'Idol Gives Back' ... and no one goes home

Tonight on American Idol, it's "Idol Gives Back," which will be raising money for poverty relief and also, eventually revealing who is getting sent home.

Host Ryan Seacrest messes up the intro and redoes it because hey, live TV, you can do what you want. He calls it the "most shocking result in our history," which immediately has me worried for Fort Meade's LaKisha Jones. He also adds that more than 70 million votes were cast last night. They are also raising money all night tonight (see if you want to donate).


Ryan passes it over to Ellen DeGeneres, who introduces Earth, Wind and Fire.

The next segment revisits the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Randy Jackson goes all over New Orleans to talk to people there. He goes to a "FEMA Park," what was supposed to be a temporary housing shelter after Katrina, but people are still living there, and also visits a battered community center where Save the Children holds programs for the kids.


Ryan introduces "Time to Care," a new track from producer Quincy Jones. Ryan also says this and other live performances from this evening will be available for purchase tomorrow. The Top Six came out to sing the song. They actually blend pretty well and all sing strongly.

In case you were wondering what the celebrities were going to be doing, Eric McCormack implores people to give, saying that if everyone who ever voted for Sanjaya gave $1, "we could do so much good."

After the break, Ben Stiller does a bit about bad satellite connections and implores people to vote and sings badly.

Next, it's more footage from Ryan and Simon's trip to Kenya. They talk to a 12-year-old boy whose parents passed away and who lives alone in a room with his 7-year-old sister, taking care of both of them. It's heart-breaking.

Back to Ben, still singing badly, and he even does a little Blake Lewis impression.

Teri Hatcher says: Give.

Forest Whitaker visits Uganda and says thanks to those who are donating.

Ryan goes to the six contestants and starts the process of culling. He starts with Melinda Doolittle. She is safe.


Next, Paula goes to L.A.'s Boys and Girls Club and talks to some kids there, including a little girl who starts crying when talking about how hard her mother works.

Back to Ellen, who introduces Il Divo to sing.

Dr. Phil says: Give.

Jack Black comes out and sings "Kiss From a Rose" to Kyle Gass in the audience. Then he gets judged, and Simon tells him he was better than Sanjaya (who laughs it up in the audience, showing more animation and emotion than he ever did on stage). He says if Seal was there, he would say how great it was. Hey, Seal is there! And he says it was great.

Back to the contestants. Blake Lewis is safe.

Next is a video of Carrie Underwood singing in Africa.


Back to Ellen, who says she talked to Sanjaya, and he said No. 1, deep condition, and No. 2, donate. Then she introduces Rascal Flatts.

Hey, it's Tom, everyone's friend on MySpace, which has partnered with the Idol Gives Back movement.

Next, there is a segment on poverty in Eastern Kentucky and how in need they are of literacy programs.

Then there's the usual Ford commercial with the contestants, followed by stars singing "Stayin Alive." In case you were wondering what Helen Mirren was going to do on the show, now you know. Also spotted: Mickey Dolenz, Marc Anthony, Kevin Bacon, Keira Knightley, the Madden Bros., Rob Lowe, Jason Biggs, Hugh Grant, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and more. It;s pretty funny and will be downloadable on iTunes, with the money going to the charity.

Phil Stacey is safe.

Next is another segment of Simon and Ryan's trip to Africa. Fourteen people, including 10 AIDS orphans, live in a room the size of a tent. Then, they visit some people who are suffering from AIDS, including a woman who is in such bad shape that they take her to the hospital immediately, but she died two days later. It's rough.


Back to Ellen, who says she is donating $100,000 and challenges other stars to do the same. Josh Groban then sings "You Raise Me Up" backed by the African Children's Choir.

Next is a segment about the fight against malaria in Africa.

Then Ellen introduces Kelly Clarkson, who comes out to sing.

The Ben Stiller segment continues. Then the Simpsons judge the judges.

LaKisha Jones is safe.

Next is a segment about arts and crafts kits for kids in the U.S.


Then "American Idol 1968," with Celine and ... Elvis? OK, it's a duet thanks to special effects.

Next, Madonna visits Malawi and implores people to give.

Ryan says nearly $30 million has been raised thus far.

Back to Ellen, who introduces Annie Lennox to sing.

Chris Richardson and Jordin Sparks are in the hot seat. Chris is safe, and so is Jordin.

So ... there it is: No one is going home.


This week's votes will be added to next week's and they will send home the bottom two.

Lastly, the finalists are all singing "American Prayer," and Bono walks in. He talks to them not about singing, but about ending poverty. They sing the song live to close the show.

And there you have it.