Anoop Desai has been something of an American Idol survivor this season. He needed the 13th finalist twist to get into the finals, then made it through several close scrapes with the bottom. This week, though, it was his turn to say goodbye. Earlier today, Desai hopped on the phone with reporters to reflect on his Idol experience, his next steps, and the North Carolina food he's craving most. Here are highlights:
- On having a feeling he might be going home: "I think we always think about that sort of stuff on the inside. It's amazing how many people out of that group were sure that they were going home last night. It was really a toss-up, I think."
- On the biggest thing he learned from Idol: "I think I really learned how to bounce back from things. A lot of times I'm really hard on myself, because if I don't live up to my own standards, then to me, the way I used to look at it was as a failure. What I've really learned is how to bounce back from my mistakes and how to learn from them."
- On his future plans: "I'm definitely going to pursue a music career. if I learned nothing else from this experience, it's that singing is what I am the happiest doing. I think it's what I do the best. And I'm looking forward to releasing that pop/R&B album. I really like the things, for instance, that Ne-Yo is doing right now . . . I'm really interested in pursuing that direction. One of the best comments I got was Kara's which is when she said she could hear [the uptempo "Dim All the Lights"] on the radio, because that's what I was striving for."
- On singing on the Idol stage one final time: "That was the easiest performance I've ever done, and hopefully that's going to be how it is on tour. There's something about the burden of having four people sitting in front of you that you know are your harshest critics. With that burden, relieved I was free to sing the song with personality — which sounds strange to say, but that's the freest I've ever been on stage."
To hear how Anoop liked the Idol mansion and what songs are on his wish list, just read more