Last night was the insanely over-hyped American Idol charity show. For over two months Ryan has crowed on and on about how it's going to be a star-studded spectacular, how there are going to be so many awesome celebrities appearing on the show, and that there will be a lot of great performances.
After watching the 2-hour snorefest, I have one word for Mr. Seacrest: Baloney.
I feel sorry for the poor saps in the audience who thought they would see performers like Celine Dion, Josh Groban, and Annie Lennox live on stage, the joke was on them. Most of the "real" artists performed in the Walt Disney Music Hall (not where the judges and contestants were). Hell, Celine's "historical performance" with Elvis was one big joke. Oooooh, behold the magic of blue-screen technology! Please. Twenty years ago Paula Abdul danced with a cartoon cat. This was more or less the same thing.
Not even the past Idol winners made an appearance in the same locale as the judges. Apparently still allergic to anything connected with the show, Kelly Clarkson stayed far away from the judges, performing instead at the Mouse's music house. Carrie Underwood wasn't even there, submitting instead a music video featuring her surrounded by starving African children.
At least the folks in the AI theater got to see Tenacious D. Granted, it was just Jack Black on stage while Kyle Glass sat in the audience, pretending to be overwhelmed with awe as Jack sang "Kiss From a Rose." I admit that I was laughing heartily during that skit. Loved the Seal cameo. Who was the chick next to him? She didn't look like his wife.
That being said, most of the performances were really good. The guys from Earth, Wind, and Fire must be 65 years old, but they move around like they're in their thirties. Kelly was wonderful, and it was very cool having the legendary Jeff Beck playing guitar for her. Annie Lennox has still got it after all these years. I enjoyed her soulful performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." She's starting to look like Dame Helen Mirren though. And oh my, Josh Groban puts Clay Aiken, Michael Buble, and especially Il Divo, to shame. He is so freaking awesome. Speaking of Il Divo, does that name translate to, "Creepy-looking guys" in English? Because it was like getting eye-boinked by four Constantines at once. Yurgh.
It was fun seeing all the celebrity cameos. I thought their little "Stayin' Alive" montage was very cute. But again though, not one of them was actually there. Then again, I should have known better. There's no way in hell that people like Gwenyth Paltrow, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Tom Cruise, Forest Whitaker, and Madonna would ever set foot on that stage and mingle with the teeming masses. Hell, even Bono barely made an appearance, and he was supposedly the contestants' mentor this week.
And is it just me, or did some folks who were supposed to show up cancel at the last minute? I recall Ryan mentioning weeks ago that "Borat", Pink, and Gwen Stefani were supposed to appear. None of the three were there, not even in a video.
And now, for some random thoughts…
• Oh, holy hell, Tom from MySpace was in the audience. You know who Tom is – he's your very first friend when you register for an account. God, he must be crazy rich now.
• Who else caught that Rob Schneider introduced himself as "Adam Sandler"? Hee!
• The Ben Stiller skit got old quickly.
• At long last, we got to hear Simon sing! I don't care if it was a Simpsons version of him, that was hilarious!
• Oh look, Madonna's planning on kidnapping more African children.
• The stories of the woman who died of AIDS and the little boy who died from malaria were heart-wrenching.
• Ellen DeGeneres said that she donated $100,000 to the charities. Like Ryan, I'd like to know how much Simon donated, as well as everyone else associated with the show.
• It would have been nice to see just how exactly Bono mentored the contestants. Did he even, really? Or did he just lecture them on the importance of charity?
Speaking of the contestants, this was still a results show, right? Yep, almost forgot about that. By the way, how terribly lame to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the results by revealing each contestant's fate every 20 minutes. Anywho, at the start of the show, Ryan announced that the show would feature "the most shocking results ever." Naturally, I feared for Melinda being kicked out. When I found out she was safe, I then wondered if it would be Blake. Nope, safe as well. Oh no, it can't be Jordin. That's impossible. When Ryan announced that Phil and LaKisha were safe, my fears about Jordin increased. I felt so bad for the poor girl after Ryan asked her and Chris to stand, then proclaiming that Chris was safe.
It never occurred to me that "shocking results" meant one of two things: either someone spectacular was going home (e.g. Melinda), or that no one was going home. After reading several AI blogs, I realized that I was the only numbnut who didn't consider option number two.
Yep, everyone was spared tonight, in the name of charity I guess. However, Ryan said that this week's votes will be added to next week's, and that TWO people will be leaving next week.
Phil and Chris, that's your cue to pack your bags.