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The "American Idol" Odd Couple

3/16/2007 12:39 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned that "American Idol" contestants Sanjaya Malakar and Lakisha Jones have developed a very special, and somewhat unlikely bond.
Sanjaya and Lakisha
The two have become fast friends, with the older, and let's face it, more talented Lakisha often heard giving pep talks to the struggling 17-year-old, along with performance advice like, "Do your thing and just be yourself out there" and "Don't listen to what people have to say." But love the hair, dawg!

While Timberlake wannabes Blake and Chris R. have also become BFFs, it's Lakisha and Sanjaya's friendship that has most surprised the on-set staff. Sources tell TMZ that Lakisha is genuinely lookin' out for Sanjaya, and has become somewhat of a role model for him.

And from the looks of it, Sanjaya is also taking Lakisha's hairstyling advice, as clearly evidenced by last week's flatiron blowout weave!


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OH, NO!!! Don't tell me that!!!!

2779 days ago


Maybe he also has something to do with Anna Nicole Smith's love child Dannilynn!!!!

2779 days ago


There's mentoring someone...and then there's mentoring where speaking the truth would be the kindest thing you could do for someone. She needs to learn the difference between the two. The kindest thing she could do for this kid is be truthful about his minimal talent in a cutthroat environment, and that the best thing that can happen to him is that he will be voted off and not be encouraged to pursue this anymore.

2779 days ago

Paul Kline    

That is sweet. So their friends. Lovely.

2779 days ago


OH, OK... Being friends is a good thing...At first I thought it meant a romance.

2779 days ago


So what's odd about it? Is she much older than him or something? And age is not a big deal anymore.

2779 days ago

Philly Girl    

That's so nice of her!

2779 days ago


I just can't believe that sanjaya is still in the competition..... HE SUCKS!!!!! Who the hell is voting for him?????

2779 days ago


That is so cool, Laiksha you are a sweet heart. He needs some guidance. He needs a vocal coach too. Good LUck

2779 days ago


She obviously is showing her maternal side by supporting him. That poor kid is really taking a beating from all sides. I am amazed that he can get out there and smile every week. BTW he is not singing off-key ; .he just has a very weak voice. The AI vocal coaches should have been helping him with that; I suspect they are hanging him out to dry. I personally don't think he should have advanced as far as he has but he does not deserve to be's just a singing competition people! Props to Lakisha!

2779 days ago


I can't believe this kid is still hanging on. Why are these folks voting for him???? Can't they see this is not an AI image. If he wins, that is all the fame he will accomplish. He can't sing, and therefore will not make a successful, profitable CD. This will be a waste of votes and certainly a waste of our time watching. He will become a 'has been' faster than winning the vote. Wake up voters, don't you want a singer that can sing and sell CDs???? How can this kid make you proud????

2779 days ago


Sanjaya needs to go___________________ He should never have made it past Hollywood. He cannot sing and is extremely boring to listen to. He reminds me of a theme park performer.

2779 days ago


The gay comments have got to stop. Sanjaya is a shy 17 y.o. KID !!! Alot of boys that age don't come across as uber-masculine - thank goodness, kids these days are growing up so quickly. Criticize his singing if you want, but leave his sexuality out of it.

PS Wow, I'm only 30, but man, do I make myself sound old ! =P

2779 days ago


I like him and will continue to vote for him.

2779 days ago


Yoli I totally agree with you. I am so sick of the way people throw out the gay card whenever someone is different . Those that do so probably were/are school yard bullies.

Sanjaya has a nice voice but he isn't ready for stardom. He will be gone soon enough and I hope he still has a little self-esteem left.

2779 days ago
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