Is American Idol’s Sanjaya Hoping for a Hollywood Comeback?

Sanjaya Malakar

Is Sanjaya Malakar attempting to make a show business comeback? The American Idol season 6 alum recently made news after coming out as bisexual on The Adam Shank Show podcast. This, after living for years in New York City and Montana, working variously as a bartender and pastry chef.

Now, he tells TMZ he wants to help LGBTQ youth who are experiencing the same struggles he faced as a teen. His main message would be “no one can navigate your sexuality but you.”

Sanjaya is ready to come back to Hollywood, but not as a punchline

TMZ reports that he’s ready to come back to Hollywood, but definitely NOT as the punchline he was during his run on American Idol in 2007, and during most of the television appearances he made afterward.

He shared that some of the ways he imagines himself helping LGBTQ youth is by working with kids one-on-one, singing at fundraisers dedicated to helping the LGBTQ community and making TV show appearances where he can share about how he navigated his sexuality during American Idol.

American Idol Invited Sanjaya to Reunion, But Wouldn’t Pay Airfare

He told TMZ that working with kids has been some of the most rewarding work of his career. For instance, following his Idol stint, he volunteered at an after-school program helping kids with stage fright.

Sanjaya shared that coming out to the public felt like a huge weight off his shoulders. His family, friends and fans have been supportive.

American Idol publicists instructed him on how to dodge questions about his sexuality

On the podcast, Sanjaya explained that while competing on American Idol at 17 years old, he was in a serious relationship with a girlfriend. “I was exploring my life as a child, and then American Idol happened, and everyone was like, ‘Oh, he’s gay.’ And I was like, ‘OK, well now I have to say no, because at this point they’re forcing me to make a decision and define myself.’”

Publicists from his time competing on Idol instructed him on how to dodge questions about sexuality. “All of my publicists were like, ‘Oh, just tell everyone you’re single. Be ambiguous. No one needs to know anything about anything because you don’t want to lose your fans,’” he told the podcast. “And I’m like, ‘OK, but why am I manipulating what I know of myself to figure out what kind of fans I’m going to get because I’m still trying to discover who I am?’”

The Seattle native auditioned for American Idol with his sister Shyamali, who was eliminated in Hollywood. Sanjaya continued to advance, amid criticisms of his vocal talent. The site Vote For the Worst picked him as their “worst” candidate. Howard Stern joined in and urged his radio show fans to also vote for Sanjaya, who eventually left the competition in 7th place.

About mj santilli 34527 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!