"Idol Gives Back" aired Wednesday night on Fox. The "American Idol" charity special went a little more than 20 minutes past its two-hour time frame. It was filmed at the main "Idol" stage, as well as the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
In addition to Tim Urban's elimination, the show featured footage of domestic and international charities. Among the night's most random guest stars: Octomom Nadya Suleman and last season's Tatiana Del Toro.
The musical performances covered a pretty wide spectrum. Here's a recap:
I'm all for variety, but... It was hard to find altruistic value in the Black Eyed Peas' performance of "Rock That Body." Fembots and a leotard-clad Fergie aren't exactly the best way to highlight malaria's severity.
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You worked it out, dawg. When Mary J. Blige sang "Stairway to Heaven," she performed with an all-star band that included musicians like Travis Barker, Orianthi and..."Idol" judge Randy Jackson on guitar. My assessment: He did his thing.
Right song, wrong time. As "Idol Gives Back" approached, many of us eagerly awaited Elton John's performance. But when he started singing "Your Song," Wednesday's show was already 10 minutes past the two-hour mark. Scheduling FAIL.
Listen up, Top 6. The Joss Stone/Jeff Beck "I Put a Spell on You" duet featured genuine energy, attitude and emotion. Hopefully "Idol" contestant Casey James took notes.
Keys goes off-key. After her mentor role this week, I had high hopes for Alicia Keys' live performances on Wednesday. But her first song, "Un-Thinkable," lacked the "wow" factor she encouraged the Idols to create. Fortunately, things got a little better when she sang "Empire State of Mind, Part 2."
Ah, Carrie Underwood. Sure, her song -- "Change" -- reeked of sappiness. Still, it was hard to dislike Underwood. Especially when she announced that for every one of her concert tickets sold, she'll give 36 cents to Save the Children.
OK, I'll donate my lunch money! Just when I had my doubts about "Idol Gives Back," Annie Lennox saved the show. She was stranded in London because of the volcanic ash, but still performed a beautiful ballad while wearing a shirt that said "HIV Positive." She often wears the shirt to raise awareness of the condition. Also, it was hard not to cry during the accompanying footage of Lennox and a child affected by HIV/AIDS.