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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!

53 COMMENTS

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16.

Just a thought    

Hmmm - Sanjaya has that soft voice & the same look as Michael Jackson (before all the wierd plastic surgery) - anybody else notice that or is it just me ???

2786 days ago
17.

P    

I don't like clones....so boring. He is very original.

2786 days ago
18.

mary    

I so agree with #11. Why is everyone literally ripping this poor kid apart? Yes, he DOES have a very weak voice but he is certainly not the worst I have ever head on this show. I dont know why everyone is being so malicious??. I think Simon just loves to rip him apart or something. I give the kid credit for standing up in front of everyone and singing when he knows how people feel about him. I am so glad Lakisha befriended him. She must really be a sweet person to do that. She probably sees him struggling and wants to help him. And, if it was something more - SO WHAT?????????????? Is something wrong with that?? Did anyone ever think all this extremely harsh criticism might really be hurting him? So - he cant sing. But lets give him just a little credit for trying. And to Lakisha - not only are you a fantastic singer but a good person as well. Hope you win !!!!!

2786 days ago
19.

Toni    

This is a no brainer.

Gay men and black women (particularly larger black women) are very compatible. I think it's the whole "outsider" mindset and knowing that you aren't being judged.

I am a black female (but I'm not large) and I've always adored gay men. I love the vulnerability, candidness and liveliness that they bring. Most of my best friends are gay males and I've never felt more loved and secure than when I'm in their presence. (Other than my family, of course.) THE ONES I'VE BEFRIENDED DO NOT JUDGE ME.

Of course, I love straight men too for different reasons. I just don't trust them as far as I can throw them!

2786 days ago
20.

Your'e Fired!    

......................"LOVE YOUR HAIR, DAWG???" Oh no, It's Randy getting touch with his feminine side....Do they ever show him "while" "she" is singing? It's Randy.....:-)
By-the-way Randy ,DAWG is soooooooooooooooo yesterday......

2786 days ago
21.

NDhouse    

I had noticed that in alot of the pictures of the idols, that he was always right in there with her. This is great for him but she better tell him the truth about not having any talent and focus on herself or he just may take her down with him. I have always voted for her but probably will start voting for "Melinda"?? ( is that her name?) now. Anyway, I probably will change my vote.

2786 days ago
22.

What's wrong with her face in this picture?    

I hope that the cruel comments about Sanjaya aren't coming from parents, as how would you feel to hear such horrible things about your child.

I hope they aren't being made by other young people, as you know how hard the teen years are and you shouldn't be cruel and ridiculing this young man. He was put through by the judges...........he hasn't done anything to deserve the cruelty that I've been seeing.

Imagine his self esteem. If you listen carefully (close your eyes on idol).....he really isn't as pitchy as many of the singers. He is just lacking confidence and vocal strength. Perhaps as the weeks go on, he will start to gain some of the above.

Will he win AI? Of course not. Am I insuling him? No. He is a teen and with Melinda & Lakeisha in the running, I don't see too many people mounting a run for the crown over them.

Please just be kinder to this young man. Making homophobic jokes and insulting him time and time again is just cruel.

2786 days ago
23.

What's wrong with her face in this picture?    

Also.....if many people continue to make cruel homophobic remarks, you just might be insighting people to vote for him because they want to punish you or help this young man's self esteem.

I think Lakeisha is a class act and thank you for making those of us who are caring human beings feel better that someone has this kid's back.

Lakeisha and Melinda: I am so happy for both of you, as regardless of who wins.......you both are on your way to be stars!!! :) (Most likely Jordan & Blake also.)

2786 days ago
24.

FYI    

I think the guy needs all the help he can get.........

2786 days ago
25.

DUH!!    

He plucks his eye brow he is so gay!!!! come on now!

2786 days ago
26.

DUH!!    

BTW, i don't think there is anything wrong with being gay, this is not a homophobic remark!!!

2786 days ago
27.

mary    

Juli - totally agree with you. This is really becoming nasty. I feel bad for that poor kid - these remarks could really be hurting him, especially at his age. Everyone should just lay off him - Lakisha has the right idea. Rather than criticize him so cruelly, try saying something nice.
And I have to say I dont think Simon is setting a very good example for that. He is making a mockery out of it! He cant sing - so what - I suppose all you people criticizing him can? And as far as these "gay" remarks - so what if he was? Sounds like you people are "protesting too loudly " here!!!

2786 days ago
28.

Big Mac    

Sanjaya's hair sure takes me back to the 80s....

In fact, I think he is Eddie Van Halen's long lost son.

http://www.80srockphotos.com/byArtist/Eddie_Van_Halen.htm

2786 days ago
29.

blah    

if Sanjaya wowed them during the auditions, how is it possible his voice sucks now? part of this is also about potential. the other part is about what you can do once you're in the studio. i don't think it's about Sanjaya not being able to sing at all.. I mean, that's what the recording studio is for. so what if his voice is 'weak'... lots of top 100 artists have 'weak' voices, they also have the studio to cover for them.

and if he has the voice of Michael Jackson he is truly blessed.

I think Sanjaya has something special going on, and his courage in facing such horrible comments week after week makes him someone to look up to. He doesn't give up, he doesn't give in, and unlike Antonella he is HUMBLE about this entire experience so far. He hasn't said a bad word. If he had been eliminated, does anyone think he would have pulled the sour grapes Sundance did?

As for Lakisha, it's nice she's helping him out. Where are the others? or are they more quiet than Lakisha is, in picking each other up and encouraging one another.

It's gonna be a treat to see Sanjaya blossom into the star he's meant to be.

2786 days ago
30.

ItsYourFault    

He looks like he's trying to poop in that pic...

2786 days ago
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