Arriving sans entourage, ousted Idol Anoop Desai dropped by El Ocho today for more than a few minutes of morning show merriment. It was the last stop on his American Idol Exile Tour. Ever since Seacrest showed him and Lil Rounds last week, Anoop been descending the showbiz ladder... L.A., New York, High Pockets! No worry, he'll climb back up real fast when he jets back to Hollywood to prep for the big live finale. For now, the Chapel Hill grad student seemed content to chill with his Piedmont peeps before vanishing for a week of attempted anonymity. Good luck with that...
As for the ex-contestant in question, he's every bit the well-mannered college boy he played on TV. No doubt exhausted from the emotional wood-chipper that is the A.I. process, Anoop radiated nothing but composure as a whole bunch of locals asked him the same seven questions he's been answering for the better part of a week. Classy guy. Ya know, we've seen a lot of fallen idols come through the studio... Fantasia, Bice, Pickler, Bucky and some hairless cat by the name of Daughtry. All have brought their own verve with them; one chick even schlepped in her own stylist. Anoop rolled up in a hoodie and a play-off beard. RUH-spect.
Better yet, he's the ONLY Idol wannabe I've ever met who's given to use the word 'tangential' in casual conversation. I especially enjoyed our freewheeling conversation about barbecue, early Stevie Wonder and the soul-free suburbia that is current-day Cary (my words, not his). Sure, he's got a funny name and he sounds a bit like Bobby Brown when he sings, but this is one hopeful vocalist you wouldn't mind being marooned with at some company 'pig-pickin'. 'Pig-pickin'? That's Southernese for 'let's stay up all night and dine on some swine'. Maybe it's just a Tarheel thing... You'll ask to ask Anoop. He's the one studying cultural anthropology. Or at least he WAS. After the Idol summer tour, he'd love to embark on an R&B career.