Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Sanjaya Bowl

Sanjaya Malakar has received a finger-lickin' good offer from the Colonel at Kentucky Fried Chicken (or at least from Gregg Dedrick, president of KFC). An open letter (and the attached photo) was sent to Sanjaya (and the press) on April 2, 2007:

"Congratulations on catching America’s ears … and eyes.

Over the past month, you’ve wowed the world with your original performances. And, your ever-changing hairdos have made you almost as famous as KFC® Original Recipe® Chicken and Colonel Sanders himself.

On behalf of Kentucky Fried Chicken®, I want to serve up to you a tasty offer. If you don a bowl hairdo during one of your next nationally televised performances, KFC will grant you a free lifetime supply of KFC Famous Bowls®. We’re sure America will be as ‘bowled-over’ by your take on this classic look as they are by our KFC Famous Bowls.

From wavy to Mohawk to now the classic bowl – who knows, your bowl cut could start a trend as big as KFC Famous Bowls, which consumers ranked as THE most memorable new product of 2006.

In addition to free KFC Famous Bowls for life – if you sport a bowl cut, KFC will cut a check in your name to Colonel’s Scholars, a charity providing young people with much needed college scholarships. We’re confident that helping students afford college is something that even the toughest of judges would stand and applaud.

Your Fan,
Gregg Dedrick
President of KFC"

Gee, if KFC cared so much about the education of young people, why does Sanjaya have to shave his head (and KFC have to send their offer to every member of the press) for them to donate money to it? Guess nobody does Sanjaya like KFC.

And perhaps Sanjaya can give some of his lifetime supply of KFC Famous Bowls to the woman who was holding a hunger strike until he was eliminated from the series. According to TMZ.com, the hunger strike is over. The MySpacer who had gone 16 days without food in protest of Sanjaya's presence on "American Idol" finally relented -- under doctor's orders. "J," the one-letter moniker by which she is known to millions, says that she will continue to fight the good fight the old-fashioned way: by voting for anyone other than Sanjaya. She also implored anyone else staging a hunger strike to stop, and to stay tuned for a "voting strategy" for the coming weeks. Now she can be like everyone else, and lose her lunch while listening to Sanjaya.


Although American Idol finalist Chris Sligh was sent packing last week after singing The Police's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," he may still have a chance at a recording deal. Sligh's former band, Half Past Forever, which he plans to rejoin after his Idol obligation concludes, recently submitted a music video starring the curly-haired crooner to the online video music competition at Music Nation, where artists compete for a recording contract with Epic Records and are judged by celebrities including Nelly, Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, The Game, and producerJ.R. Rotem. (The Half Past Forever music video, "Know," which was written by and features Sligh) can be viewed at the Music Nation Web site.

Now Votefortheworst.com has decided to help out Sligh, who gave them an on-air shoutout on Idol a couple of weeks ago, with the competition. In a post on the site they direct voters to cast ballots for their favorite Season 6 finalist since Sanajaya. Now the video -- which was unranked only two weeks ago -- is in first place in the rock category... meaning that although Idol rejected him, it is looking likely that Sligh still might have a second chance at a recording contract. Who said VFTW can't work for the good of humanity! Vote! Vote! Vote! for Chris and Half Past Forever!

And speaking of Half Past Forever, they released their first album in mid-March. After Sligh was eliminated from Idol last week, the CD climbed as high as No. 22 (and actually surpassed Gwen Stefani's -- Sligh's Idol mentor -- new release) on amazon.com. A pretty amazing feat for a relatively unknown indie band.


Chris Sligh has reopened his personal blog. Here are excerpts:

"To the conspiracy theorists who think that I got voted off the show because of a certain shout-out a coupla weeks ago (btw, please don't ask me about this: I have chosen not to talk about it at this point)...sorry people, I hate to tell you this, but it just isn't possible. Nigel [Lythgoe] and Ken [Warwick] (the executive producers) are very nice men, and I feel honored to have worked and learned from them. Plus what you guys do not see is that there are 5-6 people from Standards and Practices (an outside organization) who watch every aspect of the show to make sure it is fair. These people are also the ones who make sure that the vote counting is fair. ..I was voted off because I didn't get enough votes. I had a bad performance and received even worse comments, plus I was very early in the show...it all added up. There was no funny stuff going on."

"I've gotten to know these contestants day in and day out and love them all. I can't wait to be on tour with them. Obviously, I have said in several interviews, that I am very close with Gina (she and I are planning on vacationing together with our respective mates after all of this is over). I have also mentioned I am very close with Phil, Richardson and Blake. So, even though I have been voted off the show, I will be watching the show every Tuesday and Wednesday and will be cheering on my favorites as you do. At my heart, I'm just a fan boy."

"A lot of people have taken comments like 'Haley was on the rise in her hotpants' as being degrading to other contestants. This is the dumbest thing ever, but let me explain. Haley dressed nicely but pretty conservatively. If you ask the other male contestants I was one of the few fellow contestants during the semi-finals to really think Haley was great, but Simon kept telling her that she was forgettable. Suddenly, in the finals, she remembered she had a great body, and decided to use it on the show... it is no different a hook or schtick than me being funny or Sanjaya's hair or Blake's beatboxing. Her singing - in the judges minds - wasn't memorable, so she brought attention to something else - it's show business. I always thought Haley's voice was great, but when she brought sexy into it and America responded."


Web site TMZ.com can't go a day without trying to find an American Idol angle, even if it's just this lame video of finalists Haley Scarnato, Gina Glocksen, Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks scarfing down a few burgers at a Johnny Rocket at The Grove in Los Angeles. They say, "The hopefuls were getting their burgers on in the crowded mall, where California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger just happened to be strolling." If you really have a need to see them ingesting food, check it out here.


We didn't, that "Dave," the founder of VotefortheWorst.com is actually Dave Della Terza, a community college teacher near Chicago, according to the New York Times (we knew there was a reason that we shouldn't only read the tabloids!). Let's see, does Sanjaya Malakar vote-rallier Della Terza teach subversion ... or perhaps music unappreciation?

But Della Terza told the NYT that he did not want to destroy "Idol." "We're not out to take the show down. We like the show. We want to keep around the guy we think is funny and corny." His aim, he said, was simply to spice up the show by toying with the results, keeping what he calls the "cheesiest" contestants on for as long as possible.

"Everyone tries to say we're crushing dreams with what we're doing, but we're trying to help Sanjaya's dreams," he said. "He wants to be the American Idol too."

Interestingly, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson was the first contestant to be recommended for support on votefortheworst.com, something that is not lost on Mr. Della Terza. "We picked her the first week because of her crazy outfits and over-the-top singing," he recalled. But she improved, and the site switched its recommendation to another contestant. Last year the site also picked Taylor Hicks, the eventual winner, as the worst performer when five competitors were left. "If we had not recommended him, maybe he wouldn't have won," Mr. Della Terza said.

Della Terza also said that the site will stay with Malakar for the duration, even though he thinks there is no chance he will win. "Even if by some miracle we get him to the final two, I think the rest of America will be so outraged by the possibility of him winning that they will vote against him."

Here's a video clip of Della Terza last year, talking about Season 5 finalist Kellie Pickler.

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© 2007

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