Simon Cowell, who never tried to conceal his annoyance at Sanjaya's longevity despite his “pitchiness” and a series of sub-par performances, all but licked his chops as he said, "I'm beginning to sense something here." In his white t-shirt, chimp-like haircut and bleached front teeth, Cowell looked satisfied and smug. In other words, he was just as annoying as usual. When his name was called, Sanjaya cried and wet himself, but his departure was dignified. His time on the show, as everyone knows, was not. Outside the audition room that earned him a ticket to Hollywood, his vocals proved unstable, unreliable and, to many, downright unlistenable. But he was telegenic in ways that the judges consistently underestimated; featuring a sense of style that was misguided and over-the-top but somehow also forgivably puppyish. He was good-natured about being treated by the judges like a punching bag. I think people voted for him because he was the anti-American Idol, less polished and more real.
What awaits Sanjaya now? Well, if you see him some late night five years from now, running a Karaoke contest at your local bowling alley, don’t be surprised. The poor kid will probably become a waiter at TGIF Fridays or the Cheesecake Factory, which means people will flock there from miles around to watch him sing “Happy Birthday” to starry-eyed teens.