March 13, 2009

Desai inspired by dead friend’s memory

American Idol contestant Anoop Desai says he wanted to compete in the U.S. TV talent show to honor the memory of his slain friend, Eve Carson.

Desai, 22, is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina and one of the 11 finalists on the current season of Idol.

It's been a tough day. We're all thinking of Eve, and I love you, Chapel Hill, ABC News quoted Desai as saying on Wednesday night's episode.

Carson, the student body president of UNC at Chapel Hill, was 22 when she was kidnapped and shot to death March 5, 2008. Two men have been arrested and are awaiting trial in connection with her slaying.

ABC News said Desai told reporters in a conference call last week that Carson was a dear friend who encouraged him to try out for Idol. He confided that he thinks of her every time he performs on the show.

When we graduated in May, they passed out to the entire senior class these big buttons that just say 'Eve' in Carolina blue letters on them, he recalled. The buttons are black, and I carry that in my pocket every time I go onstage or go on to a results show just to remind myself that I'm doing it for her.