CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Fans of "American Idol" contestant Anoop Desai will gather at a Chapel Hill restaurant Tuesday to cheer on the University of North Carolina graduate when he competes in the first group of 12.
The 21-year-old Desai will perform in the first group of six women and six men to compete on this season's show, which airs on the Fox network, including WRAZ-TV FOX50, at 8 p.m. Three competitors will be chosen on the results show Wednesday to move on to the final 12.
In an interview video posted on the show's Web site, Desai said that he knew UNC senior Eve Carson, who was murdered last March, and her death moved him to audition.
"She made the world a better place, and so, when she died, everyone sort of decided that we need to up our game. We need to do something to make up for this huge hole that was left by her passing. It definitely motivated me to do things that I had maybe previously not been comfortable with," Desai said.
Friends and family had urged him to audition before, but he had resisted, he said.
If Desai doesn't win this week, he could be selected a few weeks later when the judges choose three finalists from the remaining competitors.
Friend Chris Melly says supporters will gather at Players, a Franklin Street restaurant.