"American Idol" Keeps On Giving, Whacks Aussie
After a day's delay so "American Idol" could bring you the Miley Cyrus Queen of All Media Telethon, one of the Idolettes is gonna go.
First, show host Ryan Seacrest, who's hair keeps getting pointier, takes us on a walk down memory lane in re the night before. Ben Stiller wants to raise a googillion dollars, Robin Williams grabs judge Simon Cowell's heinie, Jimmy Kimmel makes fun of Cowell's man-breasts, Annie Lennox acts like an adult and sings a touching song as befits the occasion, everything that comes near Miley gets sucked into her Circle of Self-Absorption, girls swoon over Brad Pitt.
So far "Idol Gives Back" has raised more than $60 million for needy children, Seacrest announces, noting you can still make contributions -- indefinitely, it would seem.
In addition to being results night, this is also "IGB Flotsam & Jetsam Night," when we get to see all of the bits that did not make the fundraising celebrithon. It's like a master class in TV Extravaganza Editing.
Among the leftovers: A surprisingly roly-poly Zack & Cody read the toll-free phone number on the screen and urging viewers to make a contribution, followed closely by the traditional Celebrity Lip-Synch Dance Off. This time it's to the tune "I'm a Believer" -- featuring the likes of Camryn Manheim, Dr. Phil, Eddie Izzard, Michael Chiklis and Ricki Lake, but is won by the ever-adorable Selma Blair by virtue of her extra bouncy hair.
Seacrest announces 31 million votes were cast in the competition this week -- this season's biggest haul.
He orders the lights dimmed and Nanny Brooke is called out on stage. "You were emotional" on the performance night, Seacrest says. Hello? What night isn't she emotional? This week it's because her sister is getting married on Saturday and she's not going to be there, she says. Realizing her mistake, she quickly says she doesn't know what's going to happen on "Idol" and maybe she will be at the wedding, and she doesn't want to be presumptuous, and "let's find out." Seacrest hands her her results card to read and, no surprise, she's safe and her sister's wedding will be Nanny Brooke weep-free.
Coroner Munchkin is out next, breathing worry-feigning sighs. Seacrest asks him about Simon having said his performance was pompous. CM notes Simon also called him arrogant and smug, which sounded like another way of saying "Simon's an ass." Simon begins to boo. Seacrest says CM is safe; CM gives a big ol' melodramatic sigh and heads to the Sofa of Safety.
This year's winner David Archuleta is also through to the next round which stands to reason.
It's time for Forest Whitaker's second video -- the first one made "IGB" night. This one: a child in Angola who lost his mother and spends his days helping his blind father, who lost his sight in a land-mine explosion.
The emotional documentary is followed immediately by last year's "Idol" winner Jordin Sparks duet/emoting with Chris Brown, after which some of her fans are brought on stage bearing framed platinum records to mark her having hit one million downloads of two tunes, and a gold album for the half-million sales of her debut CD.
"Thank you, guys!" Jordin gushes.
"I think the message here is 'American Idol' works!" Seacrest emotes. Yup, that will sure stop all the talk about the "Idol" winners who've recently lost their record deals.
Michael Chiklis says he'll come to your house and break down your door if you don't call the toll-free number on the screen and pledge some money.
This week's Ford Music Video involves being behind the wheel of some Ford sedan and deliberately skidding the car on a surface that's been doused with gallons of paint, so as to make a picture -- ironically while the song about just wanting to celebrate another day of living is playing. Of course, it's more fun if done while smoking and drinking, kids, but Ford's got no product in those categories so you'll just have to use your imagination.
Jason Castro and Seacrest debate the price of ukuleles and then Jason is sent to the sofa of safety. Likewise Kristy Lee Cook. That leaves Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson and Michael Johns in the Bottom Three.
Wow, Jim Carrey did not make "IGB" night -- and they owed him after he agreed to sit in the "Idol" audience a while back, dressed like an elephant to plug the new Fox animated flick "Horton Hears a Who!" He urges viewers to donate more money, after which Seacrest says "Idol Gives Back" isn't about one show or one night and Bono will explain. Bono, by video from Africa, tells us the three U.S. presidential candidates keep talking about "imagining a new America" and the America he's a fan of is one that picks up the phone and writes checks and sends in their pocket money to help needy people via his group one.org (which is part of "Idol Gives Back").
It's a clunky segue for the three presidential wannabes, who are finally getting their call-to-action closeups on "American Idol" after not making the cut to appear the night before.
The good news: They are reaching a larger audience on the results show than they would have during the celebrity-encrusted telethon for needy children. The "IGB" broadcast clocked about 17.7 million viewers -- a low number for an "Idol" broadcast these days.
With Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a fight to the finish for the Democratic nomination, neither dares risk showing any crack in the veneer. It's all "collectively we can make the world a better place and we can give our children a brighter future," "when ordinary people come together they can do extraordinary things," and "I hope that everyone watching will make a contribution to 'Idol Gives Back' and help make this world a more just, more equal and more hopeful place to live."
John McCain, on the other hand, has the GOP nomination sewn up, so he can show a pulse:
"'American Idol' is a lot like a presidential primary election. Except for people who live in Michigan and Florida -- their votes will actually count!"
Then he gives his "when Americans unite as one, and our generosity and compassion are unleashed the results are nothing short of remarkable" shout-out. But he follows with, "As for me, it's back to work on my new immigration plan. Watch your back, Simon!"
McCain wins -- no contest.
Those were America's three top politicians -- and these are "American Idol's" bottom three, Seacrest segues, demonstrating for the googillionth time this edition why he's gonna walk away with that very first Primetime Emmy Award for best performance by a reality-series host.
Syesha and Carly are -- safe! In this edition's first genuine voting surprise, Michael Johns gets the hook after landing in the bottom three for the first time.
After he is tagged the lowest vote-getter, Seacrest tortures Michael a while, with some blah, blah, blah about how last year during "IGB" week, the show decided to spare the Idolette who'd gotten the lowest vote and instead combine the votes with the next week's and whack the two lowest vote-getters.
This year, Seacrest says -- no dice.
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