Tonight, as a first in American Idol history, Fox will re-air an episode from the most recent AI season: the top 13 performing Michael Jackson songs. The special rerun is a tribute to the late Michael, who influenced all the Idols in so many different ways. And perhaps season 8's biggest Jackson fan is Anoop Desai, who tweeted last week upon hearing the shocking news of Michael's death: "Michael Jackson was one of my first musical influences, and I am reeling from his loss. The man epitomized pop music."
And so it is fitting that in Reality Rocks' daily rollout of interviews shot June 18 at the Idols Live Tour rehearsals (exactly a week before Michael died), Anoop's segment coincides with tonight's Michael Jackson Night Idol re-broadcast. While Anoop revealed to me in his interview that if there is one regret he has about his time on the show, it's his polarizing and Simon-irritating "Beat It" performance from that eventful evening, I was quick to tell him he should have NO regrets: I think he did Michael proud that night by picking probably THE most popular hit in the Jackson songbook and delivering it with popped-collar gusto and swagger.
See, during his AmIdol run, Anoop had two, almost schizophrenic (in a good way) sides to his personality: Ballad Anoop and Party Anoop. And while singing ballads definitely better showcased Anoop's considerable vocal strengths (which he also pointed out in our interview), I always really enjoyed the less serious side of Anoop--aka Party Anoop, aka Anoop Dogg. That's why I was happy to hear that both sides of Anoop will be on full display on the Idols Live Tour, and that he'll definitely be performing at least one crowd-rousing partystarter during his solo set. (No, he's not doing "Beat It," understandably, given his mixed feelings about that one--but it's a fun number he's going with.) He'll also be involved in the Madcon "Beggin'" group performance that I mentioned yesterday, which will further allow him to do his R&B thang.
And additionally keeping the party going on the tour will be choreographer JaQuel Knight, the man behind the moves of Beyonce's iconic "Single Ladies" video--whom Anoop revealed will be choreographing his and the other Idols' dance routines on the tour. However, sadly, Anoop emphatically clarified that there will be NO black unitards in the tour's wardrobe, so don't expect a "Single Ladies" parody a la Justin Timberlake on SNL or that recent Joe Jonas stunt. Even though that WOULD be awesome...
Check out our chat below. It was actually my final interview of a long rehearsal day--hence my somewhat sloppy, fatigued-armed camera-work and Anoop's casual, kicked-back couch pose. But Anoop fans might argue that I saved the best for last.
Up next...Matt Giraud!
The Idols Live Tour starts July 5, buy your tickets HERE!
- Anoop Desai