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American Idol 2009 - Anoop Desai American Idol 2009 - Anoop Desai

'Anoop, Here He Is!'

Anoop Desai was a hopeful contestant on season eight of American Idol. He's advanced to the final seven on the show, a very impressive feat.

This 21-year old auditioned in Kansas City, Missouri. He went with the song "Thank You" by Boys II Men for his audition and received a positive review from all four judges.

Desai is a college student from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Exclusive Magazine had the recent pleasure of speaking with Anoop about his appearance, his previous TV work, ... and, of course, his upcoming debut CD!

You are now the second Indian American to advance to the final stages of American Idol (the first being Sanjaya Malakar in Season 6), so do you think that more Indian Americanís should try out, given the Bollywood performance linkage, perhaps? ďI would hope that that wouldnít matter, you know. I never made that a big part of my journey on American Idol on purpose. I didnít want to involve that. I get a lot of questions like, íDid you like Slumdogí and no, no I didnít. And itís stuff like that, it shouldnít influence things in any way.Ē

ďBut I do think itís important as weíre now living in an era where it is acceptable Ö where I donít have to be an Indian kid in order to move forward. Although I do think itís great that Indian culture - take Slumdog, take Bollywood - is, on a whole, putting it into the worlds pysche. But I kinda of count myself as apart from that in a sense.Ē

You came 6th in the Idol competition so in reflection, do you believe that was a fair assumption of what you had originally perceived to be your final position before the show started? ďI know that I could have done better. I think as far as what I showed on the shows it was as close to a fair assesement as I could have gotten. I donít think I did great in my last appearance on the show. But at the same time I know that if I was on my best and I was allowed to do what I wanted to do, I would like to think that I would have gotten further.Ē

Your favorite quote is: ĎI never let me schooling get in the way of my educationí from Mark Twain, but please tell us more about why that was chosen? ďWell, Iím learning stuff on the road right now that I wouldnít have learnt in school! I think that life experience and knowing who you are as a person, and going out to operate in the world is honestly the main thing that someone should worry about. Iím confident I what I know. Book wise I can memorize stuff. Now, thatís great, but youíre not gonna survive in the world unless you have a very acute sense of who you are and have street smarts. And I think street smarts are underrated,Ē he slyly smiles, for the first time.

Back in your younger days you appeared on the WRAL-TV childrenís show, which won many regional Emmys, etc. So, at what stage did the acting bug transform into the musical bug? ďOh, that was just something that I did back in the day for fun. I did a lot of plays and stuff in Middle School. Middle School was actually where I learnt to play trumpet which became my thing. But acting was nothing more than a hobby. So once I got through college I auditioned for this group. The whole acting thing is that I acted with someone in Middle School who was on the show and they just helped get me on it, thatís all.Ē

ďI mean, singing wasnít even serious until maybe a year and a half ago. I knew I had something and I didnít want to let it go to waste. And I thought that as long as Iím young and I have my voice and I have my health, it was something I felt I had to do otherwise Iíd regret it later.Ē

So, when can we expect this coming debut CD? ďI hope soon, but maybe not this year. The reason Iím moving to LA after this is because Iím serious about persuing music. I really think I have something to offer and Iím just waiting for someone to give me the chance. And thatís gonna take work on my part, but Iím confident in myself. Iíve never been one to say things are too hard. So, Iím looking forward to it. Thatís my goal, thatís my dream.Ē

Interview: Russell A. Trunk

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