Column: "Idol" fans in search of "spectacle," not talent

04/6/2007 | TIME (subscription required)

Search terms for the popular but musically untalented "American Idol" contestant Sanjaya Malakar, which query such things as his sexual orientation but not his singing ability, suggest the true appeal of the runaway hit reality series, according to Bill Tancer, GM of global research at Hitwise. "It's become a race to see who can make the biggest spectacle," he writes. "In that context, Sanjaya has the advantage."

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