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American Idol superstar Sanjaya Malakar insists that his big sister Shyamali won’t be accepting any of those offers to pose nekkid in any men’s magazines. “She was never the type to flaunt it,” Sanjaya says about the Hooters waitress who didn’t make it to the finals but managed to score with viewers by simply appearing in the audience to cheer on her charismatic bro.
Sanjaya speaks to our pal Chaunce Hayden in the new issue of his tour, which kicks off July 6th in Sunrise, Florida. And Sanjaya says that’s only the start: “My first objective is to legitimize my music, then do modeling and acting.”
Sanjaya’s also got harsh words for Howard Stern, the former radio star who, through intermediaries, claimed credit for Sanjaya’s success in the Idol competition (even though now that his show is heard only by subscribers to satellite radio, Stern’s audience and influence have been decimated):Chaunce Hayden: I’m sure you know this already, but Howard Stern has taken credit for your popularity and for staying on the show as long as you did. Do you feel Stern played an important role getting you favorable votes each week?
Sanjaya: I wish Howard would stop saying that. I think a lot of the people who voted for me would have voted for me without Howard Stern’s help. The people who Howard might of influenced only voted for me once, maybe twice. Most fans just keep voting over and over again. So I have to give all the credit for my success to my fans. They are the people who brought me back to the show each week. They are the people who truly supported me whole heartedly.
Chaunce Hayden: Are you surprised Stern is angry you’re not giving him more credit?
Sanjaya: I think Howard is taking away a lot of the credit from the fans. They’re really the important people who make a difference in an entertainers career. They’re the people who actually make you who you are. They’re the people who buy records and vote for you on American Idol. Howard Stern and all his fans are just a tiny blurb when you look at the big picture. I really believe Howard had nothing to do with my success.