The One That Got Away: Vote for the Worst, Sanjaya Malakar, and Me

This post is off-topic as it has nothing to do with infomercials (even if Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson did appear in the infomercial for The Ultimate Voice Coach).

Have you ever had a great idea that you did nothing with?

Sometime in late 2003, I had an idea for starting a website that would encourage people to vote for the worst contestant on American Idol. To that end I registered four domain names that I planned to use for it:

Eventually I decided that creating and promoting the website would be too time consuming, and I was concerned about the legal ramifications of using the “American Idol” trademark in the domain. So in December 2004 I attempted to sell the four domain names on Ebay. Here is the text I used to try to sell them:
worstamericanidol.comMy Idea
Sometime before the last season of American Idol began, I had this idea: What if someone started a campaign to have people vote for the worst singer in the competition? I thought it would be great fun to begin a website encouraging people to do just that, but I never got around to it.

Then remember when Jennifer Hudson and LaToya London lost to that no-talent, red-headed Howdy Dowdy look-a-like? I really thought that people were deciding on their own to vote for the worst American idol. But then things got back to normal. Damn!

Your Opportunity
Unfortunately, I am too busy with my other Web projects and my search engine optimization consulting to give this website the attention it deserves. But, with the next season of American Idol about to begin, I really want to give someone else the chance to crown The Worst American Idol!

So I am auctioning these domain names on Ebay.

The winner of this auction will get ownership of the four domain names listed above.

Here are the benefits you’ll get from running The Worst American Idol website:

  • The media loves stories about reality TV and flash mobs. The campaign for The Worst American Idol would combine both elements. Getting publicity for the website should be no problem.
  • Have fun lots of fun stirring the sh*t!
  • Earn your fifteen minutes of infamy.
  • Get flames from irate eleven-year-old girls.
  • Provoke Simon Cowell into throwing an even bigger temper tantrum than usual.

(Please note: the above bullet points are humorous and no guarantee is made that any of them will actually happen…but they could!)


Good luck!

And be sure to tell the friends and family you see over the holidays about

I received no bids on the domain names, and I eventually let the registrations expire.

Well, now it’s 2007 and the website Vote for the Worst is making a big splash with the same idea I had years ago. According to the text on the website, Vote for the Worst was started in 2004, so it began about the same time I had my idea for such a website. But Vote for the Worst has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon, while I’m left making poop jokes about Klee Irwin.

Week after week, Idol contestant Sanjaya Malakar keeps getting enough votes to escape elimination, in spite of his questionable vocal talents, strange hair choices, and creepy androgynous appearance. Most people are putting the blame on Vote for the Worst—although even if the site weren’t around I’m sure many people would be drawn to voting for such a bizarre and inferior contestant as Sanjaya.

As you can read on the “mail bag” posts at VFTW, I was certainly right in my prediction about irate emails from 11-year-old girls.

Hats off to founder Dave Della Terza and VFTW for really stirring the sh*t.

And be sure to Vote for Sanjaya as the Worst American Idol!


  • 1 Response to “The One That Got Away: Vote for the Worst, Sanjaya Malakar, and Me”

  • Klee Irwin is kind of like the Sanjaya Malakar of infomercials: So hideous you can’t stand to look at him but so bizarre that you can’t turn away.

    Comment by bookendz on April 4, 2007 at 10:57 am