In the we-watch-so-you-don’t have-to category, I thought it would be nice to provide an update or two on our non-Bollywood desi brethren continuing to make it in the world of reality television. We blogged previously about the Singing Malakars, and unlike Abhi, I have been known to watch American Idol and other reality fare, especially when they feature South Asians. (For the record, I think it is way better than toilet water.) In this weeks installment of American Idol, we saw saw the splitting of the Malakar siblings, as Simon, Paula, and Randy decided to send Shyamali home, but advance Sanjaya all the way through to the final 24 (link). I thought Sanjaya’s rendition of “Some Kind Of Wonderful,” was pretty good, and it was great to see a desi make it through to the actual competition. Even if he doesn’t win, as long as Sanjaya doesn’t give a performance like like this one from the U.K.’s Pop Idol (definitely click on the link–it is hilarious), he will be a winner in my book. You can follow Sanjaya’s progress, here and on American Idol which airs Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s on Fox.
It used to be that one desi-American on television would be more than enough to merit a post, but why stop at one when you don’t have to. The other desi-in-reality-tv is on the Los Angeles version of The Apprentice. Yes, I watch that one too, and in this weeks installment, Surya Yalamanchili barely made it out of the boardroom alive. In fact, as trump noted, it was only “by the skin of his ass” that Surya survived. For those of you that haven’t been watching, Surya isn’t as pompous as Raj or as manipulative as Tejal, but the boy can chatter. Surya is a brand manager and on this task takes the role of branding the freshly harvested honey (link). Instead of getting to the job at hand, the episode shows Surya doing lots and lots of talking. He is a regular chatty Karthik. We see Surya talking, talking, and more talking, but not really doing anything. Even after the boardroom, where his former teammate successfully helps in deflecting Surya from responsibility for his team’s loss, Surya continues to talk. Trump fires Aaron, the project manager, and as everyone is leaving the room, Surya is still trying to talk to the Donald. And then, while Aaron is getting into the town car for his ride-of-shame, Surya continues to talk of course. He shuts up for a second while the car is driving away, but then he starts back up again during the walk to the backyard. The music fades out, the show’s over, the crew is going to bed, and still Surya’s talking. You can watch the end of the boardroom, and witness Surya’s loquaciousness here. The Apprentice airs Sunday’s on NBC at 9.