Sanjaya Malakar is 'American Idol'

Flowing hair and a precious smile have their rewards. Especially if you‘re Sanjaya Malakar, who is considered one of the weakest performers on "American Idol" but has a fan base that has helped him survive multiple rounds of viewer elimination. "I think he has a career ahead of him, whether he wins or not," said Pastor Pat Wright, a gospel choir director in Seattle who has known Malakar for five years. "He‘s very handsome. That‘s most of it," she said. "He‘s a teenager, and young girls and guys really like him." Simon Cowell went so far as to say if Malakar wins, he‘ll quit. "He sings from the heart, and people who hear him can feel that heart and they become, many times, very emotional," said Wright, who has directed Malakar in her choir for at least three years. "He has not shown America what he can do. That‘s what I said to him a couple days ago. ‘I want you to give them the showmanship. I want you to give them Sanjaya‘s heart,‘" she said. Recchi introduced Malakar to Wright‘s choir, where she says his musical personality blossomed. But she agrees that her nephew hasn‘t been performing his best. Malakar‘s singing talents may pale in comparison with other finalists, but his ability to work the crowd may pull him through. Malakar‘s most recent performance of "You Really Got Me" showed the teen‘s strong stage presence, said Emmons, who has 10- and 13-year-old daughters who watch the show.