This week was “Idol Gives Back” on American Idol. I was really stoked about this show. There were all sorts of guest performances lined up for the big give, and I couldn’t wait to see them. I was especially stoked about Queen Latifah co-hosting in the Pasadena location. She is so fun to watch and she didn’t disappoint. I don’t know what she was doing to entertain her audience in between shots to her studio, but they were lively over there.
It’s really funny to me that Lindsey Parker said in her Yahoo! Music blog, “Reality Rocks” that “skinny Victoria Beckham, looking like a Third World famine victim herself as she ironically rambled about the dangers of malnutrition,” seemed awkward. That was exactly what was going through my head as she sat onstage looking more gaunt and plastic than ever. She’s the last person I would trust on nutrition.
Victoria Beckham’s chat with Ryan Seacrest was one of the many slow, awkward, over-done and way-too-long-lasting moments in the show. For example, the repartee between Russell Brand and Jonah Hill was sort of funny, but there was way too much time spent on their silly, non-productive phone-room skit.
Finally, the show brings out the first musical performance – The Black-Eyed Peas. And oh my, what in the world happened there? Their performance of “Rock That Body” was one big disaster… so disappointing.But they weren’t the only disappointments of the night.
I realize that the point of “Idol Gives Back” is to bring the troubles of the world into our living rooms and open our eyes to the things going on in other parts of the world. “Idol Gives Back” raises money for several wonderful organizations. But this is starting to become more like a telethon than an American Idol show.
Some amazing performances on the show from Joss Stone with Jeff Beck, Annie Lennox, Sir Elton John and “Stairway to Heaven” performed by Mary J. Blige with the all-star band (including Steve Vai, Orianthi, Travis Barker and Randy Jackson) really kept the show movin’ and rockin’ between the rest of the slow-moving segments. Too bad there weren’t more of these performances on the show.
In another note, Alicia Keys sounded like she was having trouble with her voice. It even cut out in the beginning of her two-song performance. I’m a huge Alicia Keys fan but her performance seemed really weak and tiresome. I hope this isn’t a serious problem for her in the future.
So the show came down to the last minutes with Tim Urban, Casey James and Aaron Kelly in the bottom three. It’s sad; I had nearly forgotten we still had an elimination to go through. Then Ryan announced that the one leaving the show was Teflon Tim. After a respectable run on the show, considering the unlikely way he got into the top 24, he leaves AI almost as an after-thought and doesn’t even get to sing his final song. Tim got snubbed and then he really got snubbed.
I can’t understand why, after doing this for so many years, American Idol always runs over its two-hour time slot. As an avid TIVO user, this is really annoying. The end of the show gets cut off every time. Why can’t they get their timing down? It’s a mystery, I assume. But I have to say that it’s one of those little pet-peeves I’ve always had about this show. (I’ve said my piece and I’ll stop ranting now.)
I was not a big fan of Tim Urban and he definitely over-stayed his time on AI. He was weaker vocally than the other folks remaining. But I could have seen Aaron Kelly leave and be happier about that choice than Tim. And now we are left without that Teflon smile that was always nice to see.
Next week on American Idol we will see our remaining six contestants sing Shania Twain songs. I’m not sure how that will go over – I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
*If you would like to donate to any of the charities supported by “Idol Gives Back” click on any of these links – The Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save The Children, and the United Nations Foundation