Both Sparks and Malakar had much in common during Idol's recently concluded sixth season. They both auditioned in Seattle, WA; both are only 17-years-old; and each seemed to gain more support from viewers as the season progressed. Once overshadowed by the likes of more established Idol 6 finalists Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones, Sparks was able to carve a niche with the younger crowd and her popularity reached a crescendo just when it mattered the most.
Like Idol 6 runner-up Blake Lewis, Malakar could be described more as an entertainer than a singer, and Sparks said she believes performance is just as important to the average Idol viewer as vocal ability.
"The point of the show... is to keep who you like, who you want to see the next week," Sparks told The AP. "Sanjaya gave that to the people."