Jun. 14, 2007 | 02:00 PM EDT

The French Sanjaya Wins!



Simon Cowell would not be pleased.

Julien Doré won France's Nouvelle Star – that country's version of American Idol – Wednesday night.

Doré, 24, had been dubbed the French Sanjaya because, like Idol's Malakar, he was better known for his stage presence and looks than for his singing ability, and he became an Internet sensation with his awkward renditions of American pop anthems like Britney Spears's "... Baby One More Time," Madonna's "Like A Virgin" and the Soft Cell hit "Tainted Love" (see a video of him performing that song above).

On Wednesday's finale, the scruffy singer went head to head with the other finalist, 19-year-old Tigane. Doré, dubbed "the rocker" by a French TV critic, performed Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," which Sanjaya also memorably – and disastrously – sang.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, Doré explained: "I wouldn't have thought of this song myself, but the producers suggested it."

When asked about his wild performance, he replied philosophically, "I like to destroy myself. If I'm not hurting, if I don't have questions that eat at me, I'm not happy. I need this to exist. To feel respected. If I don't feel destroyed I'm not in sync with myself."
 


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