Sanjaya Malakar drops out of American Idol for “personal reasons”

This satirical story is part of the April 1, 2007, edition of reality blurred.

Sanjaya Malakar, having made it to the top nine on American Idol 6, has dropped out of the show. He said in a statement that he was leaving for “personal reasons” unrelated to the competition.

An insider, however, said Sanjaya’s departure came after he read interviews with Chris Sligh, in which Sligh said he almost quit. A friend close to Sanjaya said, “He wanted to at least be able to do one thing better than everyone else.”

Sanjaya’s departure won’t be addressed on Tuesday’s show; instead, he’ll be replaced by a new contestant, Antonella Barba. “The American public has such a short attention span that it’s easy to just replace Sanjaya and pretend Antonella has been there all along; as long as we talk about her presence with conviction, no one will realize that we just changed contestants, especially not the media,” a source said.

Other contestants had grown increasingly jealous about the press Sanjaya is receiving. “Why does he get all the attention?” one contestant said on condition of anonymity. “Our personalities are dynamic; just look how we smile every week while standing next to Ryan Seacrest. Plus, our karaoke experience is much more extensive.”

Other reports from the set said Sanjaya wanted to perform John Cage’s song 4′ 33″ this week, but producers said no because it’s Washed-Up Singer with an Album to Promote Week. The song he selected, which consists of four minutes and 33 seconds of silence, was designed to please pro-Sanjaya fanjayas and anti-Sanjaya fanjayas, in addition to the judges and audio engineers on the show.