Anoop Desai almost slipped today and revealed what song he would have performed had he been around for next week's "American Idol" competition, but ... pause on the line and ... nothing!
The network keeps flip-flopping on letting us in on what the musical genres are. Some weeks Ryan Seacrest inserts it seconds before going off the air; last week Simon Cowell leaked it because it was, in his opinion, a "bit of bad news" (i.e., disco week).
Anyway, Anoop and Lil Rounds (pictured) were eliminated last night. But there probably won't be much down time between now and the end of the show (next month) because of all the press junkets, talk-show appearances, etc. But they gave "Idol" reporters some time today to discuss their experiences on the show moving forward.
Here's what they had to say. Lil was up first:
Q: It had to feel like judges were being a little tough on you, and you've always been one of the favorites. Do you think somehow you scorned Simon?
A: No, not at all. The judges gave their critiques based on how they thought the performances went. I took their comments in stride because it was constructive criticism. At times it felt like they went back and forth. But I'll take everything they said and push forward with it.
Q: Can you discuss the constantly used phrase "Make it your own?"
A: When I would hear that I automatically thought they (the judges) wanted me to do more with the music. But I stayed true to the music and changed the songs vocally.
Q: Last week (movie music) you stood up for yourself. Was that a turning point for you?
A: The critiques of "The Rose" seemed to be going back and forth, and I didn't know which way to go. So I felt I had to make it clear - to America - that I really am an artist. I love to do the R&B style, and I sang the song the way I wanted to.
Q: As we watched the show progress, your hair got longer and longer. Was that your decision?
A: It was actually a collaboration between me and my hairstylist. He was awesome. I told him I wanted to go a bit longer. But I didn't know he would take me this long! But I like it.
Q: What did you learn on the show, and what do you think it will be like for Allison Iraheta, the last gal singing?
A: Even in the midst of adversity you've got to keep your head up. If you give in, that's it. I came back each week and sang my heart out. Last night, I gave Allison the biggest hug possible. We were crying like a couple of girls. I told her to continue being "Allison" and nailing it for the ladies. She's a phenomenal singer.
Q: What do you look forward to when you get back home to Memphis?
A: I'm going to take my kids to the park. And my husband bought me a puppy!
Here's what Anoop had to say:
Q: You were in the bottom three multiple times. Did you feel like this week was the last week? And was it easier with two people going?
A: You think about it - on the inside. But I'll say this, it was amazing how many in the group (of contestants) thought they were going home last night. It did help not being alone. But it's still our own personal journey coming to an end. Doing all the press, it's nice to have Lil there. We're not wallowing. We're proud of ourselves and eager to move on - the tour and making albums.
Q: Was it tough to sing "Dim All the Light" one last time?
A: Last night was the easiest performance so far. There aren't four people sitting in front of you and the burden of the harsh critiques was relieved. It's the most free I've ever been on stage. Watching it back, it showed how relaxed I was. That's the type of performance I'm looking forward to on the tour.
Q: We've all heard the advice you got from the judges. Did you receive any from the other contestants and will it be hard leaving the "Idol" mansion?
A: Everyone brings something different to the table. It's humbling how talented they are. It's not a skill or vocal ability we learn from each other, it's about how to play to your strengths. You find your niche in the communal atmosphere, which will help us find our place in the (music) industry. Quite frankly, I was expecting not to get along with everyone because of the close quarters and the competition. But the great thing about this group is we are really good friends. Each person brought different things - both musically and personally.
Q: What did you learn from the mentors, and are there any songs on your wish list for the summer tour?
A: Quentin (Tarantino) had some good points about roughing it up. Smokey (Robinson) was amazing. Randy (Travis) talked about getting in the "shape of a song." Meeting Stevie Wonder was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I'll sing any of his songs. He's my idol.
Q: How did you feel about the support from UNC and the Tar Heel fans?
A: I've kept in contact with close friends at Carolina. And I watched the (NCAA) championship game. I knew I wasn't going home that week because the Heels won!
Q: What do you look forward to most about going back to North Carolina?
A: There's nothing like spring in Chapel Hill. I want to sit on the couch, wake up at noon and go get a Sunrise biscuit.
FYI: As for Anoop's "biscuit" craving, I lived in North Carolina and have had a biscuit (or two) from Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen in Chapel Hill. No wonder he's hungry. They are the best!