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American Idol gets desi twist
February 16, 2007 20:58 IST
Sanjaya Malakar, 17, became the first Indian-American to make it to the semi-finals of American Idol, a nationwide talent hunt in the US for the best singing voice.
He is the youngest among the 12 male contestants -- the next being 8 years older. The finals of the highly-rated Fox television show are slated for May. The 24 contestants -- 12 men and 12 women -- are the cream of the thousands who auditioned across the nation for the contest known to get the top artistes highly lucrative contracts.
Sanjaya, who says overcoming shyness was the toughest obstacle in his life, has been singing right from childhood. "Once I stopped crying," as he puts it. From Lacey, Washington, Sanjaya had entered the contest along with his sister Shyamali, 19, who is now out of the race for the top spot.
Talent hunters closely watch the show which brings together young singers from diverse fields and backgrounds. Sanjaya said his father was a classical Indian musician and that "they were raised around music."