I have not been star struck many times in my life. I just don’t seem to run into celebrities that often. Maybe it’s because of the places I go, but none of the Starbucks’ I frequent seem to be visited by any famous people. So, when I went to the Clef Hanger’s Winter Concert on a Friday night in February, I wasn’t expecting to be graced with the presence of anyone special. (Other than, of course, our very handsome a cappella group, who can do no wrong.)

When I walked in, Gerrard Hall was already packed with people, waiting restlessly for the concert to begin. There was a particular group, however, at the front left of the hall, that quickly caught my eye. I saw flashes go off, and several girls jumping up and down in excitement. “I think the Clefs are cute too,” I said to my friend, who was sitting down beside me, “but that must be a serious fan club.” But as the crowd parted, and I got a glimpse into the circle, I saw something that I was not expecting. Yes, it was a Clef Hanger, but he was not singing that night. He was just there to support his friends. It was the one and only Anoop Desai. After that moment, with the Clef Hanger’s music serving as a wonderful, melodious background for my thoughts, all I could think of was Anoop, someone who millions of Americans had watched on TV only three days before, but was now sitting only a few rows in front of me!

I have never been the biggest American Idol fan. But my roommate, a regular voter, has managed to convert me. And with a new judge who went to Duke, and an old Clef Hanger on the show, how can I resist? Anoop’s renditions of “Ooo Baby Baby” and “Always on My Mind” made me grab my phone and vote for the next two hours. And not only does his voice make me want to melt, but his southern “Yes ma’ams” in response to the judges critiques him make him even more lovable. Yes, Simon may have called him “a bit geeky” at his audition, but he has announced to the American public that Anoop went “from zero to hero.”

Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a new Carolina Idol. Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green might top that list, but Anoop Desai is climbing the ladder along beside them. And I have to admit that while seeing the basketball team towering above everyone else on campus is pretty exciting, seeing Anoop on a surprise visit to Carolina was almost better. It is important to support our fellow Heels, no matter what they are competing in. So even if you are not an American Idol fan, I advise you to watch Anoop. (To entice you, let me put it this way: it is like being able to have a Clef Hanger sing to you every week!) Who knows, maybe he will even grace us with a concert in the future, or sing a song with the Clef Hangers.

By: Vicky Waldthausen