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Sanjaya Malakar: Not having another Sanjaya on 'Idol' "a good thing"

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/21/2008 

No matter what happens on American Idol's currently airing seventh season, one thing is for certain.

"Not having another Sanjaya in the next season of Idol is probably a good thing," sixth-season finalist Sanjaya Malakar -- speaking in the third person -- told People in the magazine's January 28 issue.  "There's only one Sanjaya."

While the 18-year-old was known more for his crazy coifs and lack of vocal ability during his time on Idol -- he's apparently not letting that get him down, as he's currently working on his career as a solo artist.

"I'm not in the recording stages yet," he told People.  "I'm writing music and starting to interview producers.  If I had to define it, it would be alternative pop rock, like Paolo Nutini or James Morrison."

Malakar moved from his native Seattle suburb to Los Angeles in the first week of January, and he currently shares a house with his 20-year-old sister Shyamali, who made it to the sixth season's Hollywood Round before receiving the boot.

"Seattle is more chill," he told People.  "In L.A., everyone is focused on where they need to go.  Move from wherever you are to L.A. to pursue your dreams."

To insure his debut album has a better sound than the tunes he butchered on Idol, Malakar said he's taking jazz and hip-hop classes in L.A. and commercial audition workshops and vocal lessons with celebrity vocal coach Seth Riggs.

"I'm doing little things to make sure I know what I'm doing when I get out there," he told People.

Even if his career as a commercial artist doesn't pan out, Malakar has a back-up plan to potentially follow in the footsteps of Dancing with the Stars fifth-season celebrity participant Marie Osmond and her spotlight-seeking brother Donny.

"[Shyamali and I are] Donny and Marie for the next generation," Malakar told People, adding he and his big sister are currently shopping a variety show similar to Donny & Marie in the 1970s.

Not surprisingly, Malakar has no gripes with his Idol journey as he looks to further his career before his 15 minutes expire.

"I'm glad Idol went the way it did," he told People.  "Everything worked out perfectly."

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