MJ’s Take: Idol Gives Back, But It Also Taketh Away
Note to producers: Next time you do ‘Idol Gives Back’? Keep it under two hours! Honestly, if every other charity relief telethon can cram the stage with huge star power and still end on time, why cant you?
The newest IGB, perhaps responding to uncertain economic times, was less flashy, and contained less star power than its two predecessors. There was no Bono mentoring the contestants (season 6), or leftover pre-recorded performances that had to be burned off on later results show.
American Idol: On The Scene for Idol Gives Back
Folks, I’ll be toning down the snarkiness a bit for this on-the-scene recap. It’s impossible (as well as inappropriate) to make fun of Idol Gives Back itself, for here’s a TV program that admirably uses its staggering fan base to improve the lives of others. Furthermore, the nearly two-and-a-half-hour show was impeccably constructed, combining memorable performances (most notably from Mary J. Blige and her all-star band), solid comedy (thanks to George Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Russell Brand, and Jonah Hill), and some genuinely moving stories. I was in the Idoldome, where Blige and Alicia Keys sang, while Nicholas White was on hand at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to take in Sir Elton John, the Black Eyed Peas, Jeff Beck and Joss Stone, and Carrie Underwood. Nicholas will post his own recap later today, but for now, let’s proceed with all of the happenings from my vantage point.
American Idol Recap: ‘Gives Back’ in the Saddle Again
The spirit of generosity was most definitely in the air during tonight’s Idol Gives Back telecast. President Obama quoted Randy. Victoria Beckham interacted with common folk. And Tatiana del Toro was granted a temporary return to the Idol stage. Perhaps most exciting of all, though, legendary Capt. Chesley Sullenberger gave us simple instructions for getting in touch with our inner heroes.
AFTER THE JUMP, Jim Cantiello’s Idol in 60 Seconds
More Recaps after the JUMP…I’ll be adding more
‘Idol Gives Back’ Studio Dispatch: ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and the Chattanooga Cougar
They flew Carrie Underwood from Pasadena to the CBS studios via helicopter after her performance so she could film a 10-second intro for Sons of Sylvia. That seems excessive on a night that is about charity.
The one very weird disconnect for us was Victoria Beckham. We aren’t sure if you could tell on TV, but it’s hard to listen to someone talk about poverty and charity while looking like her outfit and jewelry could feed an African nation for a year.
‘American Idol Gives Back’: No charity for Tim
It’s Idol Gives Back charity fundraiser night on “American Idol.”
On this night, Hollywood celebrities will urge you to donate every spare nickel you have to raise money for needy children in the U.S. and Africa, while simultaneously urging you to dig deep in your pockets to support their latest movie, album, or concert tour. It could make cynic out of a saint. Then there’s that emotional whiplash, as the show careens from shots of pop stars singing about bootay to shots of babies dying of malaria and AIDS in Africa. Really, Idol Gives Back night is not for the faint of heart.
The show opens with the country’s first couple, via video. President Obama thanks the Fox program for once again holding this fundraiser and thanks us for our generosity. First Lady Michelle notes the event has raised more than $140 million over the years.
‘Idol’ gives back … then crushes one unlucky contestant’s dreams
If, after hearing from the president and Mrs. Obama, Bill and Melinda Gates, Annie Lennox and Elton John and all sorts of famous people about how much suffering is going on in the world …
If, after seeing children who live without heat in a two-room trailer in rural America, and children who are dying from AIDS and malaria in Africa, and a family of five in a middle-class California town that might not look too different from yours turn to a food bank to survive, even though the father of said family works in our schools as a math teacher …
If, after all that, you still care about who was sent home on “American Idol” on Wednesday night, during the “Idol Gives Back” special, click here …
Hello? Is there anybody here? Did anyone click?
Tim Urban Sent Packing During ‘Idol Gives Back’
Wednesday night’s (April 21) “American Idol” was focused on “Idol Gives Back, ” so the two-hour-plus show devoted most of the airtime to raising funds for children’s charities with a series of celebrity pleas and performances from Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood, Elton John, the Black Eyed Peas and several others.
But there was an elimination to take care of, and after visiting the bottom three on three earlier occasions, the sand finally ran out of the hourglass for Texas singer Tim Urban.
‘Idol Gives Back’ minute-by-minute (extended edition): All the action from the ‘Idol’ studio
It was a strange Wednesday night in the Idol-dome. With the painful images of people in need, the awkwardly out-of-place stand-up-comedy bits, a looming elimination and President Obama going Randy Jackson on us, making heads or tails of it all was a challenge, to say the least.
Plus, some 2 1/2 hours in, we saw no end in sight, and our lumbar region was starting to feel it. To repeat a phrase one of our colleagues so brilliantly coined earlier in the evening, “Idol” gives back pain — especially when you’re confined to a 12-inch-wide piece of foam covered by the thinnest sliver of faux-leather vinyl for more than three hours. The things we do to bring you this minute-by-minute recap. And more importantly, the things “American Idol, ” its sponsors and viewers do to better the world through donations. Read on for our play by play.
American Idol Recap: Charity and Cringing on ‘Idol Gives Back’
American Idol’s semiannual charity fund-raiser, “Idol Gives Back, ” is a worthy affair, forcing TV’s biggest regular audience to realize how the lives of hungry and ailing people around the world can be substantially improved and sometimes literally saved based upon $10 to $50 donations. And if it takes a two-and-a-half-hour broadcast hosted by Ryan Seacrest to raise $15 million (last night’s total), then so be it.
That being said — and credit being given to all the performers, sponsors, famous faces, and home viewers who contributed — last night’s special was a long, tedious, and oftentimes painful exercise in mainstream mediocrity that was sure to test even the most devoted fan.
You are tearing me apart, Idol! Idol Gives Back and sends its Angel home
Tonight is Idol Gives Back. Not only will American Idol send back one contestant to where they came from, it is also the night when you will be inundated with images of malaria, HIV, earthquakes, et al. Tonight is Idol Gives Back, or the night when all human hardship used to promote The Rapture is used to promote American Idol countless charities that need your help.
You are only watching this for one or more of the following reasons: