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article imageDon't Cry for Me, My Name's Sanjaya: Teen Looks to a Bright Future

By Lisa Angotti     Apr 19, 2007 in Entertainment
Despite all the negative reaction to Sanjaya's performances on American Idol, the 17-year-old remains positive about the future and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
Sanjaya Malakar, the teen that took it like a man on American Idol, hopes that you won't feel bad for him.
Even though all the craziness has caused him to seek the protection of a bodyguard, he says he did it his way on American Idol. He hopes to carry over the same attitude to future endeavors, which he hopes will include music, acting and modeling. He said:
I haven't had the opportunity to get any offers but I'm sure they will come. I just want the full entertainment business and career, I guess.
Malakar, who briefly seemed shocked by how much cheering went on as he was voted off the show, has also been surprised by the support he's received. He said:
I'm just Sanjaya from Federal Way. ... I mean, it's crazy.It was a little hard but I try to make everything into a positive and try to learn from it," he said. "I feel like I've grown. I'm more confident because I've had this experience. ... I'm ready to go out there and do it some more.
For now, he'll do some post-Idol press on Monday on "Live with Regis and Kelly" before returning home to Washington. He'll be back with Idol for the finale and then again in the summer for the show's annual concert tour.
For the future he plans to sing with his sister Shyamali who auditioned for Idol but didn't make it as a contestant on the show. He also wants to attend college in Boston at the Berklee College of Music.
Sanjaya said:
My main thing that I'm going to look for when I choose endorsements and stuff like that is something I really feel strongly about, and I'm not going to do something just for money. It's not about money, it's about having an image and really putting your true self out there.
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