- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - The “American Idol” judges are willing to give Anoop Desai one more chance to keep them satisfied.

The 21-year-old college student from North Carolina impressed tough critic Simon Cowell and the rest of the panel with his soulful cover of “Always on My Mind” during Tuesday night’s Grand Ole Opry-themed performance show.

Cowell _ who criticized Desai’s rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” last week _ changed his tune, saying Desai “managed to go from zero to hero” thanks to stellar vocals and choice of the song. “Always on My Mind” has been recorded by Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley and others.

Desai, who prefers R&B; music, told Ryan Seacrest he wasn’t surprised by the positive response. He said he expects “to do the best” he can.

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