After all the hype about Idol Gives Back week, I had no idea that I would waste two hours watching video taped performances, some pretty lame skits and end up with no result. That wasn't a shocker as Cresty suggested. It was an absolute rip-off and beneath the dignity of this competition. Someone needed to go and now we have to wait another week. Simply outrageous and a total distortion of the process. 70 million votes, $30 million donated and all we got was the dirty trick at the end where for one brief moment, it seemed that Jordin would be singing us out. Simply unacceptable and I don't care that two will go next week. I don't care that this was a charity event.
I actually thought things were going well in America again. Rosie O'Donnell got trumped at the View and Alec Baldwin cried in an interview with her about the inequality of California divorce laws. He even suggested that he might leave the country for a while. Finally, after all this, the child-abusing Leftist decided to fulfill his promise to leave America. Instead of making a donation to Idol Gives Back, I think I'll be the first in line the buy him a ticket to Iran on Bin Laden Airlines.
On a more serious note, although I was disappointed by the show, I can't underestimate how heart wrenching it was to watch those video clips of children living in abject poverty. Even the unflappable Simon broke down when he heard about 12-year old Groeman who at 12 was raising his sister Violet since both their parents died of AIDS. Although my junior blogger quipped that Simon was just freaked out because he is used to "fancy suites," I think we finally got to see his human side. I don't know how she became so cynical. We also saw disturbing clips that were raw and emotional. When young Ruth passed away and Emma suffered from the ravages of this disease, I felt compelled to make a donation, despite the fact that I had to be subjected to more than one appearance by Teri Hatcher, who looked like a transy.
If Ellen can put up $100,000, we can all do our part. I would also like to extend a special shout out to her for guest hosting. She certainly improved since the Oscars and it is always nice to see a sincere and honorable person who seems to care about people, unlike that horrible British wannabee. Indeed, I refer to Madonna who video taped a message from Africa asking for our support. I guess some people will do anything to get themselves in the news and compete with Angelina Jolie. When will these Hollywood elites stop stealing babies from Africa? With parenting skills like that of Alec Baldwin, these kids are better off in Africa than in the lush surroundings of the Hollywood Hills. The dreadful Gwyneth Paltrow also did a cameo, which was a surprise. Why would she have anything to do with a show as American as Idol? From her recent statements, I thought she was too much of an intellectual for America.
Ryan and Simon weren't the only ones lending a hand to these unfortunates. Paula visited the poor of LA at the Boys & Girls Club, which was run by Melba Culpepper, who seemed like the salt of the earth. When that poor little girl cried to Paula about how her mother couldn't pay the bills, we all wept with her, except for my junior blogger who said, "So! Where is Kelly?" We also got treated to the Deliverance boy again, Travis, from Kentucky who was learning to read from the hill-billy handbook. I also want give props to Paula for the way she has improved as a judge this season. She may stumble over her words at times, but she has obviously tackled the demons that have besieged her in the past.
As for Ben Stiller, what was that all about? I understand that he has supported the show and was even in the audience a few times in the past, but that was not funny at all. Where was Borat when you needed him? Wasn't he supposed to be there? At least Jack Black was funny and as noted by Simon, his rendition of Kiss By a Rose was better than Sanjaya who was in the house with his sultry sister.
Speaking of missing celebrities, wasn't Gwen Stefani, Pink and Michael Buble supposed to be there? Why did they promise so much, yet deliver so little? Let's not even discuss the over-hyped and taped duet with Celine Dion. Everyone in the free world who reads at the supermarket check-out counter knows that the King is still alive. A shout out to Elvis! Of course, he was fantastic and I'm glad he's finally back down to his fighting weight. As for Celine, there is nothing to say, except yuck! When Ryan was in the audience trying to explain the Star Wars-like special effects to a hapless girl, I wondered if Ashley's even dimmer little sister had gotten a ticket.
Randy Jackson may be repetitive and silly, but his visit to the ravaged FEMA trailer park with Edna and her six kids made some great TV. Those poor kids live in a crime-ridden cesspool and no one does a thing, except for Idol. Were is George Clooney now? At his luxury estate in Italy? That must have meant a lot to have an esteemed judge like Randy at your home. At the Fox network, those in need don't just get lip service. They get special notice on America's most watched TV show.
As for the celebrity appearances, I want to note some of the highlights:
The Best Vocal of the Night: At first I was mad as hell that Carrie wasn't there live, but her video clip established what kind of woman she is. It was moving, gripping and beautiful. Her performance of I'll Stand By You was better than the original.
The Best Performance by a Senior Citizen: Although she is not Clay Aiken, Annie Lennox's soulful rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water was like butter. She really brought down the house, unlike Earth, Wind and Fire. Why a montage of songs? When they started off with Boogie Wonderland, I wanted to get down, but they had to ruin it by switching to When You Wish Upon a Star and September. However, if Sanjaya really wanted to have a hair style that would have stood the test of time, the lead singer really had it going on. But time has not been kind to these guys, which may explain why they couldn't sing a song all the way through. At that age, it may be too hard to remember the words.
The Most Emotional Performance: Josh Grobin's performance of You Raise Me Up, accompanied by the African Children's Choir, was powerful and there was not a dry eye in the house after that. Those children broke my heart and filled my world with hope and joy. A shout out to Josh! That was certainly better than when Michael Buble subbed for Tony Bennett and appeared drunk on stage.
The Fattest Performance of the Night: I hate to say this since I thought it was an Idol highlight when Gary Levox of Rascal Flats performed with Carrie Underwood in Season 4. But that guy needs a trainer and the song, My Wish, stank. They might consider re-naming the group to Rascal Fat!
Best Performance by Mannequins: Although Il Divo was created by Simon, I found them highly disturbing. Are they real people? On stage, they looked like mannequins in an S&M shop on Christopher Street. I'm still creeped out by their performance of Somewhere and hope they return to their home planet Faggdar.
There are no words that can capture how I felt seeing Kelly Clarkson back on stage singing Up to the Mountain. Once again, her vocals were contained, beautiful and haunting. She infuses her music with loss and longing. At the tender age of 25, who would have thought that this innocent country girl could capture the emotions of the night? However, her outfit was terrible. My junior blogger wasn't impressed at all by her and screamed at the end, "What a rip off! Not funky at all!" But I couldn't disagree more.
The Staying Alive celebrity montage was pointless and if these Hollywood elites want to pimp their wares on the show, the least they could do is show up live. But I guess they deserve some props for supporting this worthy cause. I also want to extend a special shout out to Hugh Grant and some support in light of his recent arrest in London for throwing baked beans at a photographer. Doesn't he deserve just a little privacy?
The ever elusive guest mentor Bono appeared with the hopefuls for about three seconds and he blathered on about his message of hope. He's just a little too self-righteous for my tastes and his song, American Prayer, wasn't all that. The hopefuls closed the show with it, but even with the all white attire, the performance didn't move me. Equally bland was the Quincy Jones medley of Time To Care. As I watched them perform, I thought the Brady's had returned. At least the Ford Commercial, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, was fun. It was one of the best ever, but it still didn't convince me to buy a mustang. I still remember the pinto.
Next week, things will be back to normal, but with two eliminations. At the same time, Idol touches all aspects of our life and even extends its helping hand to the less fortunate, unlike most of the Hollywood elites. But Idol doesn't just infuse our popular culture, it also sometimes shows up on our doorsteps. In my apartment building in NYC, Fantasia was spotted visiting a dentist's office in the lobby. I'm so excited right now I don't know what to say and she apparently will make many visits since she has dental issues. I want to scream, but rather than disturb people, I'll just crack my tooth. Wouldn't it be a treat to see a star like that at the Dentist? She might even sing Summertime for me and my junior blogger.
Until next week,
Maniac - - out