Hawaii Film Blog

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hawaii the Almighty on "American Idol"

A feature on Yahoo! TV yesterday explored the mystery behind Sanjaya Malakar's continuing ability to survive the axe on Fox's "American Idol"--mysterious because apparently, he's not the most talented of the bunch. After throwing out a few plausible theories, writer Vera HC Chan came to a surprising conclusion: votes from the state of Hawaii are keeping Sanjaya alive!

Why? Because the kid lived on Kauai for four years. Yes, Hawaii folks love those Hawaii connections, however tenuous--and especially on TV, where Hawaii people and things are scarce. It's like, imagine what it was like for Black Americans in 1965 to see one of their own on TV. Or what it's like for Asian Americans today to see an Asian Am brother or sister as a principal character on a TV series or in a film. Well, that's what it is like for Hawaii residents.

Perhaps Hawaii keeping Sanjaya on "Idol" isn't so weird when you consider how the state collectively kept Jasmine Trias chugging along a few seasons back.

Now, if only Hawaii residents could apply that same voting fervor to participating in political elections! The state has had the
lowest voter turnout in the country during the last three elections (in Nov '06, a measly 40% of the voting-eligible population turned out to vote!). So, sorry Obama, even though you went to Punahou, I doubt if Hawaii folks will be able to help you get closer to the presidency.

The Malakar Mystery [Yahoo! TV, 3/15/07]
>> Finalist on 'Idol' lived on Kauai until 2000 [Hnl Star-Bulletin, 2/23/07]


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