Sanjaya is selling insurance

August 21, 2008 4:34:40 PM PDT
Former "American Idol" contestant Sanjaya has gone from "pitchy" to pitchman.Sanjaya Malakar is selling Nationwide Insurance in a new ad that's part of the Columbus, Ohio-based company's campaign, "Life Comes at You Fast."

Malakar says that's something he knows from personal experience.

In a statement, he points out that he went from an unknown singer to appearing before of millions of people on "Idol."

In the commercial, Malakar visits a wise man who tells him he needs a retirement plan - and a haircut. He sports a "ponyhawk" hairstyle similar to the one he made famous while competing on the Fox network show, where the judges often deem off-key singing "pitchy."

Other celebrities who have poked fun at themselves for Nationwide include Kevin Federline, Fabio and MC Hammer.