Although he often received more attention for his likeable personality and unique fashion sense than his vocals, Sanjaya Malakar made the Top 12 on Season 6 of American Idol---and his rabid fan base helped him get to seventh place before being voted off the show. Post Idol, the affable singer has capitalized on his American Idol popularity, parodying his run on the show in a 2008 Nationwide commercial, appearing as a contestant on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (2009) and even releasing his memoirs (2009's Dancing to the Music in My Head: Memoirs of the People's Idol).

Fast Facts

  • Was born in Washington state, but also lived in California and Hawaii while growing up; his family eventually settled in Federal Way, WA.
  • Participated in Hawaii Children's Theatre productions in Lihue as a youth.
  • Auditioned for Season 6 of American Idol in Seattle with his sister Shyamali. While they both made it through to the Hollywood round, Shyamali was cut on the final day.
  • First person of Indian descent to make it to American Idol's Top 12.
  • Was a contestant on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2009.


  • Vasudeva Malakar — Father
  • Shyamali Malakar — Sister
  • Joseph Paul Recchi Sr. — Grandfather
  • Jillian Blyth — Mother


  • Birth Place: Not Available
  • Profession: Reality cast member, Singer

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