March 17th, 2009
09:53 PM ET

Top 11: Anoop Desai shoots, he scores!

Anoop Desai
Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Audition city: Kansas City, Missouri

Being in the bottom two last week obviously shook Anoop Desai.

Anoop Desai

So this week he seemed determined to bring his “A” game singing the Willie Nelson classic “Always On My Mind.”

It was pretty great. His vocals were tight and showed that he can really sing.

Simon, who had been his biggest detractor, said he managed to go “From zero to hero” and proclaimed it one of his favorite performances of the night.

Will America also be as pleasantly surprised?

–Lisa Respers France, CNN.com Writer


Filed under: American Idol judges • television

soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Sarah

    http://blanket.ws

    April 3, 2009 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Carolina girl

    Anoop is the bomb! He really came through tonight. Us carolina people have to stick together! Can't wait to see what he does next week. A-N-O-O-P D-O-G

    March 18, 2009 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Carol Holden

    Anoop was definitely the best performer on Country Music Night

    March 18, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jason

    I really don't know what's all that special about him.

    He's just another cruise-line entertainer to my ears.

    I rate him just above a karaoke singer.

    In all, I think this is the weakest crop of singers we've seen. They all seem like back-up singers to me.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. carol

    i didnt think he was that great but who knows

    March 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gillian

    Anoop has a very fluid and smooth sounding voice. It kinda flows like wine 🙂 I love listening to him and his stylists are doing wonders!! He is looking very cute. Keep up the great work Noop Dogg I look forward to hearing more!!

    March 18, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. al

    If you follow him online through videos of his acapella group, The Clefhangers, his performance would come as no surprise. Anoop is extrememly talented.

    March 18, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tanvi

    Amazing! Gotta' love those Tar Heels! =)

    March 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nathalia

    Anyone who has seem a Clef Hangers video on Youtube knows what Anoop is able to do.
    He's certainly in the top 3 of this show. And he finally proved that last night.
    He'll stick around for a while and people will have to face that he's got it all.
    He's got the voice, the moves and the sensibility.
    Screaming and nail polish is for teen idols, not real artists.

    March 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. oldstyle

    In a word- wonderful! My advice to Anoop, stay away from hip-hop! You may think you sound great but as past results show it's not your forte'. The title won't go to Anoop (that'll be Danny) but he has a nice voice. Good control!

    March 18, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jan

    Great job Anoop! I wasn't sure you should be "in" until tonight but you've got me now!

    March 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Amy Jo Johnson

    Anoop your voice is great! Ready to see you loosen up! You look nervous when you sing! You can do it! Remember self-confidence is a MUSTt!

    March 18, 2009 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sue

    I loved his performance but what's up with his outfit?! He looked like he had just stepped out of his dorm room after sleeping in his clothes all night. You don't sing a love song in a hoodie.

    March 18, 2009 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Shelly

    Absolutely the best performance! Well done and keep the magic going until the end!! Good luck – remember you have it in you to make it as you are extremely talented.

    March 18, 2009 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kitty

    Outstanding job this week!!! I hope he stays in the competition!! I really love him!!

    March 18, 2009 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  16. LisA

    Thank God! Anoop did a great job last nite, not just at singing but at showing the public what the judges are really for – to give good criticism that an artist can take and then flourish. He redeemed himself last nite and I hope he keeps it up. His previous performances were so bad as to be embarassing so I"m delighted to see him bring it!!!

    March 18, 2009 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  17. MC

    Anoop needs to go. He's definitely karaoke worthy but hardly idol material. Plus, he doesn't even show any emotion that makes me want to connect with him as a performer. Dull, dull, dull.

    March 18, 2009 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  18. Jonille

    I thought he FINALLY BROUGHT IT!! His rendition last night was absolutely beautiful and ran chills up my spine, because his voice was just smooth! I know he is safe!!!

    March 18, 2009 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  19. fez

    To clarify on some previous comments, Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson Thompson wrote the song according to Wikipedia.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  20. madz

    Anoop is the king of ballad tonight. So much emotion coming out from him. Glad that he's back!

    March 18, 2009 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  21. Elvis

    Hey gail, do some fact checking. Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson Thompson wrote the song.

    March 18, 2009 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  22. fan

    Kid has one of the best vocals, please stay away from the the smokes and mirrors Anoop, stick with just blowing us away with your pipes. Go Anoop!

    March 18, 2009 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  23. aurora

    I hope Anoop continues to make the right song choices because he proved tonight that he can really sing. He was the best tonight!!

    March 18, 2009 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  24. JJ

    Who said Anoop was in the bottom 2?? NO ONE has ever said that, so please stop reporting what is not true. He is the best singer.

    March 18, 2009 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  25. AB

    wow! splendid perfomance! I never expected him to get the "A" grade tonight.

    March 18, 2009 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  26. rundmc

    The worst last week, the best this week. The song that he sung this week was safe so I guess we will see when something more difficult is selected.

    March 18, 2009 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  27. Eric

    He did a amazing job tonight. He showed tonight he means business. He took the judges critisism and made her perfermance tonight the best he has done.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  28. Gregg Holmes

    Clearly the most talented out there – Something very sincere about his performance and America seems to get more and more behind him each week.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  29. KT

    I think Anoop did great this week! I think he wants to win really bad and he is stepping up to the plate and listening to all of the advice from the judges.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Tony

    I like Anoop, but this will be remembered as his best, I think. It's likely to be a downer the next couple of weeks.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Darcy

    He deserved to be booted last week, but he did a great job at proving that that would have been a mistake. Nice job tonight doing one of the best songs Willie Nelson has ever written, but I don't think Anoop will be around for long - although I think we'll see him next week.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  32. ylrak

    You are right indeed, KWise, I noticed that Seacrest did NOT mention Anoop was in the bottom two.

    I thought his performance was great tonight, definitely the best overall. I don't know though if he can pull off strong performances every week. I'd like to see him do so, he has a decent voice.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  33. nikky

    okok.so he didnt do well last week..not the strongest vocalist there on the show...but i must say i was impressed with his version of the song..but he will not b in the top 5...there are much better singers and stronger singers on the show...

    March 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  34. factgiver

    Actually, "Always On My Mind" was written by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson Thompson. Willie Nelson is the artist who made the song popular and award-winning in the early 1980s. I really wish people would research their facts before posting.

    Either way, Anoop really hit it out of the park tonight!

    March 17, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Amanda

    Great Job this week Anoop! Stay alive kid. 🙂

    March 17, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  36. shalini luksom

    anoop u was da best 2nite.............may god bless u.............prayers n best wishes.................ur no1 fan.............

    March 17, 2009 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  37. KWise

    They never said he was in the bottom 2 last week. If Dial Idol is to be believed, he was more likely in the top 5. But Ryan NEVER said he was in the bottom.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Ray

    I was pleasantly shocked. Anoop can really sing! Good luck.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  39. unc1dmo

    Got all 20 of my calls....hope the UNC basketball team does as well this week.....

    March 17, 2009 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Petena

    He will stay this week but he can't make it on other songs.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  41. yep

    awesome job anoop!!!!!!! i love him!!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Meera

    Anoop was great but I'm worried because I keep getting through too easily on the phone for him...everyone please vote!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  43. gail

    Noop Dogg is back!!!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  44. gail

    Willie nelson wrote the song and Brenda Lee sung it and so did Elvis, but the classic is Willie Nelson's version no matter when he recorded it.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  45. desiatl

    Great Anoop ...The Best tonight

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Doug

    I thought he was going home this week, not a chance of that happening after that performance. It was sincere, original, and truly a strong vocal. I didn't think he had it in him, it is this kind of unexpected greatness that makes Idol a must watch every week.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Elvis

    "Always on My Mind" is not a Willie Nelson classic. The song was originally recorded by Brenda Lee. Elvis covered it in 1972 and Willie did his version in 1982.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Allen In North Carolina

    One of the best of the night.....

    March 17, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  49. AFG

    Surprisingly....Anoop was the best of the night! He showed that he actually has outstanding vocals and control.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Michael from Nova Scotia

    He did an amazing job. I'm a fan of country music and he sang it better than Willie Nelson!!! I wish we could vote up here in Canada. Keep hitting those notes!!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Desi

    Just Great !!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  52. RJT

    I think it says a lot about Anoop's performance that while he sang I didn't hear Willie's version in my head. Great job!

    March 17, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |

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