'Idol' Gives Back, We Give Up

The much ballyhooed two-hour "American Idol" charity fundraiser results show is finally here. The phone lines are open -- Let's get started.

Show host Ryan Seacrest demonstrates live TV for the kiddies by messing up his very first line of the night, telling the producer he wants a do-over and getting it. Never seen THAT before on "Idol."

The remaining six Idolettes are all dressed in white pants suits, looking like a glee club in heaven.

Ryan promises tonight's results show will be "the most shocking" in "Idol" history. Given the remaining Idolettes, we're dubious. He also says 70 million votes were cast Tuesday night after the Idolettes performed their "life anthems." Fox parent News Corp. has pledged to cough up 10 cents apiece for 50 million of those votes. Sorry about those other 20 million.

Ellen DeGeneres is helping Ryan out on the show like Brian Dunkelman used to do, only from the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles where some of the night's entertainment will be performing. She too seems dubious about the "most shocking results" thing.

Earth, Wind & Fire performs a medley of their hits.

It appears the evening's taped bits featuring "Idol" judges visiting blighted areas where children are in dire need of help are going to all be sponsored by an advertiser, like football bowl games, starting with the All State Post-Katrina Bowl from New Orleans, starring Randy Jackson.

Quincy Jones shows up to teach the Idolettes his new tune, "Time to Heal."

It also appears all commercial breaks are going to begin and end with a minor Hollywood celeb appearing on screen to remind people they're watching "Idol Gives Back," read the toll free phone number for calling to make a donation, and say something clever. First at bat: Eric McCormack of "Will & Grace" fame, who tells the millions of people watching at home "If every person who ever voted for Sanjaya gave just one dollar, we could do so much good."

Ben Stiller kicks off the You-Mean-It's-Not-About-Me? competition portion of "Idol Gives Back Night." He's a strong contender, even though he's appearing via satellite; he lists every movie he's ever been in -- some twice -- and then threatens to sing "Reminiscing" by Little River Band, until they've raised $200 billion. He starts to sing while a crawl at the bottom of the screen begs viewers to call immediately. It's moderately amusing until they cut to a video of a 12-year-old orphaned Ugandan boy, sitting with his younger sister, weeping over the death of his parents.

Ryan says it's time to let the first Idolette know he or she is safe. Yeah, this is really dramatic after that video. It's Melinda. Wow -- we didn't see THAT coming.

"Idol" judge Paula Abdul visits the Boys & Girls Club in Hollywood.

Ellen introduces the singing group mentored by "Idol" judge Simon Cowell. No, not the Teletubbies. The guys of Il Divo, dressed like Simon, who take turns trying to sing louder than the others that sad "West Side Story" tune about how "there's a place for us" while, on a huge screen in the back, little children holding candles in the dark take turns snuffing out his or her candle followed by the words "Every three seconds a child dies in extreme poverty."

Jack Black is the second competitor in the You-Mean-It's-Not-About-Me derby; he jumps and twirls manically around the stage singing "Kiss From a Rose" which, he says, is from the most sensitive of the "Batman" flicks.

Ryan says Blake is safe. How many different shows are going on here?

Carrie Underwood sings "I'll Stand By You" while hugging and playing with poor children somewhere in Africa who don't seem at all impressed.

Rascal Flatts sings "My Wish."

Ryan introduced a taped bit about kids in Kentucky learning to read which is something their mom can't do, after which he mentions the shortness of Paula Abdul who has joined him on stage sporting a magnificent pair of shoes.

What's an "American Idol" results night without the Ford Music Video -- am I right? Tonight, in honor of the charity element, it's set in a drive in, at which is playing a movie starring a whopping 35 Hollywood celebrities dancing and mugging to the tune "Stayin' Alive." A nice touch amongst clips of AIDS orphans and mothers who've lost babies to malaria.

Phil Stacey is safe.

Ellen announces she's donating $100,000 to the fundraisers and, in one of the evening's few comedy bits that didn't make you cringe, adds "I know a lot of rich people who watch this show -- I've been with them when they watch" and challenges them directly to match her pledge.

Taped bit runs, juxtaposing Hollywood celebrities reminiscing about how many funerals they've attended -- not many, though some of the celebs seem to expect your sympathy -- and an African man who says he's attended 280, mostly malaria victims, many children.

Ellen tells children watching at home to tell mom and dad they will donate one dollar of their own money if M&D kick in another 9 bucks.

First edition winner Kelly Clarkson makes her "Idol" appearance .

Simon appears in a "The Simpsons" spoof of "Idol" as a contestant. He's horrible. The three judges, Marge, Lisa and Homer, give him bad reviews; he falls through a trap door in the stage and Bart, who plays Ryan, cracks that "the lions haven't eaten this well since Dunkleman."

LaKisha's safe.

Through the miracle of modern technology, Celine Dion appears to sing a duet with dead Elvis, who's dressed all in white like the Idolettes. Lest she accidentally appear to walk through Dead Elvis, Celine stands very still while singing and there's none of her trademark scenery chewing while singing. It's her best performance ever. She should always sing with dead celebrities on stage.

Madonna, back in Malawi, tells people to cough up some money.

Ryan introduces this week's "Idol" pop quiz and, because this night is all about giving, it's the easiest question yet: Did Taylor Hicks, Kat McPhee or Elliott Yamin sing the last song at last year's "Idol" season finale.

Annie Lennox sings "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Only Idolettes Chris and Jordin do not yet know if they are safe. Ryan says Chris is safe. Jordin starts to cry. Ryan says Jordin is also safe because, "how can we let anyone go on a charity night?" Those 70 million votes will be added to next week's tally and two Idolettes will get the hook next week, Ryan says.

And finally, Bono shows up in a taped bit for the much ballyhooed mentoring of the Idolettes, which consists of telling them they can help end "brutal, stupid poverty."

The End

Editor's note: Find more on last night's "Idol" in Lisa's TV column (after the Rosie news).

By Maura McCarthy  |  April 26, 2007; 7:43 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: Give Back My 'Idol' | Next: 'Idol' Rocks Out

Comments

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Schmaltzy, schmaltzy. Hideous. I gave up 2 hours of my busy life for this and they didn't even VOTE SOMEONE OFF??? Of course, I also have issues with them making poor Jordin Sparks almost go into cardiac arrest before they gave her some relief. Completely unsatifying.

Posted by: wmx | April 26, 2007 8:15 AM

Why not just have a holographic Henry Winkler the Younger appear and recreate his infamous Fonzie jumping the shark routine - would've been a perfect metaphor for last night's show.

Posted by: Rob Iola | April 26, 2007 8:15 AM

I felt so gypped after sitting through all that and not even getting to see someone get kicked off! (Is it still ok to say gypped or is that in Don Imus territory now?) The celebrity fake-caring was slowly sucking my will to live--the least they could have done is kicked someone off for me!

Dialidol predicts Jordan had the most votes, but everyone else was within the margin of error of each other.

Posted by: jw | April 26, 2007 8:19 AM

They didn't give anyone a heart attack. You could tell almost from the first that the shocker was going to be noone is going home. Also, you could tell by looking at the contestant's faces that they were in on it.

Good call though. It would have been the ultimate in tackiness to have the fallen idol with tears on his/her face over leaving the show after 2 hours of watching kids losing their parents and people dieing of poverty.

Posted by: dai | April 26, 2007 8:49 AM

Lisa de Moraes take a typical cynical view of American Idol's "do good" shows. Too bad! While it may not have been perfect, it at least made Americans think about people who are struggling with disease, neglect and starvation and for that News Corp. should be commended. More media companies should find ways to engage their audiences in helping address the world's problems. Perhaps the Post's tv critic should reveal how much the Washington Post donates annually to charity since she thinks News Corp's $3 million over the past two days is a paltry amount.

Posted by: Frank J. Walter | April 26, 2007 8:56 AM

No mention of the Josh Grobin bit? That was the best part (okay, the only part I watched since I was channel surfing and caught it).

Posted by: WDC | April 26, 2007 8:58 AM

One correction...Lisa (playing Paula) did not give Simon bad reviews. She was the one dancing and waving her arms in the air with a big silly grin during Simon's audition.

Posted by: Mac | April 26, 2007 9:07 AM

I'm really happy that I jumped to the end of the show. I love you, Tivo.

Posted by: Alex | April 26, 2007 9:23 AM

Lisa...again your cynicism and hatred for Idol shines through. I still can't understand why you watch if you hate it so much. Regardless of your personal feelings, you could at least give them some credit for raising 30,000,000 dollars and the awareness of many american youth who have no idea there are people who go hungry in our own country. Cheesy or not it should still be comended.

Posted by: HappyDad | April 26, 2007 9:31 AM

I'm as cynical as the next person, but $30M is $30M. raising money to help desperately poor people is a good thing. was the show cheesy? yes. but really, is there ANY way that celebs can be involved in something like this and not have the thing look contrived? in this case the end justifies the means, people.

Posted by: Sophie's Mom | April 26, 2007 9:33 AM

Ellen rules. I thought the show overall wasn't bad. I had a feeling they wouldn't let anyone go, but I'm glad they made it clear that this week's votes will be added to next week's, and not only that, next week voting will be for 4 hours instead of the usual two. So at least this week's votes weren't "wasted."

I also agree that Lisa's too cynical this week. They raised $30+ million and that ain't hay (and that doesn't include all the dial-in donations, either). And the continuing disgusting conditions displaced Katrina victims are living in needed to be shown. It's appalling and unforgivable that the Bush administration has allowed this to continue for nearly two years.

Posted by: Steve M | April 26, 2007 9:36 AM

My, what a cynical world - and a cynical Lisa de Moraes. "American Idol" quite wisely used its top position in the TV ratings to raise millions for a good cause. How is this wrong? Yes, some of the bits were a bit odd, and some downright goofy. But how else do you attract and hold viewers? If the producers opted to simply show only the clips of the impoverished and diseased, along with only equally grim commentary, would they have held viewers interest? No, although it should have. But, we are a nation with a short attention span; too much real-life tragedy and we're off to something less taxing on our psyche. Conversely, a show comprised of nothing but feel-good bits misses the point. Sure, the show wasn't perfect, but at least they tried. By last night's count more than $30 million had already been raised to help children all over the world. This is a good thing, despite the fact that many of you were annoyed that 2 hours of your lives were "wasted" because no one was booted. So sorry for you all that you missed the point. I hope you are never in need of charity from others. So, Ms. Moraes,what would you have proposed "Idol" do? How could they have done better? I realize media criticism is your job, but you should have taken a cue from last night's "shocking" result and taken a night off from the ordinary - dissing "Idol" - in recognition of the sincerity of the show's efforts to make a difference.

Posted by: Kim Finnegan | April 26, 2007 9:39 AM

I think y'all need to back on up off Lisa.

There's cynicism for its own sake and then there's cynicism when you've actually got reason. I think its pretty clear where "American Idol gives back" falls on that spectrum.

What i cant understand is all these people writing in TO A COMMENT FORUM TO AN ONLINE BLOG ABOUT TV SHOWS!!! and questioning pookie.

Get a grip people. Sheesh.

and for god's sake...lets vote some people off already!

starting with Bat Boy...

Posted by: matt in DC | April 26, 2007 9:47 AM

Foul! True or not it looks like American Idol is rigging the results. They're giving a boost to Jordin, whether she had the lowest votes or not (I don't believe they ever said she had the lowest votes).

Posted by: itsfixed | April 26, 2007 9:49 AM

No mention of the fact that K Clarkson looked like a chubby Valerie Bertinelli?

You know, the White House has had a Malaria initiative for several months, urging folks to buy netting for families in Africa. I wonder how the Idol night will compare with their efforts.

Yes, it was cheesey. That said, I walked away thinking how lucky I was to be living comfortably in the U.S.

Posted by: Ex Cap | April 26, 2007 9:54 AM

Was it just me or did K. Clarkson look like she was pregnant? Long hair and flowing dress does not equal a good look for her.

Posted by: Guy in Dc | April 26, 2007 9:58 AM

yes! kelly clarkson looked terrible...she looked like she packed on 25 pounds!

Posted by: Sophie's Mom | April 26, 2007 10:01 AM

The contestants were in on the results. Jordin was smiling when Ryan told Chris he was safe.

Those kids singing with Grobin were adorable. You know they were told to smile and they would not let their cheeks drop for ANYTHING! Plus the ones with missing teeth.

Paula was pulling a Hayley this week! Cleavage!! Wow!! How old is she again?!? Is she all-natural?

Posted by: VA AI Watcher | April 26, 2007 10:02 AM

Lisa has every right to be cynical. $30 was raised. That is how much ABC was offering Rosie to stay on the View for 3 years. If those stars who were just on the show to get their charity bonus points had given just 10% of their salary, a helluva lot more would have been raised. This was so Idol would look good and stretch out the show to sweeps. It was not about actually helping the poor.

Lisa, this is a bit outside your usual duties, but can you track how much of that money actually gets to the people and how much gets sucked into "administrative expenses?"

Posted by: ep | April 26, 2007 10:03 AM

It was a pretty brutal, stupid show. The most notable thing is that most of the professional performers could actually sing on key as compared to most of the amateur contestants.

Posted by: Jean | April 26, 2007 10:06 AM

Here here, Sophie's Mom. Cheesy, sure, but they raised a boatload of money. I hope it's a trend. My own son asked me if he could donate money!

Snark moment - I thought it was only the widescreen TV I was watching on last night, but wow, what happened to Kelly?

I too felt so bad for Jordin. They could have set up someone other than a 17 year old girl for that kind of heart-stopping drama. Malinda, maybe! Now THAT would have been dramatic and shocking.

Posted by: Meg in PA | April 26, 2007 10:11 AM

I find the show infinitely more cynical than this column. Last night I watched and found the whole thing completely self-congratulatory.
That said, I'm glad it happened. In the end, $30,000,000 is still real money and one can hope that it will have some kind of impact. I work with poverty programs and understand how easily the issue is ignored.
I also think it's important to remember organizations like CARE and UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders. And there are programs for the homeless that need your help, and there's a local foodshelf that would also take your check. It all counts.

Posted by: vermont | April 26, 2007 10:15 AM

$30M raised is great, but the crass commercialization was sickening. Let's face it - News Corp, Simon, etc. are going to make a net profit from last night.

Posted by: Rob Iola | April 26, 2007 10:17 AM

come on TV column person- they raise millions of dollars, raise awareness and you still have to pick this apart.

sincerely,
a jordin fan

Posted by: bill | April 26, 2007 10:22 AM

I watched only the last 4 minutes, and reading Lisa's description of what sounds like a rather overwrought evening, I'm so glad I didn't watch a minute more. Yeah yeah, charity mumble mumble worthy cause mumble mumble. I did my share of voting Tuesday night to raise money for the weepy child who didn't think Ben Stiller's humor was much consolation for his dead parents, only it turns out I needn't have bothered, because not only is no one getting kicked off this week, but Fox isn't even going to pony up for the extra 20 million votes. The $30M is a great start, and I sure hope Fox feels like they have to top it next year.

In the meantime, I say: Long Live the DVR!

Posted by: Northern Girl | April 26, 2007 10:28 AM

Lisa--I think that you should take a few more weeks off to go and spend some time thinking about the work that needs to be done in the world. You have been SO corrupted by the Washington DC area that you have forgotten that people can actually be good and have good intentions. I read your articles every Wed & Thurs (regarding Idol), but I have to say that you've gone too far. You are ridiculously cynical. I think you should rethink this and rewrite your article. The fact of the matter is, $30M dollars was raised and will be sent to people all over the world in need.

Posted by: frustrated tim | April 26, 2007 10:32 AM

Fox used its ratings to showcase a problem that is all over the world. Poverty in a world full of excesses. Money was raised, and as a Kenyan by birth, I am forever grateful. I wish that every high rating show would do something similar. Trust me, to me and other Africans who have seen the real face of poverty, we do not care how the money gets raised, just help. I never thought I would say this, THANKS FOX!

Posted by: Afrikan | April 26, 2007 10:35 AM

now, now, children. let's all step back and get off our high keyboards. lisa is paid to snark and she does so, week after week, beautifully. let's give our lisa the benefit of the doubt that she isn't cynical about raising $30mil, but that the way it's done...the height, and depth and breadth of the cheese factor, the montages of children w/glycerine tears, the paula abdoo voiceover (hey! she can read!), the ponderously slow songs of how i believe we can fly, the jerking around of contestants and viewers...it gets to a gal.
lisa, you do your thing. we know you love all of humanity.

Posted by: methinks | April 26, 2007 10:40 AM

by the way...the best parts of the night were those w/ellen de generes in them. she's hilarious, real, and cool. and gave $100K out of her own pocket. long live ellen.

Posted by: methinks | April 26, 2007 10:42 AM

Call me a cynic. Yes, raising $30 million for worthy causes is great, but why does it take a cheesy reality show to get people off their assess to contribute to charitable organizations? The most appalling part of the evening is likely that some of last night's donors were clueless as to the extent of poverty and suffering, whether it is in Kenya, South Africa or in their own back yards.

I hated the telethon fee, but kudos to Fox to opening some naieve eyes in this country. Now, if you could just do something about your news network......

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 10:45 AM

When the returns are in, I want to know, of the additional funds brought in by the show, how much goes to fighting poverty and hunger, and how much goes to the producers and performers. How much money was paid to big people to convince little people to donate theirs? Ellen got it, thank you Ellen, and coughed up 100 grand. Who else who benefitted from the show reached into their own pockets? Rather than send the idol judges and their crews into the field, why not just have them stay home, tape a simple testimonial, and donate the cost of doing the remotes to the cause? And, while I am at it, why didn't the program focus on fighting the causes of poverty and hunger rather than just mitigating its symptoms? PS: what they did to Jordan was shameful. Dealing with such nonsense, like the often ridiculous criticism of the judges, is the price the idolettes must pay for their fame and fortune, but it seems to wear on them, some more than others. Ms. Pickler seemed to weaken toward the end last year, and Kiki, in spite of her incredible talent, seems to be fading this year. Maybe the producers should lighten up on the horrible science experiment angle, and get back to a singing competition. The six finalists seem like nice, dedicated, talented, issue-free people. Knocking them off one-by-one is drama enough. Less gratuitious abuse would be appreciated.

Posted by: Paul Garneau | April 26, 2007 10:49 AM

For all of you complaining about how cynical Lisa's column is, how many of you picked up the phone and gave some money?...That's what I thought.

Posted by: dym | April 26, 2007 10:54 AM

I think it's great that they decided to use their influence and ratings to raise money based on the votes on Tuesday night, but, the Wednesday results show has got to be trimmed back. It's not about the contestants anymore.

Also, it sure looks like the fix is in. Someone unexpected was going to go home last night, so they decided to do this Up With People thing and rig the votes for next week.

Posted by: Ike | April 26, 2007 11:03 AM

dym, I didn't give money last night. I am comfortable with the 4x/year donations I make to MAP. Just because people didn't donate last night doesn't mean they can't complain about the show.

Posted by: wmx | April 26, 2007 11:07 AM

hey! i LOVED up with people when i was in 2nd grade! (i'm old.)
also "hootinanny (sp) saturday night"

Posted by: methinks | April 26, 2007 11:07 AM

For the admin question, it depends on the charity. I gave money to Nothing But Nets and know that the whole $10 goes to Africa. It's always good to ask the charity.

Posted by: Secondthoughts | April 26, 2007 11:09 AM

I'm torn between saying it was an awful show or a strange show. Maybe the goal/money gives makes me a little hesistant to slam it.

Besides the money raised, Ellen was, by far, the highlight of the night. Her singing Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop" was hilarious! Instead of finishing the line "Girls, What's My Weakness? (Men!)", Ellen stopped singing/rapping and shook her head at the camera. Funny stuff.

Posted by: Greg | April 26, 2007 11:10 AM

I'll be interested in seeing how much $$ they eventually raise. No matter what it is, I have a feeling it will pale in comparison to what was raised after Katrina - a little over $2 billion. Sure, the show was done with a profit in mind, but it could really be a great thing if Americans opened up their pocketbooks at times that are not "disasters."

Also, if all people care about is seeing who gets kicked off the show - don't watch and just read about it on the internet at 10:01 pm!

Posted by: Erica | April 26, 2007 11:10 AM

News Corp raises millions for charity:
"How dare you, sir" -oldermann

Posted by: bill | April 26, 2007 11:22 AM

Not to be the grammar police, but, Pookie, the following made me cringe:

"in one of the evening's few comedy bits that don't make you cringe."

Subject = "one", not "few" -- ergo, it should be "doesn't" make one cringe, not "don't".

Sorry for the tough love, but this one really, really hurt.

Posted by: Uggh | April 26, 2007 11:24 AM

Emberassment is at the root of every cynical statement...that is b/c you don't do sheet you get offended when others do and try to take it down a notch...pathetic

Posted by: hobo hambone | April 26, 2007 11:29 AM

wmx, did you even bother to read my post, it was for those complaining about Lisa's cynicism, not about the show.

Posted by: dym | April 26, 2007 11:36 AM

There was something highly inappropriate about last night's show...obscene, maybe. It exploited those children. For example, it was wrong for Carrie Underwood to carry orphaned children to their parents' graves so that there would be some moving footage for a music video. Lighthearted dancing to Staying Alive completely ignored the underlying theme. The entire spectacle was tragic, cheap and tasteless. Raising money for a worthwhile cause was a good thing to do, but it does not excuse the methods American Idol used to do it.

Posted by: Gunnar | April 26, 2007 11:36 AM

Fox donated $5 million last night. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn`t it? CBS charged more than that amount PER MINUTE of commercial time during the last Super Bowl. This is the top rated show on broadcast TV. I do not find their altruism all that impressive in light of the enormity of the problems they exposed and the very large profits involved in the show for the network, the phone company, etc.

Posted by: Reality check | April 26, 2007 11:43 AM

Mr. Walters, do the math:
News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of December 31, 2006 of approximately US$59 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$27 billion.

The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) today reported net income of $324.5 million ($33.68 per share) for its fiscal year 2006.

So, $3 mil doesn't really seem like a big deal for News Corp. And yeah, The Post has a lot of charities that they contribute time and money to.

Now, can we get back to our regularly scheduled snarky Idol chat??

Posted by: News Corp vs Wash Post | April 26, 2007 11:54 AM

"If those stars who were just on the show to get their charity bonus points had given just 10% of their salary, a helluva lot more would have been raised."

And you know for certain that they didn't because . . . ? One of the best ways for high-tax-bracket earners to lower their tax burdens is through charitable donations, so I suspect some of these people give a lot more than you might think. (Or at least their accountants do.)

"This was so Idol would look good and stretch out the show to sweeps."

Not really, not if they're getting rid of two contestants next week. Net increase in number of shows: Zero.

"Lisa, this is a bit outside your usual duties, but can you track how much of that money actually gets to the people and how much gets sucked into "administrative expenses?""

You can actually do that yourself:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

Posted by: pldennison | April 26, 2007 11:56 AM

please, Please, PLEASE...let this deconstruction of the AI money end so we can talk about the contestants and how good/bad they looked, sang, etc.
I, for one, was taken aback by Ms. Abdoo's 'shoes'...
Was anyone else cringing at the end of Kelly Clarkson's song when she didn't quite know how to acknowledge Jeff Beck? They acted as if they'd never seen each other before...presumably there'd been a rehearsal?
And where was Gwen Stefani? She'd been advertised but no Gwen. That made me sad.

Posted by: methinks | April 26, 2007 12:01 PM

I was sadden more by the performances than by the people in Africa and New Orleans. The whole show just seemed too forced. I suggest that next time AI and Fox just write check to Save the Children.

Posted by: Lisa1 | April 26, 2007 12:13 PM

Yo Frustrated (about 20 postings north at 10:32 AM)

Pookie's not cynical from living in the DC area (you penned "You have been SO corrupted by the Washington DC area ..."). Lisa's based out of CA. Doesn't live anywhere near DC, the Post headquarters, or the idiot at 1600 Penn.

Posted by: where we live | April 26, 2007 12:53 PM

You people complaining about the cheesiness of the show should google Red Nose Day. Seriously. We've got nothing on the UK.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 12:54 PM

serously, did kelly clarkson eat reuban (where was he??)? she looked like mama cass elliott! how the heck did she get so fat?

Posted by: wats | April 26, 2007 12:59 PM

Another correction, Lisa.

FYI, this was not the first time Kelly Clarkson has sang on Idol since she won. She performed "Since U Been Gone" in 2004's American Idol Holiday Special.

I knew that sounded wrong--It's easy enough to Google.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK, LISA. You're getting sloppy.

Posted by: Carter07 | April 26, 2007 1:05 PM

Was that a ham sandwich I saw on the stage next to Kelly Clarkson during her performance? (Only those of us in our 40s will understand the reference and chuckle a bit...)

Posted by: ham sandwich | April 26, 2007 1:07 PM

I enjoyed many of the performances by the "real" singers last night (Josh Groban, Annie Lennox), but always find the group songs by the Idolettes too much like watching "Up With People."

I was hanging in there with the show last night, despite the corporate branding/show a sad child/corporate branding/show another sad child format, right up until they brought Elvis back from the dead to sing with Celine Dion. That was just creepy. If I were her, I would have never agreed to that.

I hope that the Idol Gives Back concept raises a good amount of money to fight child poverty, and, overall, I'm glad that they aired the show. It just didn't seem to mix well with the regular competition angle. I think they should have made a "Gives Back" special, with just promos, performances only, and left the countdown/competition for another day. Too many different agendas being pursued in one show last night. It felt awkward.

Posted by: Wash DC | April 26, 2007 1:32 PM

Some of you people act like you never put on any weight. If Kelly Clarkson wants to put on weight that's fine as long as she had a good time doing it, it is all right with me.

Posted by: NYC | April 26, 2007 1:41 PM

to NYC...yes but we're not famous. part of the fun of not being famous is picking apart people who are and commenting on all their flaws.
btw, dym...i donated 100 bucks last night.

Posted by: Sophie's Mom | April 26, 2007 2:14 PM

Hey Carter... read the article again... Lisa did not say this was Kelly's first time back on Idol:

"First edition winner Kelly Clarkson makes her 'Idol' appearance."

Posted by: HOV4Eva | April 26, 2007 2:17 PM

Maybe if Kelly Clarkson donated a few of her cheeseburgers, it would help alleviate the hunger problem. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Quick solution | April 26, 2007 2:18 PM

Going into the show, I was already fed-up with the constant promotion and self-congratulatory tone of Fox and AI regarding the AI Gives Back show. BUT - that said, I was really impressed with the effort and sincerity. These types of charity celeb-fests are very popular in the UK and Europe, and they generate a HUGE amount of money for deserving charities. Sorry to put the cynicism on a shelf, but I thought it was great to see such a hugely successful show literally give back, and to encourage all of their viewers to do the same. Personally, I hope it becomes an annual installment to the AI franchise. If it's raising money for such a fantastic cause, then it can't be a bad thing.

Sidenote - I thought Kelly Clarkson looked great. She has a great personality and a normal, healthy body, just like Jordin Sparks - isn't that part of why so many people connect with them? Just sayin'...

Posted by: Liz | April 26, 2007 3:36 PM

"The remaining six Idolettes are all dressed in white pants suits, looking like a glee club in heaven."


What a great line! I love it!

Posted by: Heaven | April 26, 2007 3:37 PM

If Elvis really was still alive last night, surely seeing himself on stage with Celine Dion gave him a fatal coronary.

Posted by: Sunshine State | April 26, 2007 3:39 PM

Kelly Clarkson looked like a plump little bratwurst on the grill, ready to pop.

Posted by: Guy | April 26, 2007 3:39 PM

Brian Dunkelman, American Idol's very own Chuck Cunningham.

Posted by: Kim | April 26, 2007 4:13 PM

Lisa may or may not have been sloppy, Carter, but she definitely never said that Kelly `has sang`!

Posted by: Stickin up for my Queen | April 26, 2007 4:19 PM

25 more pounds, and Kelly Clarkson will offically fat enough to hookup with Justine G. It's a southern thing.

Posted by: Joe Nash | April 26, 2007 5:05 PM

the kids singing with grobin really were the cutest things EVAH. those gap teeth!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 5:10 PM

Lisa de Moraes never ceases to amaze me. A show raises more than $30 million to such worthy causes and she still can find a way to complain about it. You call our Hollywood celebrities "clueless"...those who took the time and effort to stand up and encourage us to pledge money for the poor, starving & dying people in Africa and the U.S. You call them "clueless"? Why would you possibly say such a thing?

Ellen DeGeneres donates $100,000 of her money...wow, how "clueless" of her.

So many comments about how so many of you can't believe how they wasted 2 hours of their life...well how nice it is that you were able to watch TV on your plush couch inside your nice comfortable home while snacking on some popcorn and a Coke. I hope you all were able to pick up the phone and prevent a child from dying.

Posted by: John | April 26, 2007 6:04 PM

I know I would!

Posted by: I'm curious | April 26, 2007 6:05 PM

Every party has a pooper
That's why we invited you .... JOHN

Posted by: attitude | April 26, 2007 6:06 PM

People simply love to complain.

Lisa is simply the type of mean spirited person who tears down everything, thinking herself to be some clever wag.

She and the posters here who whine (and without a doubt have not donated a dime in years towards anything other than a Howard Dean campaign)show themselves to be petty people who serve no real purpose in life.

Posted by: TiminPhoenix | April 26, 2007 6:17 PM

If the channel changer was in my control, I'd be watching NOVA and Frontline most nights. Instead, I sat with my 14- and 11-year-olds, who love the show, and they were moved by the images from Africa, and I agreed to give money, and Elliott dashed upstairs and grabbed the laptop computer, and we made a donation together. Yeah, corny, schmaltzy, I'd rather be watching documentaries and volunteering with the family at a soup kitchen. But I don't think this was a bad thing, overall.

Posted by: kbz | April 26, 2007 6:28 PM

so the tv critic is insensitive. big deal. the show was boring, which is the opposite of what television is supposed to accomplish for me. i couldn't help but think of sam kinison's bit where he imitates sally struthers filming a starving child in africa. "the last take was bad! get back in the ditch and we'll give you a snickers bar." no doubt they're trying to do some good, but were we really supposed to believe that ryan seacrest was the african kid's savior? "it's alright, let it out" seacrest said, as the kid cried on his shoulders about his dead parents. and the two met, what, 5 minutes earlier? and he's gone in a couple hours on the next BA first class flight. then consider that all of the donations came from corporate sponsor after corporate sponsor. yeah, exxon is really gonna miss that $5 million or whatever they gave. it's just that the whole thing was totally unbelievable and not entertaining....and i think that was the point the critic was trying to make - that it was a essentially a random series of events tossed into a 2-hour show with one event having little to do with the previous or the next.

Posted by: sg | April 26, 2007 7:08 PM

Uh, those of you tossing around the $30 million dollar figure need to do your math (HappyDad, Sophie's Mom, Steve M, among others). The article says "Fox parent News Corp. has pledged to cough up 10 cents apiece for 50 million of those votes."

50 Million votes x $0.10 per vote = $5 million, NOT $30 million.

Posted by: DCdude | April 26, 2007 7:17 PM

Whoever posted the comment above...this is just sick! Please stop making snark remarks on the defecation process of a fellow human being. The Post readers deserve better!

Posted by: Joe Nash | April 26, 2007 7:51 PM

DCDude -- the $30M figure comes from the sum total of ALL contributions, not just NewsCorp's, up to the time of the show. And with the additional donations made during the show, the number's now up around $60 million:
http://www.americanidol.com/news/view/?pid=765

Posted by: Steve M | April 26, 2007 10:02 PM

You know what I can be as snarky as I want about these "Pat yourself on the back" fests. I am out there giving to my community week in and week out, I give of my time regularly and I give financially when I can. Unlike these alleged stars who show up only when the cameras are rolling and think they have done something great. Or who make millions of dollars a year, yet give a pittance to charity -- if they give at all (becuase there are tons better tax deductions than charitable giving). Ellen gets huge points for ponying up and challenging others to do the same.

Posted by: ep | April 26, 2007 10:12 PM

Actually DCdude, the $5 million was just an individual donation made by one company, News Corp. The total overall is now over $60 million that was given.

Those of you who have commented here and gave money, you truly are an inspiration... and for those of you who didn't, for whatever reason, shame on you.

If you're well off enough to own that computer of yours to make your snide comments without so much of the thought of another human being...well then you don't deserve really anything. Go on living your unfulfilled life and don't bother any of us anymore.

What a great feeling to save a life!

Posted by: JP | April 26, 2007 10:18 PM

aside from not mentioning how great Annie Lennox was, the article was hysterically perfect - excellent! BTW - rock on www.stephaniemiller.com

Posted by: ron gee | April 26, 2007 10:29 PM

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