American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malaker is, by all accounts, not the most talented performer on the show. But research firm Nielsen BuzzMetrics says the blogosphere has played a large part in making him the most visible.
According to a BuzzMetrics report, Sanjaya--now referred to by only his first name on many sites--has seen blog references increase 338 percent from Feb. 18, when he first reached critical mass, to April 8. Reality TV Magazine is the top blog in Sanjaya traffic, with 40 other blogs linking to its posts on the subject from Jan. 1 to April 8.
Many blog conversations about Sanjaya in late March center on the fact that he "lacks talent" and doesn't deserve to win. Conversations also focus on Howard Stern and VoteForTheWorst.com, two sources that encourage people to skew the votes, suggesting that both have played a large part in keeping him on the air.
On his Sirius Satellite Radio show, Stern tells listeners to vote for Sanjaya and has taken delight in possibly "ruining" "Idol." VoteForTheWorst is a site that encourages its visitors to "have fun with 'American Idol' by voting for the bad and truly entertaining contestants."
The result, thus far, is that Sanjaya has kept his spot on the show despite serious flack from the judges. Simon Cowell told Extra he would quit the show if Sanjaya won and Randy Jackson called one of his performances "unlistenable."