Idol Gives Back – The Extravaganza (Oh, and the results, too)

What other event could persuade Randy Jackson to trade in his Cosby sweaters for a proper coat jacket? It must be “Idol Gives Back” night. You might think it feels like an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode because of all the tear-jerker moments. But it’s not. All comments aside, though, the causes that Idol Gives Back supported were amazing and the lives changed with the money raised will be awesome. I think it’s incredible of American Idol to use their influence to change lives in the US and abroad. We can all get behind that. But let’s keep it real about last night…it had alternately funny/awkward/staged/serious moments. And I want to re-hash them all!

President and Michelle Obama opened the night by lending their voice to the purpose of the night. I could insert a lot of political jokes here, but in keeping with the spirit of the evening, I’ll just say that I think the President and First Lady’s contribution to the evening was to raise the level of the show. I mean, there’s a big difference between Selena Gomez and the leader of the free world. If Idol can get the President, I don’t understand why it can’t get better mentors (though Alicia Keys and Shania Twain are, admittedly, a big step up…)

Ry-Ry kicked off the evening and then punted to his “co-host” Queen Latifah in Pasadena, CA (of all places). And let me just say this about Queen – she’s lookin’ good! I liked her outfit and the enthusiasm with which she tackled her job.

Top 12 Perform “Keeping the Dream Alive”

The best thing about the group number was Didi being back on the stage. And the white outfits…I liked them a lot (especially Crystal’s dress).

Jennifer Garner Video

I think Jennifer Garner did a great job on this video…I felt like she was authentic, not reading from a script, interacting with the kids, etc.  Being in the publishing biz, the thought of 1 book for 300 kids made me extremely sad. Reading was such a part of my childhood that I have a hard time even thinking that someone might not have that.

After the video ended, the camera man turned his attention to Ryan who was sitting on a couch next to Victoria Beckham and two “friends” whose names were Roy and Brianna. I cannot for the life of me understand why Victoria Beckham took on an angry model pose while Ryan was talking and the way she was sitting looked so uncomfortable. Her face seriously looked super angsty and didn’t convey at ALL the message she was trying to send. After she read from the teleprompter like a robot, we cut to Roy and Brianna who were wearing blank zombie-like expressions and looked like they were taking cues from Victoria. Once Ryan started in, though, they loosened up and I was glad he was there to break the ice. Literally. It was practically Wendy’s how frosty it was in there!!

Jonah Hill and Russell Brand Are Relatively Funny

Ryan, Jonah, and Russell did a little “skit” in which Ryan told us that Jonah and Russell wanted to call all their celebrity friends to take calls in an Idol Gives Back phone bank and because they were so enthusiastic, Ryan went along with the idea. But what we found out was that Jonah and Russell didn’t really have celebrity friends and so they had no one manning the “phone bank” despite emails to the “pale kid who was on Twilight”. I thought the spot was pretty clever and funny, though I didn’t laugh out loud. Maybe I’m just cold-hearted like Mrs. Beckham, idda know.

Ryan Fakes Us Out By Pretending that It’s Results Time

However, instead of results, there was a nice little chat with Lee wherein Ryan called him out and asked him what he does to get in the zone since he was tearing up last night. Lee did kind of a “bro, you totally broke man code by asking me a question about my emotions” gesture and then answered the question by saying that he gets into mood of the song he’s about to sing and that means that he gets emotional or amped up depending on what the performance calls for.

Black Eyed Peas Perform “Rock That Body”

Let me say to all of you out there that while some of their songs are catchy, I mostly find Black Eyed Peas annoying. Why? Because all they do is repeat words/phrases over and over and over to a beat and it really irks me. I like to shake it like a Polaroid picture as much as the next person (or maybe a little less), but I honestly think that somewhere in America their English teachers are weeping. I couldn’t stand watching the whole performance, but here were my thoughts from the 5 seconds that I did happen to watch.

  • Holy cow, what is Fergie wearing???
  • Weird dancers but I suppose those cast off the So You Think You Can Dance ship have to go somewhere…
  • I feel that the number of times they have said the word “rock” should be illegal. And let’s keep in mind that I didn’t watch the whole performance.

Let us just pray that Siobhan doesn’t take any outfit ideas from Fergie…

Africa Malaria Video

It’s kind of amazing to me how much good a net can do and that they’re so cheap. So cool that Idol has provided so many…

Fake-out Results – Take Two

Keeping his poker face (Lady Gaga would be proud), Ryan told us that the producers decided to let the person that bid the highest for Idol Gives Back would have the honor of revealing the results. He had me for a second, he really did.  As George Lopez trotted to take the stage, I had a sinking feeling. Lopez did nothing to alleviate my concerns when he stepped on stage and his first item of business was to pull a “Big Mike” and pick Ryan up. He made fun of the “dim the lights” thing that Ryan does every week and in the end requested disco lights. Then he renewed my hope that this might actually be funny when he turned to the judges and told the contestants that the judges should be judged for a change. The concept was super funny! The execution was meh. Mini recap:

Randy – formulate your own thoughts and don’t say “pitchy”. Randy is safe.

Kara – Every night you say “Make it your own” or “I wrote that song”. Kara’s safe.

Ellen – Kourtney Kardashian of the judges? (I didn’t get this at all and I think Ellen was with me) Ellen is safe.

Simon – Wear a large t-shirt. Simon’s back to England but because of the volcanic eruption, Simon is safe.

Ford Music Video

I think this video was pretty cool! The end.

Real Results. Finally.

Ryan put Crystal and Casey into one group (apparently, he didn’t get the memo on the death match-ups), and declared that one is safe and one isn’t. Crystal walks to the bench ‘o safety while the first member of the bottom three is Casey. Since it was between the two of them, no big surprise there…

Aaron and Lee take the stage as the next group and Aaron becomes the second member of the bottom three.

Jeff Beck and Joss Stone Perform “I Put a Spell On You”

No offense to Joss or Jeff, ’cause I thought they did a bang-up job, but I’d like to say that  I think there should be an age limit for upper arm cuffs as accessories. Older upper arms should only be cuffed if it’s for blood pressure purposes. 

Africa Orphan Video

As an intro to the video, David Duchovony, Chris Rock, Selena Gomez, Jane Lynch, Josh Groban, Joe Jonas, and Justin Bieber all shared the last thing  their mom gave them (breakfast, a hug, a smack, etc.). Then the video started saying that for the African orphans, the last thing their mom gave them was life. Very well done video and it was heart-breaking to think of all those children growing up without mothers.

Morgan Freeman and Randy Jackson Save the Children Video

After the break, Morgan Freeman and Randy Jackson took us to Mississippi to show how Save the Children was impacting families. Other than learning about a great cause and possibly tearing up a bit, we also learned that Morgan and Randy are BFFs.

Alicia Keys Performs “Unthinkable (I’m Ready) / Empire State Of Mind”

This song title kind of reminds me of Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper…the drink is a drink for the undecided and the song title clearly couldn’t be decided, either. While I think Alicia is a perfectly nice person, I have to say that she should have shot her wardrobe consultant. That outfit was not flattering AT ALL. And holy shoes, batman!

Jonah and Russell and Ryan Kill the Skit to Death

After the break, I realized that the Jonah/Russell schtick was going to be longer than it should be. Sometimes, producers, you have to leave well enough alone. The return to the same skit made it much less funny in my opinion.

Carrie Underwood Performs “Change”

Say what you will about Carrie Underwood, but she always delivers a stellar performance and looks darn good doing it.  I believed what she sang and also believe that along with a golden voice, her heart is also gold.

Feeding America Video with David Arquette and Ellen DeGeneres

So amazing how many pounds of food $10 can buy! And it was also eye-opening to see that even people in America with jobs (like the school teacher in the video) can’t afford to put food on the table.

Global Healthcare with Bill and Melinda Gates

I don’t think I’ve seen Bill Gates in a long time, but it was nice to see one of the wealthiest couples in America speaking passionately about the  inequity of a child dying and the change that all of us (even the normal people without enough money to swim in) can make in the world.

Wanda Sykes Attempts To Be Funny

I did laugh when she said (of American Idol’s routine of always having the voted off member sing)- “Oh sure, sing and remind America why they didn’t vote for you.” That was funny. However, here are three comedians I would have much rather seen on the American Idol stage:

  • Jerry “I’m Telling You for the Last Time” Seinfeld
  • Jim Gaffigan of “Hot Pocket” fame and the lesser known “I think I’m going to sandwich after I sofa for a while.”
  • Brian Regan (my favorite is the “UPS” monologue, but there’s lots of funny)

Almost Real Results Revealed

Siobhan and Big Mike are revealed to be safe. Though Ryan’s shot at Matt Girard while simultaneously telling Big Mike that he “defeated the odds” seems to be a little overkill. But the best part of the results? Ryan revealed that young Tim Urban’s magical hair failed him this week and he is in the bottom three.

Ethiopia Video with David Cook

When Cookie joined Ryan on the stage to intro the video of his trip to Ethiopia, I was really excited about his hair – so much better than during his season!

Also, I betcha every little girl in Ethiopia wanted to marry David Cook. I don’t speak the language but some things translate cross culturally. 🙂

Aids Video with Annie Lennox

This video of Annie’s original trip and the return trip and the difference the aids medication made in that young girl’s life made me cry like a wee babe. Don’t even try to deny that you did, too.

Annie Lennox Music Video

Annie wasn’t able to join them because she was stuck in London due to the volcanic eruption, but they played a music video of her. I fast-forwarded it, ’cause it was getting pretty late.

Mary J. Blige performs with Orianthi and Randy Jackson

Sorry, guys. I watched the first second of this and fast-forwarded it, too. I’m sure it was fantastic.

Children’s Health Fund Video with Simon and Dr. Jon

Who loves Dr. Jon more than me? Probably not anyone. This video was extremely touching and I like seeing Simon as a softie with those kids. Who’s with me?

After the video, Simon took the stage to announce that over the course of the show, $15 million was raised during the course of the show. If that doesn’t give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, I don’t know what would.

Elton John Performs “Your Song”

I have to admit that when Queen Latifah said to Elton John “You’re going to perform your song?” I was like, “Isn’t every song that he performs ‘his’?”  That shows you how well I know Elton John songs. I know “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and that’s about it. I did admire his red piano and super shiny microphone, though!

Final Final Results (for reals)

Aaron is safe. Of course he is. But I take some comfort that he’s in the bottom three. And just like that, Tim Urban is out. THE HAIR HAS BEEN DEFEATED! TEFLON TIM IS OUT! I’m sure you can tell that I’m real broken up about it. This result has restored my faith in the tweens of America.

One Last Editorial Note

Why is it that American Idol feels free to run over THIRTY MINUTES?? Why doesn’t the network just schedule them for two and a half hours? Seriously. Sheesh.

This recap is already FOREVER long, so Haddock out!


2 thoughts on “Idol Gives Back – The Extravaganza (Oh, and the results, too)

  1. Courtney says:

    Amy!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this! A I should pay you for such a great recap 😉 And I am with you on all of it! Jesse and I were wondering if anyone else would notice Victoria’s weird and awkward pose. Thank you. I was also very happy to see Didi back on stage and cute little Tim Urban off.

    PS – I also read this with your voice in my head…that was probably the best part 🙂

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