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American Idol: Giving til it hurts

Your friendly neighborhood recappers managed to score a set of tickets to "Idol Gives Back." The videos were heartbreaking and the stories of courage were inspiring. But we're here to make fun of people. Let the hijinks ensue.

Related links: Season Pass

Your friendly neighborhood recappers managed to score a set of tickets to “Idol Gives Back.” The videos were heartbreaking and the stories of courage were inspiring. But we’re here to make fun of people. Let the hijinks ensue.

We really were provided with the full spectrum of talent. And the better perfs were a stark reminder of just what’s missing from “Idol” this season. Star power.

The Good

Erin: The evening kicked off with the would-be “Idol” singing Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” to a bunch of breakdancers from “So You Think You Can Dance.” While the dancers were good, I couldn’t help but wonder why they couldn’t utilize the talents of “America’s Best Dance Crew.” My sis pointed out that it’s not like Fysh N’ Chicks are doing anything right now or recently competed in a reality show where they won anything. It’s not like I’m asking for them to bring out JabbaWockeeZ, but I’m pretty sure that BreakSk8 are free, unless they got that callback for the stage version of “Xanadu.”

Kathy: At least they didn’t let the Idols, or as I like to call them “The Elaine Benes 8ight” do their own moves.

Erin: The Fergie and Heart pairing inspired. First off, since Carly managed to sing a large portion of the Heart catalog over the past season, this left only one Heart song to cover: “Barracuda.” Throw in Fergie and her one-handed somersaults that she learned in her “Kids Inc.” days, and you have gold, my friend. Pure gold.

Kathy: My first thought when Fergie came out was “Does this mean Josh Duhamel is here?” My second thought was “Those rubber leggings are pretty hot” followed closely by “Her body is sick!” I must admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Ferg but I am now. The girl’s got pipes. And she could probably join Cirque du Soleil with those moves!

The ethereal, magical, transcendent Annie Lennox, singing Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross.” Perfection!

Mariah closed the show. Girl looks hot! She’s not only lost weight, she’s toned. The gay contingent went nuts.

Sarah Silverman was funny. Jimmy Kimmel, not so much.

Carrie Underwood: Wearing an iridescent dress that reminded Erin of a ghetto auto paint job. Sometimes gold, sometimes pink. All she needed was spinning hubcaps to complete the look. But she sure can sing.

Not sure where to put Miley Cyrus. I’m sure the 12-year-olds in the aud were thrilled but her magic doesn’t work on me. Of course, in my generation, it was Debbie Gibson so I have no room to talk. I will say, as someone old enough to be her mother, she’s a little too sexualized for a 15-year-old.

As Daughtry performed in Africa, one thought occurred to me: “How the hell did Taylor Hicks beat him in season 5?”

The Bad

Erin: Did you know that you can have videos of celebs and bands, and that counts as an appearance? According to the “Idol” website, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connolly, Celine Dion, Chris Daughtry and Forest Whitaker would partake in the festivities, but all we got were videos. Using this logic, I would like to say that thanks to my DVD collection and YouTube, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Daniel-Day Lewis, Debbie Harry and the entire cast of 1981’s “Circus of the Stars” will be attending my Seder.

While watching Bono talks about the plight in Africa, Kathy leaned over me and whispered the immortal words, “He looks exactly like Robin Williams.’ And he does. And it was scary.

Kathy: I can’t even look at him anymore

Erin: Using Paula and Randy to chat about America’s obesity issue was probably not the greatest call on the part of the producers. While Randy is not as large and in charge as he used to be, he’s also not ready for a photo spread in “Men’s Fitness.” Paula attempted to play basketball in her video, but it was apparent that she took her meds before she decided to partake in physical activity.

Kathy: And didn’t Paula famously suffer from bulimia? Nice couple of role models for the kids there producers.

Erin: Robin Williams’ interminable “comedy” bit about Russian Idol. I didn’t realize that it’s OK now to poke fun of an entire nation of people in a dated and confusing manner. Isn’t Moscow one of the most expensive cities in the world now? It seems to me that Mother Russia is doing just fine and dandy. I almost expected him to break out the Ethiopian jokes.

Kathy: Can we create another category beyond “bad.” First of all, he stole Variety editor Tim Gray’s joked “Putin on the Ritz.” That was a Weekly Variety headline about six weeks ago. The rest of his shtick was from 1984 and was not only one of the unfunniest things ever seen on stage but it seemed in especially poor taste when you’re trying to give the audience a taste of people in need worldwide. Ugh.

Robin Williams, Jim Carrey (via video), Rob Schneider (via video),David Spade. Were they just deliberately trying to round up everyone who irritates me? Where’s Tom Green while you’re at it?

By the way, is some of the money going to go toward feeding Posh?

Erin: While I’m sure that Gloria Estefan has a strong and apparently loyal fan base that have kept her in bedazzled crop coats and leggings throughout the years, her appearance rivaled that of a top performance of a family act from Disneyland’s Tomorrowland stage. To her credit, she didn’t sing either “Conga” or “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You.” On the bright side, it was nice to see Sheila E again.

Kathy: Gloria really started off the second half with a fizzle.

Missing in Action

Erin:The “Idol” site also promised Amy Adams, Ashley Tisdale and Maroon 5, but we didn’t even get a vid. They might edit it in before the telecast, but still…

Kathy: Hey wasn’t that Ashley Tisdale in a video with Vanessa Hudgins? Or am I getting my Ashleys who’ve recently had nosejobs mixed up?

Erin: Oh wait, you’re right. I forgot about that.

The Bloopers

Erin:Reese Witherspoon was called up to the stage to talk about the charity she was supporting when a technical error ruined her initial take: “Pretend you never saw me.” Adorable.

Kathy: She’s so darn cute I can hardly stand it.

Erin: Brad Pitt also had a few tech issues. As the femme tech walked out on stage to fix his mike, she shouted to the aud, “I just wanted to touch him.”

Kathy: Hey, they left that in!

The Ugly

While I generally accept people from all walks of life, I must say that I’m now scared for the younger generation. As a hoard of younguns passed Kath and I dressed in bedazzled cropped jackets and matching leggings, the initial thought would be that they would eventually take the stage in some kiddie dance routine. But I soon realized that it was a group of BFFs whose Alpha Dog leader dragged the rest of the group into her tragic fashion decisions.

Nixed from the broadcast:

John Legend and Fergie’s solo perf.

Also the vids from the three presidential candidates. At the Kodak, Obama and Clinton got about an equal amount of cheers while McCain’s initial cheers were drowned out by raucous boos.

Filmed at another time at the “Idol” studio:

A Carrie Underwood/”Desperate Housewives” skit with Teri Hatcher singing Carrie’s “Before He Cheats” with the Band From TV. For this they nixed John Legend?

The Idols manning the phones. Hey look, it’s Amanda!

The Idols performing “A Year in the Life” from “Rent.”

American Idol: Giving til it hurts


Cast: Related links: Season Pass

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