In the entertainment industry, the mohawk has become a fashion gimmick - an attention-grabber employed by the less talented to make us do a double-take. (Would Mr. T be the '80s icon he is today without his gold chains and illified do?)
Still, we were stunned, confused, aesthetically insulted, even, Tuesday night when American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malakar gave us a strangely fluffy take on the decidedly roughneck look.
Strategically, his stylists are ingenious - draw attention to Malakar's barely-there style instead of the talent that straight doesn't exist. The 17-year-old's cotton-candy-sweet voice ruined "You Really Got Me" by Ray Davies and Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in previous shows.