Simon misses Sanjaya, who is “the straight guy that understood” women and whose mom was jailed for pot

It’s time for another Sanjaya! news round-up. With even lower ratings now that Sanjaya is gone, even Simon Cowell misses Sanjaya, which might explain why Sanjaya was in the audience during Idol Gives Back.

“I do miss Sanjaya in a way. Even though I had problems with his vocals, I always looked forward to him coming on each week,” Simon told Entertainment Tonight. “I never knew what he’d wear or what he’d do. He’s very charming! I’m glad he is on the show, but I’m equally glad he’s not going to win. I think if he’d had won we might have had a problem!”

Speaking of problems, Sanjaya tells People that he had a problem getting teased by kids who thought he was gay. “I got teased in school because people figured I must be gay because I understand women. I think that’s why guys didn’t like me — because I got along with girls so well. When I went up to girls they would give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek like I was their gay friend. But I was the straight guy that understood them,” he said.

Right now, Sanjaya is single, because he dumped his “clingy” girlfriend. “I had a girlfriend but she became clingy, and I didn’t want to get into a really serious relationship because I was 16. I just wanted to date and have fun,” he told People.

In tangential Sanjaya news, his “mother went to jail for running an indoor pot-growing operation out of a garage,” the National Enquirer reports. “Jillian Blyth was busted in Pierce County, Wash., in February 2005 after neighbors reported smelling marijuana and noticed a large vent on the garage roof, according to court records obtained exclusively by The ENQUIRER.” Police “discovered 310 marijuana plants, growing lights – and Sanjaya’s then 17-year-old sister Shyamali.”

TMZ has her mug shot, and says Sanjaya’s sister “was arrested for possession.”

The ‘Idol’ Chatter! [Entertainment Tonight]
Sanjaya: ‘I Understand Women’ [People]
‘American Idol’ Bombshell: Sanjaya’s Mom Sent to Jail After Drug Bust [National Enquirer]
Sanjaya’s Mom — Popped for Growing Piles of Pot [TMZ]

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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.