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Sanjaya -- The Drama Before the Drama

4/19/2007 3:23 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

America has finally drop-kicked the smiley "Idol" wannabe into the last of fame's fifteen minutes, but it wasn't the first stage on which little Sanjy faltered.

TMZ has obtained some classic video of a 9-year-old Malakar performing in a local production of "Bugsy Malone" -- a musical with children playing mobsters -- where the rejected "Idol" performs an amusing tap dance with a broom.

The Hawaii Children's Theatre performance was recorded in 1999, but there are already signs of some of his infamous traits -- the cheesy Mariah hand waves, his studied pre-teen chicken-necking, and signature note reaching. A star was born!

American Idol Typecasting: Click to view photosThere's also a taste of Malakar as a random but adorable orphan in "Oliver," and sister Shyamali in "A Christmas Carol" as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Now Sanjy joins the ranks of wannabeens past ... but this kid is money.

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