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Interviews |  14 Mar 2009 17:29 |  By RnMTeam

Anoop Desai - 'I'm just glad that I'm still here'

With his geeky charm and soulful voice, Anoop Desai has struck a chord with American Idol's judges and viewers. The 21-year-old college student talks about how he plans to stay in the competition.

You were given a second chance with the Wild Card round. How did that feel?

It was like having all your dreams dashed and then, 10 seconds later, they're alive again. It was definitely a genuine shock for me. I'm just glad that I'm still here.

The producers set you up and made you believe you'd missed out. Then they revealed there would be 13 finalists, rather than 12. Did Ryan apologize to you afterwards?

Yes, the producers and the judges all sort of apologized and said �Sorry we did this to you'.

Do you feel added pressure being the last person selected?

Obviously I'm glad that they expanded [the competition to 13 finalists] but I don't know if there's added pressure. Even though I happen to be the last one chosen, I'm very comfortable with that. I think everyone in the top 13 is really talented and have their own style. It's going to be a boom for the show because it's going to be able to showcase that wide variety of talent.

Why did you choose Bobby Brown's �My Prerogative' during the Wild Card Round?

That song is like an anthem for me. I thought it was especially appropriate for the Wild Card round because I'm going to do what I do and I'm going to have fun. It's my prerogative. That's the reason I chose it.

Do the judges give you advice behind the camera?

We don't really have that much contact with them outside of the show. As for Simon, he says things to elicit a reaction and if something wasn't good enough, he'll tell you because he wants you to do better 

You are one of the judges' favorite contestants. What are you going to do to stay on their good side?

I haven't tried to get in their good graces. I have been fortunate enough for it to happen. I've been myself this entire time and that's what I'm going to continue to do.

Are there any guest mentors you would look forward to working with?

If Stevie Wonder came back, I would faint because I think he's the greatest musical mind that I've ever heard. That would be the ultimate for me.

Can you tell us your most surprising Idol experience so far?

When I used to watch it on TV, I'd just go get a soda during the commercial break. But there's such a frantic effort during those commercial breaks just to get everything in place. The number of people and the resources that go into producing one of these hour-long shows is incredible 

What are the other types of songs you plan to sing?

I don't want to typecast myself. I'm always going to sing a fast song so I can jump around. I want to think of myself as a singer and an artist. But I'm not going to limit myself to those types of songs. I like to sing ballads. It really depends on the theme and what I'm feeling from the artists.

What did you study in college?

My undergraduate degrees were in political science and American studies. My graduate program was in folklore, which would be cultural anthropology.

Were your parents born in the US or India?

My dad was born in India and my mum was born in South Africa. There's a very large Indian population in South Africa so that's where her entire family lives. My mum is a biochemist and my dad does software work.

And what kind of music do you see yourself singing after the season ends?

I love Ne-yo right now and I think that I'm a pop, R&B singer. I'm a contemporary R&B singer so that's the type of album I'd like to release.