Before all the nicey-nice charity stuff, I just want to divert everyone's attention to that graphic over in the far sidebar. CafePress is running a sweepstakes and will be giving away a trip for two to American Idol's season finale. There is no purchase required to enter. If you click on that graphic (or this link), you'll be transported to the contest entry page...and you'll also be helping me! (I'm not Rick Rolling you. Swearsies.) You see, CafePress is running a concurrent contest for bloggers, which means that if my site drives the most sweepstakes entrants, I'll win a trip to the finale, too! So, if you love me, enter because you want me to report on this nonsense from the Idol audience. And if you hate me, enter because you want me to get beat up after the show by all the people I've made fun of. (That doesn't include Kara, because her Mr. Burns arm would probably snap in half if she hit me.)
OK, now on with Idol Gives Back!
Because of a late-day nap that I just couldn't seem to rouse myself from, my recapping job is a little easier tonight. I'm only tuning in to the show at 9:05. From what I understand, this is all I missed from the first hour:
- The Obamas
- Horrible trainwrecks - The Top 12 performing in their angelic white outfits, a Ford commercial, The Black Eyed Peas
- People I don't like - Victoria Beckham, George Lopez, The Black Eyed Peas
- People I do like - Sully, Jeff Beck, Joss Stone, Morgan Freeman, Alicia Keys
- The placement of the first two of the Bottom 3 - Casey and Aaron (if Michael is the third, I'll go 3/3 finally this season)
Russell Brand and Jonah Hill are being really unfunny, which is hopefully not an indication of what their new movie, Get Him to the Greek (the Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin-off), will be like. They do some stupid skit about how they got a bunch of celebs to answer the phones, but they're all just celebrity impersonators. Oh, how they slay me!! Now they don't realize that Slash is REALLY the REAL Slash! Oh, my sides!! Octomom is there! How relevant! Jim Carrey shows up and plays along with the stupidity. My God, this is horrible. The only good part about this is that Tatiana del Toro is there. And she looks HOT with her new short 'do! Of course, they waste her presence by making a stupid Clay Aiken joke.
Back to Queen Latifah in Pasadena, who brings Common out for no reason other than to introduce Carrie Underwood. Her song, "Change," is one of those dramatic, feel-good songs about how yes, one person CAN change the world that usually makes me want to vomit, but I actually like this. Maybe a lot. Am I off my rocker? Carrie sounds really good but she needs to learn to keep the beat with her free hand before she loses grip on the microphone.
Back to Seacrest, who is now joined onstage by Ellen. She intros a video package of her and David Arquette's trip to Feeding America's Monrovia, CA food bank.
Elliott Yamin and Sister Dominguez, the founder of the Angolan orphanage that Elliott and Kara visited, are hanging out in the audience together. We see another video about the spread of malaria in Africa.
In a taped segment, Ryan speaks with Bill and Melinda Gates about the Global Health Fund. Something tells me these two could feed the world forever with just one check, but I won't go there right now.
Wanda Sykes becomes the only comedian on tonight's show to actually be funny when she does her Idol mini-roast, which includes a jab at Simon and his nipple-rubbing and the show's evil habit of making the eliminated contestant sing every week. The judges seem pretty amused, all except for Kara, who looks like she has really bad gas. Or a really bad sense of humor. (Or maybe that's just her normal face.) She should be smiling and thankful that Wanda isn't doing a bit on how America hates her.
Back to the results for a sec: Siobhan and Michael are safe, so that puts Timmeh in the Bottom 3. Bah, I'm only 2/3. *sigh* I'd still like to hope that Aaron will go, but I'm afraid that TPTB have had enough of Tim.
David Cook shows up wearing one of Michael Johns' old outfits, complete with ascot. He shows a video of his trip to an Ethopian school that rescues impoverished or orphaned girls who often end up being sold into sex slavery.
And now...I am CRYING. I can't believe this is happening. Damn you, Annie Lennox. I'm not even working steadily right now, but I'm gonna have to donate at least $20 after seeing this...
Annie shows us the struggle of a seven-year-old African girl who has pneumonia and AIDS. The girl only weighs what a normal one-year-old weighs, and looks to be practically at death's door. Yet this girl is always smiling. It's really heartbreaking. If anyone watching this is able to keep their eyes completely dry, I'll be amazed. There is something of a happy ending to this story (for now), as Annie shows us her follow-up visit after the girl received proper medication. She's back to a normal weight and is doing much better. Annie is usually the best part of any show she takes part in and she is a double win tonight: her segment is the most moving and her performance of new song, "Universal Child," is absolutely beautiful. It's only too bad she had to do it via satellite, but blame it on Mount Mekkalekkahimekkahineyho for stranding her in Europe.
An all-star band consisting of Mary J. Blige (vocals), Steve Vai (guitar), Orianthi (guitar), Travis Barker (drums) and AI's own Randy Jackson (slappin' da bass, mon) takes the stage to cover "Stairway to Heaven." Now, I am a HUGE Led Zeppelin fan and obviously this song is an uber-classic, so I was cringing in anticipation of a total mess. But damn, Mary J. is tearing this up! I'm pleasantly surprised by how good this is.
Simon shows us his visit with a doctor who is helping the Children's Health Fund in the small town of Douglas, AZ and shows his sweet side while making friends with a very sick little girl. He then informs the audience that Idol Gives Back has already raised $15 million tonight. (Side note: since its inception, the event has raised $140 million.)
Ben Affleck, looking like a homeless man, reminds us all to give back.
Back to Latifah. She's joined by Elton John, who talks about his AIDS Foundation before taking a seat at the most ginormous piano I've ever seen to sing "Your Song." I've never met anyone who doesn't like this song and I don't think I want to.
And that's it for the guest stars. Now it's back to the fate of the Bottom 3. Aaron screws up my prediction percentage and my Idol pool points even more by being named safe first. Arrrgh.
It comes down to Michael and Tim, and it's Timmeh who is sent packing. And who knows if it's because of what Wanda Sykes said or if it's just because the producers and judges are jerks, but Tim doesn't get to sing one final time. So he just smiles us out.
Remember, if you want to give back, you can make a donation on the Idol Aid website. Some of the charities you can help are the Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children and the United Nations Foundation. Also, proceeds from the sales of Top 7 and Idol Gives Back celebrity performances on iTunes will be donated to the IGB Foundation. (As of right now, I don't see any celeb mp3s available, just the Top 7 performances. Hopefully, the others will be added soon because there's no way I'm downloading any of those Top 7 songs.)
Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.