Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Idol Gives Back 2008

As with last year, American Idol's charity show was a bit all over the place, with a whole lot of sad stories, even more bum jokes, a few musical performances and a bunch of filler. To help make some sense of it all, I will do what I did last year and split the show up into my own segments, rather than try to follow the mess chronologically.

The Host/Judges
Ryan Seacrest was his usual capable self, even though his attempts at dancing early on were pretty laughable. I actually laughed with him though, and not at him.

The judges brought their Sunday best out four nights early. Randy Jackson bought something from the Deion Sanders collection especially for the occasion, Paula Abdul actually looked lovely in a red dress that didn't push her boobs up to her chin, and Simon Cowell wore the same thing he did last year. But aside from his weird gym teacher hair, he looked rather dapper.

The Causes
Maria Shriver brought several community volunteers onstage to thank them for all their hard work.

Many videos were shown throughout the evening of impoverished communities and villages in both Africa and the United States.

Randy and Paula visited an inner-city neighborhood in California, while Simon went to New York to speak with families living without health insurance. Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus headed to a poor Kentucky town, and New Orleans was visited by the doofy Manning brothers, Reese Witherspoon and Brad Pitt. Pitt's organization, Make It Right, is building affordable homes for Hurricane Katrina victims that are certainly much nicer than my place.

Bono, Annie Lennox, Celine Dion, Forest Whitaker, Alicia Keys and Daughtry all made trips to different parts of Africa to talk to children and families who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other illnesses that can't be treated because they can't afford medical equipment and supplies.

The Celebrities
Adam Sandler, David & Victoria Beckham, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Tyra Banks, Sarah Silverman, Dane Cook and David Spade were just some of the stars who made cameos. Thank the sweet Lord, there was no ridiculous celeb-filled Ford commercial tonight. Remember this horror flick from last year??

Ben Stiller's brief appearance this year was funnier than his strained schtick from last time. I actually did enjoy his bit at the end, when he showed up to an empty theater and started tossing the F-bomb around (bleeped, of course).

Mary Murphy, if she can be considered a celebrity now, threatened to do her patented annoying shriek until enough money was raised. Oh, silly Mary. Haven't you ever heard of a mute button? You are the reason the remote control gods created it.

Billy Crystal and Miley Cyrus had a pointless conversation, which basically consisted of Miley patting herself on the back for being a tweentard sensation. I kept wishing that Jack Palance was still alive. He would've given Miley a good ol' roundhouse kick to her giant gob.

Jimmy Kimmel was funny for a change during his mini-roast of Simon. I loved that Jimmy payed homage to Si's gigantic nipples. I feel so much better now knowing that I'm not the only one who froze like a deer when faced with his headlights.

British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, showed up in a taped segment. I don't think I've ever seen anyone more British. He was all like, "Well, hello there. Let's end malaria then, shall we? That would be jolly good!"

Robin Williams came up with some lame skit about being the Russian Idol, Ivan Yakinoff or Popinoff or, as I like to call him, "Someone Please Kick This Guy in the Nards." As usual, Robin's schtick lasted way too long and amused no one. I was a little jealous of him though, because he managed to cop a feel of Simon's behind. He's lucky that he didn't try that with Michael Johns.

Was that Simon's grandfather who came out to talk about Make It Right?, that was just Brad Pitt. He still looks good but, where is he shopping now? Cabbies-R-Us?

The Performances

Snoop Dogg hit the stage with Charlie Wilson and a bunch of kids from his youth football league to do "Can't Say Goodbye." I was just tickled to see Snoop on the AI stage, wearing his Pittsburgh Pirates hat, no less.

I'm sure no one will ever know the reasons why Teri Hatcher sang tonight. Or why, when Carrie Underwood was right there, did she decide to sing "Before He Cheats." Or why she was joined onstage by the sexy plumber dude from Desperate Housewives and Bachelor Bob Guiney. Or how, against all odds, she actually sounded better than Kristy Lee Cook.

Oddly enough, the next performer, Miley Cyrus, was not better than KLC. And why should she be? She's only had two #1 albums and the #1 movie in the country. She doesn't have to even try anymore, right? Can someone please tell me why Miley got to perform twice? Wasn't anyone else disturbed by the sight of all the 8 year-olds in the audience screaming their approval during her 2nd performance and committing all of her slutty moves to memory? She's FIFTEEN! Where the hell is her hick father and why is he letting this go on? Sure, she's nowhere near the realm of Britney or Xtina, but give her time.

Someone invited Fergie again this year, much to my chagrin. Her first performance with John Legend wasn't too bad, even if she sounded like she was singing a song from Enchanted. But then...she screwed it all up by ruining a perfectly good Heart performance. As I was sitting there bitching to my roommate about the shoddy treatment that Ann Wilson has gotten ever since she gained weight in the '80s, the point that "fat girls don't put asses in the seats" was driven home by Fergie returning to the stage and dry humping it up and down while trying to keep up with Ann's vocals on "Barracuda." I will admit that she managed to sound better than I expected, but what in the name of all that is holy was this??? And why, oh why, did this have to happen after I already had my caption contest?

Annie Lennox was on hand to take that Fergilicious taste out of everyone's mouth. She performed "Many Rivers to Cross" with her usual brilliance.

Carrie Underwood covered George Michael's oft-forgotten "Praying For Time" well enough but I wondered why the Idol producers didn't call on old George himself? Isn't he in the midst of another comeback right now?

No, Gloria Estefan, I will not get on my feet. Let's just say I'm not a fan of all those cheesy cabana songs. It was good to see Sheila E on drums, though!

When I saw that it was just about 10:00, I figured that the Mariah Carey performance would be cut. No such luck. She performed "Fly Like a Bird" with her close personal friend Randy Jackson on bass. I didn't enjoy the song, nor did I enjoy her constant fluttering hand. My roommate's dog didn't enjoy those high notes at the end either, judging from the way he was writhing around in pain.

The Idols
The night kicked off with the Top 8 singing Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music." I was afraid for Michael at first but, thankfully, TPTB had the contestants from So You Think You Can Dance do all the fancy footwork. My sweet thing only had to stand there in his red leather jacket, shaking his behind back and forth hypnotically. Unfortunately, the camera work was sub-par. (Translation: Not enough butt shots.)

The Top 12 contestants were set up with desks onstage at the Idol studios, supposedly taking donation calls. I say supposedly because I don't fully believe that they were really talking to people. And I'm just trying to make myself feel better for not getting to talk to Michael. I did donate, but I did it online, so I didn't even try to call him. I most likely wouldn't have gotten him, but if I had, I'm sure I would've made a HUGE ass out of myself. But, who is this "Beth from Cleveland" he was supposedly talking to? Cleveland?? Doesn't Michael know that Pittsburgh and Cleveland are mortal enemies?? Doesn't he know that I hate the name Beth, because it's what people who forget my name always call me?? (Sorry, Beth. I still love you.) I can only hope that he took her credit card number and then hung up on her.

The Top 8 finally left phone duty to the underpaid operators and returned to the stage to perform "Seasons of Love" from Rent. It was pleasant enough, but didn't really seem to go anywhere. I did notice that for the first minute, it seemed like the only mic working was Kristy's. Then she got the first big solo part. And then the camera just kept kind of lingering on her. What the heck??

The Idols donned their white angel outfits to close things down with a plodding version of "Shout to the Lord," which probably didn't please all of the non Judeo-Christian donors out there. But I guess it was preferable to "Shout at the Devil." There was another nice, lingering shot of Kristy Lee in her flowing white dress. Why was she being pimped so hard? Is she related to the cameraman?

Best Moment
Other than any time that Michael was on-screen (especially when he was wearing those white pants), I don't know that there really was a "best moment." I did get a chuckle out of the sound woman, who came out to fix Brad Pitt's lapel mic when it fell off. She strutted out, smirked at the audience and said, "I just needed a reason to touch him." It's always a wonderful day in the neighborhood when a regular Jane upstages a big star.

Tomorrow night - no more being nice! Someone's heading home.


fran said...

* Not to pat myself on the back, but if I haven't heard of you, you're not a celebrity. And I have no idea who you are, annoying screaming lady.

* Why do people continue to let Robin Williams do...well, anything?

* I'm kind of shocked at how classy and pretty Paula looked.

* Does Annie Lennox have AIDS or does her shirt just mean she has a "positive attitude" about HIV?

* I'm choosing to believe that Billy Crystal and Miley Cyrus' conversation was entirely real and unscripted.

Gifted Typist said...

Fergie's piece with Heart was pure, unadulterated look-at-meism. The cartwheel was entirely unnecessary and was a slap in the face to Ann Wilson whose vocals are superior to Fergie's.

The Ann Wilsons of this world blazed the trail for the Fergies. It's too bad Fergie can't see beyond her own long locks, legs and lashes to have a bit of respect.

It was a classless move by our Fergie, but then it's probably not surprising, narcissism being what it is.

Bluez said...

Oh well, I missed the show. I won't lose any sleep over it, the recap is all I need.

Falwless said...

I didn't make it all the way through the show. It's DVR'd, and I may go back and watch Daughtry's segment simply so I can, well, watch Daughtry.

It was like a 2 1/2 hour guilt trip. I could have visited my mother if I wanted that.

But, in all fairness, I did tear up with the Annie Lennox segment in Africa with those four orphan brothers. Man.

In other news, I couldn't get out of my mind the vision of you last night frustratingly speed-dialing the 800 number and continuously hanging up on anyone who answered the phone who wasn't Michael Johns. Admit it.

Falwless said...

bahahahahahahaha - nice new picture of yourself there, BeckEye. I mean, Cruella de Overmyer.

CDP said...

I also love the new avatar. I didn't see the show, but Annie Lennox might have made it worth sitting through Fergie, Gloria Estefan, and Miley.

Cleo said...

I was running (okay, trudging) between my 5th floor apartment and the 1st floor laundry room for the duration of last night's telethon (2.5 hours that feel like 10 = telethon), but I managed to discern a few things:
- Teri Hatcher is annoying. But I already knew this.
- Annie Lennox is amazing. But I already knew this, too.
- Miley Cyrus lip synchs and is annoying. And I must be getting old because I kept wondering, "What's the matter with young girls these days," while she was "performing". To think I used to dress and act sluttier than her when I was her age. No wonder my parents disowned me.
- Dinner with Jimmy Kimmel and/or Sarah Silverman would be excruciating.
- If Russia attacks the USA anytime soon, I will blame Robin Williams.
- I am jealous of Brad Pitt's microphone lady. I don't care whether he's hiding male pattern baldness under those thrift store hats (and wigs) he's been wearing. I want to touch him, too.

Thank you for filling in the blanks. Yours is the first of the half dozen or so recaps I will read today, but I can already say that it's probably going to be the best. It's very well organized and spiced with just the right amount of snark.

Kristi Mantoni said...

Fran: Annoying Screaming Lady is the one and only Mary Murphy!! If you didn't have a life and sat on the couch all summer like me, you would know that. She is a ballroom dance expert on So You Think You Can Dance, the best dancing show EVER!

I urge all of you to watch SYTYCD this summer. The kids are simply amazing!

SHIT! Here comes my boss! More later!

Red said...

I decided to watch the baseball game rather than Idol Gives Back in real time. Thanks for pointing me toward the watchable stuff so I can FF through the rest.

pistols at dawn said...

I'm not going to lie: that flip picture looked hot. And that was as much as I could bring myself to "read" about a show I don't watch, even though I know you recapped it in a funny way that I could enjoy if this show didn't fill me with so much hate and disdain.

doorknob_dan said...

Know what's interesting? You totally missed the part about John Travolta! Were you in the bathroom when he made his appearance?!?

Kristi Mantoni said...

You watched WAY more of the show than I did. I fast forwarded through the heart breaking video packages. I'm dieting, trying to stay smoke-free, AND PMS-ing! I'm depressed enough!

I was pissed when Fergie came out to sing with Heart so I hit the FF button and missed the cartwheel. I also missed Mariah and the last group sing. My Tivo just HAD to watch Top Chef (I'm so hooked on that show too)!

I thought you would have at least tried to call Michael a couple of times! You're not being a very good stalker.

I have a confession to make. When I woke up today, the first song in my head was "It's All Wrong, but It's All Right." LOL!!

OH! One more thing. The dancers were from all THREE seasons of SYTYCD. I obsess over that show too BTW.

M@ said...

Missed it. Dern!

Writeprocrastinator said...

I forgave Fergie for "My Humps," but this shit is just so fucking wrong.

She barely has a quarter of an octave range and Ann has over four. She doesn't have a fifth of her talent, so she does everything but bust out the stripper pole???

Stupid discount Fisher-Price wench, come back when you can write your own songs!

Kristi Mantoni said...

there was a season before that. I didn't watch that one either but I've been told.

I think Pasha was dancing during the Gloria Estefon number. It was hard to tell with the crappy camera work.

Leonesse said...

I hate AI, but Fergie dissing Ann Wilson makes me hate it even more. What a skank.

Kristi Mantoni said...

Are you still breathing?

Chancelucky said...

I'm shocked about Michael Johns. Anyway, my condolences. It has to be a miscount or something.

Angie said...

I can't breathe.

Gifted Typist said...

Oh dear
Oh dear
Oh dear

What are we going to do?

Dave said...

Has someone gone to visit her and make sure she hasn't burned her house down?

You might want to take a quart of Ben & Jerry's with you.

Bluez said...

I'm still in shock. Lets drink.

GingerSnaps said...

Uh, ok? I've already raged over tonight's ridiculous excuse for a decision...

Dale said...

I thought Ann Wilson sounded nearly as horrible as Fergie and her cartwheels at least energized a fairly terrible version of Barracuda. Why didn't they bring Carly and Amanda out to tough it out with Ann at least?

If anyone needs directions to my house with their torches, let me know!

cube said...

Spot on recap, as usual, beckeye.

Loved Annie Lennox's performance too, but what was up with that shirt?

cube said...

BTW I agree with dale. Ann Wilson didn't sound like her old self, but I agree with you that Fergie didn't belong on the stage with Heart.

Beth said...

Didn't watch.

And now I'm off to pout over the diss of my name.


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