Lack Talent? Have Hair
While it doesn't answer the question of how American Idol survived beyond its first season, our current theory, that lots of hair can keep you buoyant despite any other merits you may lack, is the reason we think the unlikely Sanjaya Malakar remains in the musical running.
See his audition here.
His singing ain't fantastic but the whole seven ponytails ("For good luck!") shtick he recently pulled off is endearing to somebody. Many somebodies.
Even Simon is at a loss for words, noting if America likes him then it doesn't matter what he says. The defeated attitude wears badly on our judge of choice.
We wonder what's happening to the poor girl who went on a hunger strike to dislodge Malakar from the stage. Still starving? Simon promised to quit if he wins. In either extreme, dude generates some strong emotions.
Cheers to Sanjaya for striking the chord of endearing mediocrity that seems to resonate so profoundly with TV voters. We could dig deeper into that whole voting-for-mediocrity thing but, oh, why do that when we can make dramatic vows instead? If Sanjaya wins, we'll ... mm ... send him self-demeaning fanmail.