He couldn't carry a tune, but that didn't stop millions from tuning in—transfixed. Hillary Clinton was even grilled about Sanjaya Malakar on the radio. "That's the best question I've been asked in a long time," she said, of her thoughts on the "Idol" candidate. "People can vote for whomever they want." Well, the votes are in and Sanjaya is out, finally. He spoke to Ramin Setoodeh.
Why did you cut your hair!?
I wanted to slick it back, but I didn't want to look sleazy. So I asked for a trim. They cut off a lot more than I thought.
Did you freak?
I was very shocked. But, I mean, it's hair. It'll grow back.
But you're Sanjaya! Your hair is why people were voting for you.
I think my hair helped me. But I don't think I got voted off because of my hair. It was my time to go.
Did you sing badly to get votes?
Of course not. It's a lot harder than people think. To go out there and be totally vulnerable and be showing America your craft, it's hard.
Are you going to record an album?
Of course. Mainly, I want it to be jazz and R&B. But I want to infuse Indian music.
What did Simon say after you were voted out?
He said to keep going and I'm going to have a nice career ahead of me.
There should be a Sanjaya reality show.
My family would make an awesome sitcom. They're very funny and quirky.
Your sister worked at Hooters, right?
Yeah, but she just did it because she needed a job.
I called that Hooters, and the waitress said all the Hooters girls are voting for Sanjaya.
What are you going to do now?
Well, we have the tour.
No, I mean like tonight.
Right now I'm in the dressing room of "Jay Leno." There are fruits and vegetables and a couch.
Who else is on the show tonight?
I bet he's a fanjaya.
That would be really cool.