Sanjaya Thanks Howard For His Role in 'American Idol' Success

Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Sanjaya Malakar stopped by to promote his new book, "Dancing to the Music in my Head," and acknowledge the show's role in his seventh place "American Idol" finish. Howard asked Sanjaya if he felt the judges had tried to turn him into a joke, and Sanjaya admitted his role on the show was "to be outrageous." Sanjaya added that he was actually happy with the show's final outcome, noting that Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson also finished seventh.

Sanjaya laughed that he spent most of his "American Idol" money on a Toyota Prius for his sister and other junk: "I was really comfortable and then I realized I had to make more money...I didn't listen." Howard asked Sanjaya about all the pot plants that were found in his mom's garage, but Sanjaya dismissed the case, saying the 316 plant-operation was "overblown" by police and was really intended for "medical use."

Sanjaya Clarifies a Few Things

Howard told Sanjaya that he "assumed you were gay, but in your book you say you're straight." Sanjaya answered that he had a girlfriend – she's currently a high school senior - and an active sex life (with her): "I'm not [gay]. Penises are weird looking." Howard also asked Sanjaya to admit the show had a role in his "Idol" success, so Sanjaya acknowledged Howard's support: "It's obviously a good thing." Howard wondered if Sanjaya would ever pose nude, and Sanjaya said he might: "I would if it were a really classy...I wouldn't do Playgirl...in the future, done right." Howard read a few trash-talking quotes from Blake Lewis - one of Sanjaya's fellow "Idol" contestants - but Sanjaya refused to answer in kind.

Eric the Midget Calls In

Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Eric the Midget then called in to ask Sanjaya a question, but Howard cut him off, as Eric had been a vocal Sanjaya detractor during his "Idol" stint.