Sanjaya’s singing makes a little girl cry

While the performances on American Idol 6 were considerably better than they were last week, especially from the men, the star of last night’s episode was not one of the final 11 contestants. Instead, it was a young girl in the audience, one who bawled her way through Sanjaya’s performance.

The girl, wearing pigtails and braces, was sitting on the aisle, and cried throughout the show. But we really got to see and know her during Sajaya’s crowd-wandering, quasi-rock ‘n’ roll performance of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” when, let’s be honest, most everyone was in tears.

Simon’s critique of Sanjaya was a single sentence: “I think the little girl’s face says it all.” But she wasn’t crying because her ears hurt. “I actually think she liked him,” Seacrest said. “You enjoyed that? You’re a fan?” he said, and asked her name. Sanjaya then hugged Ashley, who cried more.

“Are you having fun, sweetheart? Yeah? Okay. Just checking. If you need anything, let us know; we’ll be right here,” Seacrest said. At the end of the show, he invited her up to the stage, where she cried more, hugging the contestants awkwardly.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.