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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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31.

Your'e Fired!    

Big brawny mama needed to protect scrawny packy

2714 days ago
32.

Nance    

I like Sanjaya's voice very much and his style. And although I do think Melinda and Lakisha are great singers, they remind me of the singers in a Broadway musical. They have no uniqueness to their voices. I can't remember what they sound like actually. I only remember them as being loud. I honestly couldn't see myself buying a cd of them or seeing them in concert. But I would go see Sanjaya and buy a cd if he came out with one. This is my opinion though, and I know everyone's likes are different than mine and I respect that. To me, Sanjaya has a unique voice and sings with an R&B style of music that I like.

2714 days ago
33.

Pregnant at 44    

Kick the flamer off the show.

2714 days ago
34.

SuperStarSteve    

Gay men and black women have an unwritten pact:

It's us against the world!

That's why we can be the biggest bitches if we have to. Check it out.

2713 days ago
35.

Snorltes    

Simon has said he will leave American Idol if Sanjaya wins. Thank God. I am now a 1000% supporter of Sanjaya just to get rid of that Simon imbecile.

My predicition should Sanjaya win Simon will backtrack on that promise as he is stuffing away too much money in the bank. I am sure he's really tickled about this controversy, it's good for ratings and that's money in the bank for Simon.

2713 days ago
36.

me    

Sanjaya...NOW, do something with your voice and oh, also those nasty looking eyebrows. Someone could make a nice toupee out of the trimmings !! HE SUCKS !!!!!! Pray he hits the bricks this week. I'd rather watch William Hung !!! LOL

2713 days ago
37.

Jane    

I think it's wonderful that Lakisha has taken him under her wing. There's nothing wrong with having friendships. In fact, everyone needs them. I think that Sanjaya will get better with time, maybe in a couple of years. I give him alot of credit for going on stage each week and really trying. I'm sure he's scared up there as well......first facing the crowd, then the judges. Also, just because his taste in music isn't what the judges like, doesn't mean he can't sing. He just needs more practice and more time. No, I don't think he should win Idol, but I also don't think that people should be so mean to him.
Don't judge someone by their looks. I truly don't believe his is gay. He looks like he's a very sincere guy who is probably very sensative to a gal's feelings. Like men SHOULD be but AREN'T! I also know that "vote for the worst dot com" has alot to do with Sanjaya returning each week. There should be some way to stop that. They are going to destroy this show.

2713 days ago
38.

ladygc419    

I'd have never guessed them, GROSS!

2710 days ago
39.

Lexy    

I think Sanjaya has real GUTS to get up there in front of Simon and the whole country week after week knowing he is going to be torn apart! I can't imagine how difficult that mast be. He isn't the best singer obviously, but he has potential. He is going out there and giving it his all every week, he isn't quitting or giving up, when many lesser people would have caved to the stress by now. I think that shows what type of person he is, and he definitely doesn't deserve the cruelty!! What a mature 17 year old he is, and he has much to be proud of! I think its great that he and Lakisha have formed a friendship. And as far as the gay stuff.... come on people! get your heads out of your butts! Im so sick of the ignoramuses coming out and slapping a gay label on every sensitive, good looking, soft spoken guy! It so stereotypical, and so ignorant to do that. Its getting old with Sanjaya, as well as alot of other celebrities that are labeled that way. Come up with something interesting to say if you have to say something.

2710 days ago
40.

jane biggers    

SANJAYA, YOU ARE A VERY GOOD SINGER, AND REMIND ME OF BOBBY VINTON WITH YOUR SATIN-VELVET, VOICE.

SANJAYA SING ON AMERICAN IDOL ONE OF BOBBY VINTON'S SONGS.....DO THE FIRST HIT HE HAD TITLED: "ROSES ARE RED"......THAT IS THE WINNING SONG.

A SANJAYA FAN
JANE

2708 days ago
41.

Boots    

This is a singing contest people!!! He needs to be cut last month!

2707 days ago
42.

warren    

sanjayah really needs to go home his singing is so kareoke and just whatchin all da good people go home is terrible, he really needs to go

2705 days ago
43.

Florence Mitchell    

I finely found someone who voted for Him.
I wonder where the others are. there couldn`t be more than two.
I think Him and Simon have something in comon,don`t know what.

2705 days ago
44.

me    

Well Jane you need your hearing checked!!!!

2702 days ago
45.

Fuz    

Sanjaya is getting WAY TOO MUCH publicity. I think if we forget him he may go away sooner. BIG DEAL about his hair! ! ! SSSHHHHHH! He is plastered over everything that has American Idol on it. It seems that it's not so much about the talent anymore, but rather, how Sanjaya has lasted yet another week and to seemingly EVERYBODY'S DISMAY. If everybody wants Sanjaya gone then VOTE VOTE VOTE. I voted about 150-200 times Wed. night for anyone other than Sanjaya. Isn't it stange that not one comment was made about Sanjaya FLUBBING THE WORDS to "Bathtub" toward the end of the song. Was I the only one listening? It is interesting that votefortheworst.com is not available tonight after the results show for some reason. IMAGINE THAT ! ! ! If we are teaching our young ones to vote for the worst, what will our country be like when they get old enough for responsibilities. Howard Stern may be famous, rich and all that, but he is soooo immature. GROW UP HOWARD ! ! ! You live your life and let everybody else live their's. American Idol has done so many good things for people. Stern got a break didn't he. I am a 51 year old very active musician and I love American Idol. How about all you ignorant people who can't stand to see others succeed just GROW UP and quit trying to ruin my life and others. VOTE FOR THE TALENT, THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT. TALENT TALENT TALENT.

2702 days ago
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