesday night that read, "Life is Beautiful". I thought it somehow appropriate he was wearing that on the night the show sent him home. "Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit", Napoleon Hill, writer of Think and Grow Rich.

Sanjaya Malakar has been a shining light on American Idol, this season. To sum it up, the show would have floundering much worse without him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Something to Talk About, and Dave on Dave

Simon Cowell grimaces his way through Chris Richardson's tribute to the Virginia Tech tradgedy.

...and then there's Sanjaya, with red bandana truly giving us something to talk about...

Certainly not as good as last week, but re-watching it today, Sanjaya wasn't that terrible. In fact he was better than Chris Richardson and Blake both. It was absolutely brilliant on Ryan's part to bait Simon by taking up for Sanjaya. Touching too, as Simon was completely vicious in his critique of Sanjaya.

Assessing all the contestants last night PhilPheratu Stacy performed very well, as did Jordin and Melinda. Jordin got her first real pimpage to win the show from Cowell last night - it is that time of the season for Simon to begin his 'push' to get his choice in prime winning position.

LaKisha, Blake and Chris Richardson were all three pretty bad. Simon's completely over Chris finally pointing out the obvious, the boy's got a nasally voice.

Dial Idol has my boy in last place, but they have been wrong pretty much all season, so I hope he stays on past this debacle. I remember last season's country week was Taylor Hicks worst performance of the season, he sang John Denver's "Country Roads", and it was an abysmal performance.

B3 tonight most likely should be Sanjaya, Richardson and LaKisha. Shocker to go home this week I'd go with Richardson. Producers should keep baby-Momma on for the special show next week, and Sanjaya keeps this season's ratings up. After last night's performance if he stays, the ratings should blow through the roof next week.

Speaking of saving Sanjaya, Dave Della Terza steps out in the Big Apple, visits Howard Stern's radio studio and then tops off the trip to Dave Letterman.
Dave on Dave.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sanjaya Express

I believe.

Sanjaya Malakar and Hannah Montana?

Apparently with the studios for American Idol and Dancing with the Stars in close proximity, Billy Ray, ever the sweetheart has extended an invitation to Sanjaya to appear with Hannah Montana on one of the future episodes. Access Hollywood's blogger, on "Dish of Salt" reports:

Sanjaya may already have his first acting gig on Disney's HANNAH MONTANA. Since AMERICAN IDOL shares studio space with DANCING WITH THE STARS run-ins between contestants and celebrity dancers are inevitable. This week Billy Ray Cyrus met up with Sanjaya, "Yeah we were talking last night. I was practicing a little camp work out there in the back and getting ready for my thing and Sanjaya came out of the studio. I said hey man. I said how you doing? Congratulations on all your success and he came over and shook my hand and said hey you're Billy Ray Cyrus man. My family loves you man. We love Hannah Montana and I said well you need to come up and be a guest on Hannah Montana."

I can hear the screams of millions of little girls now. The powers that be at the Disney Channel would have to agree. Sanjaya is up for it according to Billy Ray, "He said I'd love to man, I'd love to. He said where you filming at? I said just up the street you know and he said tell them to write me in, I'll be there. I'm gonna go tell them Mr. Sanjaya said he would be glad to come on the show and I think it would be really cool for him and Miley to hook up. I just want him to sport that porcupine deal man. "

A dream come true for many in the tweenie crowd - I know my daughter would absolutely come unglued to see her favorite show and personal Idol, Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana sing with Sanjaya. Disney, if wise should scoop him up eventually, he'll do them proud.

The Little Engine That Could continues to climb that mountain.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sanjaya Shows the Malakar Magic

Sanjaya shows the Malakar Magic on American Idol: On to the top 7, this is the next American Idol.

"Besame Mucho"

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sanjaya Express!

All Aboard the Sanjaya Express.
Many thanks to "Auntie Sab" and the "Little Train That Could" MyIdol Thread.

To reference the story that started this tribute written on behalf of the courageous boy (that be Sanjaya) battling the Idol Odds, (and Idol fan Oddities) go to blogcritics.org.

I'm so glad that my little story could warm the hearts and minds of so many. Seriously, this drew a tear from my eye.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Another Writer is Sanjaya-ed

Brendan Butler of CB Music writes a letter to Sanjaya mirroring what I've been saying all along.
    A popularity contest is not something won on merit alone, and a popularity contest is all American Idol is. This not about who is the best or most affluent singer--it’s about who we happen to like best at a specific moment in time. And you, my perpetual hair-alternating friend, are just that. You are an inspiring, Zen individual who is consistently being burned and told you’re not good enough week in and week out by elitist judges. But guess what, you keep coming back to prove the dream-killers wrong, simply by being yourself.

He finishes the story with:
    I know I will be casting my first-ever votes next week for what I once thought an irrelevant zeitgeist, and I’m voting for you because you’ve inspired me to do so. I know there are some out there who wish to vote for you for less noble reasons, but their motives are just as skewed as the judges you face. I will get as many people as I can behind you so we can bring the title, signed, sealed and delivered to you. Sanjaya, you truly are an American Idol.

This show is not just about the singing folks; there are many great singers in the world but few entertainers that grab you by the heart and inspire your mind.

On this season's American Idol, Sanjaya is the only contestant managing to do just that. Certainly he has many detractors, but I believe most of that stems from the 'normals' out there, the folks with a limited skein of imagination and inability to accept the unique and different.

Regarding Sanjaya's singing abilities, while it may be true that he's a work in progress - charisma, soul and natural appeal cannot be developed, those constitute the X-Factor, and this kid's got it.

Click this LINK to see Sanjaya's reaction to his performance on Idol.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Heaven, Tony Bennett and Sanjaya Malakar

Sanjaya Malakar's "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" video:

I love this kid, "Welcome to the Universe of Sanjaya!". I'm in.

I have a source who is a numbers kind of guy. He's been playing with the results of this show, and where he gets his information I have not one clue, so I cannot vouch for validity or accuracy, but his results are interesting and have been right so far. According to Genius MysteryMan, should we lowly viewers have access to the real numbers of votes cast and see how the contestants really line up this is what we'd be seeing this week:

Melinda (slipping from #1 for the first time)
Lakisha* (to go home)
* - Genius says that these two were extremely close and the most difficult to decifer.

Pretty wild, we'll see how he portends the results this evening.

Well Genius didn't come through with the numbers so I guess I won't have him pick my lotto numbers. Well, two out of three's not bad (he was correct the previous two weeks).
Gina says goodbye. Next to go will be Haley and Phil. *Crossing my fingers*

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Has Sanjaya Captured the Attention of Calvin Ayre?

Gambling 911 reports Sanjaya Malakar seeing offers coming in including one from billionaire extraordinare Calvin Arye. In their article it reads:

    Mr. Ayre enjoys close ties to everyone's favorite American Idol betting odds monitoring website, Gambling911.com, will reportedly offer Mr. Malakar a recording contract once he is voted off the show (assuming he ever gets voted off the show).

    Sources have told Gambling911.com that "higher ups" at BodogMusic would like to team Malakar up with their marquee star, singing sensation Bif Naked.

    Our source, who wishes to remain anonymous, said:

    "Bif Naked's next album is going to be widely marketed in American and a duet with Sanjaya Malakar would help to boost her presence in the States."

    BodogMusic Founder, Calvin Ayre, has not confirmed the reports. Ayre was last year's Forbes cover boy billionaire and bringing Sanjaya on board would certainly fit this marketing genius' Modus Operandi.

He's an admirably self-made man who hails from Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada born on May 25, 1961, the son of grain and pig farmers. Notably, while a controversial figure, Mr. Ayre is one brilliant man, outlined in this article, "Catch Me if You Can" written by Mathew Miller. This article recants Mr Ayre's stunt created in 2003 in which he basically wrote a story surrounding a fictitious character based on an Indiana Jones type persona. Mr. Ayre ran this storyline for weeks, infusing information and photographs to lend it a reality feel and managed to convince Christopher Costigan, owner of Gambling911, to post stories about his character. It's a fascinating read and the man is almost dastardly in his creativity utilized in self-promotion and money-making. This, too a point to be well taken in how the internet can be used as such an effective tool for marketing, self-promotion as well as effectively bending reality. Of course, since Mr. Costigan already has indulged Mr. Ayre in the past with his quest for self-promotion and news making attention, the real validity of this new article regarding young Malakar and Calvin Ayre could be questioned.

Back to the subject of Sanjaya Malakar. Whereas Calvin Ayre has allegedly made the bulk of his money in the illegal gambling trade - remember the Kennedy fortune was built on illegal alcohol trade, before anyone gets overly pious - the brilliant Mr. Ayre has developed his music company, Bodog Music which has signed and manages the beautiful, controversial Canadian punk rocker, Bif Naked, as well as Billy Idol, the Saw III soundtrack as well as a host of other musical acts.

Conversely, to his credit while being involved in some perhaps nefarious dealings, to be fair, Mr. Ayre, as the phrase goes, 'gives back'. He established and founded in 2005, the Calvin Ayre Foundation, headquartered in Antigua. It is a private and independent foundation with a charter to do charitable work worldwide. With Ayre as Chairman, the Foundation has pledged millions of dollars in support of individuals, communities and charitable organizations throughout the world. Included among those charities are the Fisher House Foundation, the LA Lakers Youth Foundation, the Humane Society, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Animal Avengers Organization, and the Sean McCauley Hope Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.

The Calvin Ayre Foundation’s initiatives include the Sponsor a School Project, which provides students living in underdeveloped nations opportunities for a quality education, and the Sponsor a Family Project, which provides financial support for the immediate families of sponsored students. According to his website, Mr. Ayre envisiones his Foundation to become a philanthropic organization focusing on promoting greater equity in five broad areas: Environment, Education, Social Development, Child Welfare and Animal Welfare.

Why I asked myself, as I read about the interesting Mr. Ayre, has the media beleaguered young Sanjaya Malakar come to the attention of this entrepreneurial wildcatter, what could be the tie in if any? Is he an avid American Idol fan? Is he seeking to just benefit with how, right now, having his name linked with Sanjaya, with the boy in all the news these days, garner even more attention for himself? Perhaps. What I did discover is that Mr. Ayre, utilizing his almost preternatural ability to gauge trends, apparently is currently in the works producing a poker show (ala ESPN)with Fox Sports Net to be broadcast in April.

Mr. Ayre also has a myspace page to be found HERE.