"Idol's" feel good/feel bad show of the season made its 2nd annual appearance. It was bigger (2½ hours) and better (the stars were out in force) than last year, while still being poignant and heartrending. And, of course, it was even stupid in parts while trying to be funny. Ultimately, without any real "Idol" action to look forward to, i.e. the eliminations which take place tonight, IdolGivesBackpalooza II turned into your standard begathon.
The show was a mixture of Sunday night's pre-recorded show hosted by Ryan Seacrest (Ellen DeGeneres bowed out at the last minute) and some new material, but it was made to look as if it was all happening live. During the show, all of Season 7's Top 12 were shown taking donor calls in typical telethon style. This year, "Idol Gives Back" is shooting to top last year's $76 million in donations with $100 million. Sadly, even that much money will make only a small dent in all the suffering and poverty in the world.
The show opened with those crazy kids from So You Think You Can Dance (another great Nigel Lythgoe-produced show) performing to Rhianna's "Please Don't Stop the Music" sung by "Idol's" Top 8. The combination worked really well. Now we can't wait for the new season of SYTYCD to begin. Perhaps the two shows should tour together next year instead of separately.
Click here to watch video of "So You Think You Can Dance" dancers and "Idol's" Top 8
Of course, the evening was filled with video appeals, beginning with Jimmy Johnson, George Lopez and Kylie Minogue. And surprise! Ben Stiller is no funnier this year than he was last year, his set of 2007 videos being the lamest part of last year's show.
Watch video of Ben Stiller, who's still NOT funny in 2008:
Calfornia's first lady and celebrity in her own right Maria Shriver made an appeal for volunteerism.
Snoop Dogg and Charlie Wilson performed "Don't Say Goodbye" with the Snoop Youth Football League swaying in the background.
Watch video of Snoop Dogg and Charlie Wilson singing "Don't Say Goodbye":
Next, video donation appeals from (accused rapist) Kobe Bryant and Triple H.
Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul introduce a video about poor kids in California being helped by Save the Children.
Click here to watch video of Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul at the Goshen school
Carrie Underwood, Teri Hatcher and James Denton did a short video skit in which Denton helps Underwood fix her sink. Hatcher catches them and tells Underwood "If you're going to steal my man, I'm going to steal your song," after which she takes the stage to (ugh!) sing "Before He Cheats." Don't quit your day job, Teri.
Watch video Carrie Underwood, James Denton and Teri Hatcher, then Hatcher singing "Before He Cheats":
Afterwards, Underwood came onstage to tell Hatcher she did a nice job (liar, liar, pants on fire. You guys will say anything for charity).
SYTYCD's judge and choreographer Mary Murphy did a video appeal in which she threatens to do her trademark scream until someone donates, while executive producer and fellow SYTYCD judge Nigel Lythgoe sat with his ears plugged.
The Jonas Brothers do a Give Now video appeal, followed by Billy Crystal introducing a young girl who he said wants to sing on American Idol (Miley Cyrus). After an exchange between the two she performs "Good and Broken."
Watch video of the Jonas Brothers appeal, Billy Crystal and Miley Cyrus, and Cyrus singing "Good and Broken":
Ryan Seacrest, back in the "Idols" studio with the Top 12 onstage taking calls.
Bono gives a report from Africa on the Global Fund. He talks about HIV/AIDS in Africa. Cick here to watch video of Bono in Africa.
Julianne Moore does video donation appeal.
Fergie comes out to perform "Finally" with John Legend accompanying her on piano.
Watch video of Fergie and John Legend singing "Finally":
Then Fergie introduces her idols, the group Heart. Heart performs "Barracuda," with Fergie joining them to sing the second verse.
Watch video of Heart and Fergie singing "Barracuda":
John Cena does his video donation appeal, as does Adam Sandler.
Back in the studio with Ryan and the Top 12. Ryan says you can download the songs from iTunes to donate too.
Football brothers Eli and Peyton Manning introduce a video in which they visit kids still affected by Hurricane Katrina in their hometown, New Orleans, La.
Watch video with Eli and Peyton Manning:
Watch video appeal by David and Victoria Beckham:
More of Ryan with the Top 12 taking calls, then off again to Bono and Annie Lennox in Africa talking to kids about their family who have died. Click here to watch video of Bono and Annie Lennox in Africa.
On the show, Annie Lennox performs "Many Rivers to Cross."
Watch video of Annie Lennox sing "Many Rivers to Cross":
Keifer Sutherland does a brief video appeal, followed by Celine Dion in South Africa with orphans who have been getting support from last year's Idol Gives Back.
Watch video of Celine Dion in Africa (extremely poor quality):
Jimmy Kimmel introduces Simon Cowell, he says, because no one else would do it. Kimmel jokes about Cowell's attitude, wardrobe, nipples and haircut. Simon takes it all in stride. Kimmel then introduces Simon's video, about Americans without health care. He travels to New York to visit doctors and nurses who treat them in mobile-health clinics.
Click here to watch video of Jimmy Kimmel introducing Simon Cowell.
Back on the show, Simon talks about his trip, and tells Jimmy how much he loves Jay Leno's show. Cowell then introduces Carrie Underwood, who performs "Praying for Time."
Watch video of Simon Cowell introducing Carrie Underwood singing "Praying for Time":
Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen DeGeneres do Give Now videos.
Gloria Estefan performs "Get On Your Feet" with Sheila E on drums and the SYTYCD dancers.
Watch video of Gloria Estefan and Sheila E performing "Get on Your Feet":
Sarah Silverman talks about malaria and introduces a video about Forrest Whitaker's trip to Africa.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Britain will donate to the malaria cause. Ryan says they are up to $20 million donated (including corporate sponsors).
Keith Urban does a donation video, then Reese Witherspoon spotlights the Children's Defense Fund. Witherspoon traveled to New Orleans to visit families and highlight Freedom Schools.
Watch video of Reese Witherspoon donation appeal:
Ryan introduces the Top 8 singing "Seasons of Love."
Watch video of Top 8 singing "Seasons of Love":
Dane Cook talks about Alicia Keys and her trip to Africa. Dane announces that if you go to the web site and donate you can download Alicia's entire trip.
Watch video of Alicia Keys singing "Prelude to a Kiss" in Africa:
Watch video donation appeal of Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale and Miley Cyrus returns to sing "See You Again."
Last year, Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus went to Kentucky, where nearly half the kids live below the poverty line.
Watch video donation appeal of Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus:
Ryan introduces the "Russian Idol" (Robin Williams), or "Bob," as he tells Ryan to call him. He auditions for the judges. Randy calls him pitchy, Paula likes his shirt and Simon thinks he is brilliant. "Bob" says he loves Simon in a Brokeback way then hugs and gropes Cowell.
Watch video of Ryan Seacrest and the "Russian Idol" (Robin Williams):
Rob Schneider and Tyra Banks do video donation appeals.
David Spade talks about New Orleans and how Brad Pitt is working to get people back into their homes after Hurricane Katrina. Pitt then comes out but has microphone difficulties. A crew person comes out to fix it and says she just wanted a reason to touch Brad. Brad introduces a clip of Daughtry in Uganda singing "What About Now."
Watch video of Brad Pitt introducing Daughtry singing "What About Now":
Mariah Carey sings "Fly Like a Bird" with Randy Jackson accompanying her on bass.
Watch video Mariah Carey singing "Fly Like a Bird":
Dressed all in white like angels, "Idol's" Top 8 Idols close the show with "Shout to the Lord."
Watch video of the Top 8 singing "Shout to the Lord":
Donations to "Idol Gives Back" can be given at the American Idol Website.
All iTunes proceeds from show performances will go to the charity as well.
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