Psych! Thought this was going to be a recap for Wednesday’s Idol Gives Back show, didn’t you? Well, I suppose I could have industriously taken notes through the bottom-numbing two and a half hours that was IGB and delighted you with tales of AI producers feeling up Brad Pitt onstage and such, but take heart! IGB isn’t just one show and one night, as Ryan Seacrest rather obviously tell us. It goes on, and on, and on, into tonight’s results and presumably, as long as it takes to out-raise last year’s donation total. So for the love of God, please give and stop the madness. We’re 60 million in, only another 16 mill to go to beat IGB 2007. I’m sure the celebrities that have been trotted out the past couple of days have given all they have to give, and are down to only a couple of personal assistants each. Next to go would be the real estate, so save a star’s mansion and please donate whatever spare cash you don’t spend on iTunes downloads.
The Suite Life of Ryan Seacrest
Apparently someone at Disney owes FOX a favor. It’s the only reason I can fathom for the appearance of so many child stars that are near and dear to the hearts of my young daughters. Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, daughter of country-singer-turned-stage-dad Billy Ray Cyrus showed up at IGB last night, and today Zack & Cody take their turn begging for donations. Speaking of Disney, is it me or is Ryan Seacrest starting to resemble Jimmy Neutron? That thing on top of his head is taking on a life of its own. (Actually, Jimmy is a Nickelodeon creation, but I figure both corporations are equally guilty of stealing as many children’s souls that they can get their mass-marketing mitts on.) After the tween-celebrity plug, just when you think that it has to be time start getting to those results that we’ve had to wait an extra day for, we have to sit through video clips of celebrities lip-synching to “I’m A Believer”. Michael Chiklis, Dr. Phil (Dr. Phil?), and the aforementioned Zack & Cody, along with a random bunch of starved-looking actresses, dance awkwardly and grin maniacally at the camera. It’s as trippy as…let’s see…Jason Castro playing a ukulele.
We all know Ryan lives to crush the frail hopes of Idol contestants, so let’s not make him wait through any more IGB highlight clips and allow him to get on to the business of ruining someone’s dream. Brooke White is up first, and she gracelessly sticks her foot in her mouth complaining that she’s going to miss her sister’s wedding on Saturday. Not so fast, nanny-girl – Ryan gets to tell everyone how America voted. Actually, though, this week Ryan relinquishes his results card to Brooke, and she gets to send herself to the sofas of safety. She’s barely stumbled over the first couple of rows when Ryan calls out David Cook, who casts his eyes downward to prove he’s not as pompous/smug/arrogant as Simon thinks he is. Turns out that pompous is the new black, though, because David C. earns the second safe spot of the week. Next up is David Archuleta, but you already knew that because of the ecstatic squeals coming from the studio audience tween set, whose cup has runneth over this week – Miley, The Jonas Brothers, Zack & Cody, now David – you can almost hear those little girls all hitting puberty at the same time. Anyway, David A. is as safe as it’s possible to be, and as he heads over to the sofas I notice that he’s dressed in a polo shirt so ratty that it’s got threads hanging from the torn hem. The kid’s in rags and Carly gets called out for not looking star-like? Simon, you’re fired as captain of the fashion police.
In case the footage of starving street children doesn’t move you, AI is continuing to use celebrity endorsements to convince you to give back a little more. First up tonight is Dr. Phil (Dr. Phil??) and Ricki Lake. If Dr. Phil’s pompous-ness doesn’t move you like David Cook’s does, there’s some heartbreaking film of actor Forest Whitaker and his wife who are with some poverty-stricken youngsters sleeping on the floor of their hovel. It’s all quite upsetting and I can see why Brangelina are so quick to sign adoption papers after visiting these depressed nations.
So if you’re not really, really sad by now, just wait, because reigning American Idol winner Jordin Sparks is performing next. As it turns out, though, Jordin only wants to inspire us to buy her CD, and some good old crass capitalism is a bit of a relief at this point. Jordin is performing “No Air” with someone named Chris Brown. They exchange many smoldering glances and even sing a bit. Ryan then comes rushing out laden with giant picture frames, which represent a gold-selling CD and a million downloads each of “No Air” and “Tattoo”, Jordin’s single. Jordin exclaims happily, and Ryan lets us all know that it’s proof that American Idol “works”.
What else works? How about a slightly threatening Michael Chiklis, who glowers as he demands that we give back yet more. It’s enough to make me yearn for a Ford commercial. How about the top 8 Idols throwing cans of brightly-colored paint on each other, to the tune of “I Just Want To Celebrate”? I won’t even make fun of it this week, if we can just have some results without more angry celebrities demanding money.
We are American Idol, and we heartily endorse all non-partisan ads
Jason Castro wanders onstage, and discusses the price of ukuleles with Ryan. Unbelievably, those suckers can go as high as $600. Presumably, though, Jason can afford it seeing as how he saves so much money not buying shampoo and hairbrushes. Ryan sends Jason over to the sofas so he can nap in peace, and Kristy Lee Cook follows him moments later. And just like that, we discover our bottom three is comprised of perennial B3 dweller Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson, and Michael Johns (Michael Johns???). Ryan rhetorically asks us who got the lowest number of votes, and a dejected-looking Carly waves sadly at the camera.
As there’s still 15 minutes to go, Ryan busts out some more celebrities. First up is Jim Carrey, who actually goes a whole 30 seconds without any mugging or vocal impressions. Next is Bono, who used to be cool until Oprah put her gold Book Club seal of approval on him, and he lets loose with his now-typical stream of self-righteous blather. The Joshua Tree was over 20 years ago and it doesn’t excuse you now, Bono – please get over yourself. Finally, the U.S. presidential candidates get in on the act – Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama (the only one who earns some audience cheers) make painful little jokes and plead for us to vote for them. I mean, donate some money
to their campaignsto the poor kids.
I hear Hillary is really, really good at getting contributions, so shouldn’t they have put her on last? I mean, the person who performs first always gets the least number of votes. Just ask Michael Johns. The judges barely have enough time to express mild surprise at the bottom three when Ryan abruptly announces that Carly and Syesha are safe. Then, in a stunning display of nastiness – even for Ryan – he notes that no one was sent home last year during IGB week. This year, though, it’s tough beans for Michael, because there’ll be none of that second-chance stuff in season 7. I’ll try to get through all five stages of grief as quickly as possible, OK? It can’t be Michael! Not before Syesha! (Denial.) Now I’m livid (Anger) because my eye candy is gone, and also because next week we’ll have to listen to Syesha caterwaul her way through some Mariah Carey. But maybe if I donate some cash to IGB, they’ll let Michael stay another week. (Bargaining.) Oh, what’s the use? There’s six more weeks to go before we’ll see Michael again. (Depression.) No, wait. Those six weeks will fly quickly by, and maybe David Cook will be there for all of them. It’ll be OK. The season can still be salvaged. (Acceptance.) Thanks, Dr. Phil, I’m glad you showed up tonight after all.
How much would you pay for a ukulele? PM me.