Entry 507: The Sanjayan Effect in American Politics

Do you ever get the feeling that the entire American political process is just a massive prank?

How else do you explain it? If you compare the way we operate to other western countries, the only other possible explanation is that we are total idiots.

Okay, maybe it’s that one.

Unless…

…is it possible that we do things this way intentionally just for the entertainment value? When you think about it, the election cycle is kind of like a NASCAR race. You just keep watching the competitors go around and around, hoping you’ll see a big, fiery wreck.

For example, take Donald Trump (please). I haven’t written much about him because, frankly, I like more of a challenge in my humor writing, like when I made fun of doctors who want to do head transplants. But I’ve formulated a theory about Trump’s candidacy that I’d like to share with you now.

I call it The Sanjayan Effect.

Okay, who out there remembers Sanjaya? If you do, raise your hand…but don’t let anyone sanjaya-malakar-ponyhawk-82[1]see you.

I take you back now to the year 2006 and a little TV show called American Idol. Currently, it’s about to begin its last season before being taken off life support, but back then it was the most popular program on television. And one of the contestants on its sixth season was a fellow named Sanjaya Malakar, who was usually referred to only by his first name, possibly because his last named sounded too much like “malarky.”

While he was on the show, Sanjaya became one of the most divisive contestants in Idol history for one very interesting reason.

He was just awful.

Almost every word that came out of his mouth was off key, and yet, week after week, Americans kept sanjaya-malakar-bandanna-12[1]expressing a preference for his lousy performances. Plus he had weird hair.

Sound like anyone you know?

Sanjaya came close to single-handedly derailing the democratic American Idol process. There was even a website, Vote for the Worst, that tried to subvert the voting by encouraging people to cast their ballot for Sanjaya instead of people who at least had a little bit of an idea of what they were doing.

Jeb-Bush2[1]Incredibly, Sanjaya made it to the top seven, although he was likely aided in his rise by the fact that the field of candidates was particularly weak that year. One of them, Sundance Head, was trying to follow in the footsteps of his father, who had once been a big deal.* Another, Blake Lewis, was a beat-boxer, a person who often spews nothing but 150502155239-ben-carson-gallery-1-super-169[1]gibberish.  And all of them were always seen on Fox.

Sound familiar?

The only singer from that season of American Idol who went on to any sort of fame was the eventual winner, Jordin Sparks. Everyone else, including Sanjaya, faded into obscurity.

We can only hope that Donald Trump eventually gets voted off the campaign. Although I somehow doubt he’ll end up, as Sanjaya did, nearly bald and tending bar in Queens.bald

See you soon.

*His father was Roy Head, whose record, “Treat Her Right,” reached #2 in 1965, behind The Beatles “Yesterday.”

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One Response to Entry 507: The Sanjayan Effect in American Politics

  1. Pingback: Entry 539: My, What Big Guns You Have | The Upsizers

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