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)
.Sanjaya Malakar 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.
- Sanjaya Malakar Relationships:
- Joseph Paul Recchi Sr. - Grandfather
- Vasudeva Malakar - Father
- Shyamali Malakar - Sister
- Jillian Blyth - Mother