Thursday, April 26, 2007
'Idol' takes the cheesy way out
From CNN.com Special Projects producer -- and "American Idol" fan -- Steve Almasy:

Well, I should have seen that coming.

In a rare occurrence, no one got kicked off "American Idol" last night. In hindsight, it should have been easy to predict, and I did in fact read prognostications in a few places Wednesday afternoon that it didn't make sense to vote anyone off. But did the producers have to scare the crap out of Jordin Sparks?

Wow, by the end of the broadcast last night, Idol Gives Back had raised more than $30 million, according to host Ryan Seacrest. That is amazing, even if it does include the $5 million pledged by the parent company of "Idol" and other millions from other sponsors. Kudos to Ellen DeGeneres for donating 100 large and challenging all her rich friends to do the same. Let's hope Randy, Paula and Simon were listening.

There were some interesting moments from the show. It was cheesy, but I really liked the Celine Dion-Elvis Presley duet using a hologram or some such special effect of the deceased legend (that would be Elvis). But my favorite part was Josh Groban singing with the kids from Africa. I started to tear up. I think the song, "You Raise Me Up," will be/is available on iTunes. It’s worth the download.

The "Idol" kids did their part with a group song by Quincy Jones. Well, it wasn't "We Are The World," and they ain't the Osmonds or the Jacksons. (Some of us are thankful for that on all counts.) So we can just stop the ensemble numbers. I know they do this most weeks; I just usually fast-forward through 'em. Maybe they can bring back Jack Black to sing each week ...

On to Coach Bon Jovi and rock week. Who do you think that favors?

- Steve Almasy
I feel cheated--someone should have been voted off. Yes, it was wonderful that all that money was raised for charity, but I thought American Idol was a singing competition, not a fund-raising operation. I think "Idol Gives Back" was one big DIG US event. They deceptively stretched out the show for two hours only to end without what we were all waiting for. We were all used.
I have to disagree with you on one point... the 'duet' completely ruined the show for me. The Nobody's leaving was cheesy, especially since next week 2 are leaving. The Josh Grobin segment, Earth Wind and fire, everything was on, and really had me, until that dreaded 'duet'. That, in my opinion was beyond, well, just horrid. I love Elvis, would have been happy with them just replaying, and re-releasing his song, but to add Celine freekin Dion... uggh.

It was bad enough when John Wayne was pushing Coors light, now this. Just because you can do something... doesn't mean you should.
Why didn't they just come out and say it was a telethon instead of going thru the ritual of who or who is not going to leave.
Did not enjoy watching the show last night.
Nasty stunt to pull on a 17 year old. Asking Melinda to choose the winners and losers the week before was tasteless and tacky. What they did last night was cruel. Ryan Seacrest and the producers owe Jordin a public apology. In fact, they owe one to all sis.
I blogged last night and read the reviews today. It was a telethon and they should have called it a telethon not a results show. The results show could have waited until next week. I went to you-know-what to see the clips...sorry but I cannot invest 2 hours in event TV anymore. As for AI, it's a well produced manipulative TV show that I watch - occasionally - but don't get caught up in it like I used to.
And why are they still giving a shout-out to Sanjaya? If Idol paid him for everytime they mentioned his name he would be rich.
I could care less who does well during rock week. As long as I get lo look at Jon Bon Jovi for one whole hour, everything is perfect in my world.

PS...GO JORDIN!!!
I disagree that they scared Jordin. After Ryan told Chris he was safe, at no time did Jordin have that "OMG I can't believe I'm going home" look of disbelief on her face. In fact she was grinning from ear to ear like she was already in on the secret. They also never showed her crying. When the other contestants crowded around her I'm guessing it was so the rest of the audience could not see her laughing.
I am astonished and dismayed by the fact that when one of the most successful shows in the history of television devotes two of its hundreds of hours of programming to raise over 30 million dollars for people in dire need around the world, not only does CNN bury the story in its entertainment blog, but it also focuses its comments (as do most of its bloggers) on the "cheesiness" factor of last night's presentation and whether its entertainment value was agreeable to the show's viewers and contestants. The decision to toy with contestant Jordin being in very bad taste aside, the producers of this show have far and away created a model of behavior for TV executives and their programming decisions that we should be universally applauding, even if the drama of who-goes-next must be postponed a week, and a sub-par ensemble performance be endured. Can we not put aside out own personal dramas in the interest of helping others for that long?
I really liked the show, but what they did to Jordin was pretty mean. She seemed quite shaken up. I hope she wins.
I think what they did to Jordin was completely sick. The audible gasp from the audience and the look on her face were both terrible. The poor girl had to then compose herself enough to be the first to sing in the last ensemble song - and she did a great job.
Producers of American Idol were wrong to have the poor girl thinking she was voted off. That would have been a "shocker" as Ryan promoted all evening. The decision to stall the decision to next week was the right one. Unfortunately it was obvious that this was a last minute decision that was not thought out well enough.
Overall, a great show that made me cry and motivated me to give. Congratulations to American Idol for being a major money making show that actually thought to give back something to the world.
I'm really upset actually! I feel like I was sucked in to watching a telethon with hopes of finding out who was going to be kicked off... and nothing! What a rip off. This whole season has sucked, I should have expected this. I will never be able to get those 2 hours of my life back.
You didn't see it coming? Ryan Seacrest said that the result would be shocking on Tuesday, before voting even started. I kept telling my wife all night that no one would be voted off this week.

The funny thing is how many people like myself suggested the other possibility; that Sanjaya would be allowed back into the competition.
All and all it was a good show for a good cause, but they should of just removed the segment about kicking someone out. It was a little bizare moving from clips of people dying to "who is next to get kicked out". The good thing about the show is it allows middle America to see what is really going on around the world and next to their own home.
What the..

It's like this article wants to be commentary, but it comes off like it was written by an illiterate teenager.
Well it's obvious who's been getting the most votes (Jordin Sparks) because to maximize the shock value they would intend to scare the most people (those who voted for her). This show can be read like an open book. They absolutely had to get rid of Sanjaya by this episode to maintain the appearance of credibility. It's too bad his elimination wasn't legitimate. Can't say this is the ugliest part of the music business though.
They didn't call it a telethon because if they had there wouldn't have been 30 million + viewers. I think it was great what they did.
While raising $30 Million for the well deserving charities seems like a terriffic gesture, it is just a drop in the bucket when one considers the value of the Idol franchise worldwide. The most shocking and appaling thing about the amount that was raised was the lack of commitment by the so called celebrities who paraded in front of the camera all night long hoping to stay in the limelight. Kudos to Ellen for donating $110K of her own money and challenging her rich friends to do the same. Unfortunately they must have been too busy preparing for the afterparty to bust open their checkbooks.
Maybe Itunes can donate the money from every download of "You Raise Me Up," ( last night version) just a thought...
I think that Idol Giving Back is truly wonderful; however, I feel that the part they done on Kentucky was degrading. I wished that they would have shown the good side of Kentucky instead of only showing the stereotypical parts. Although I am from West Virginia, I live on the border of Kentucky and I know first hand what it is like to live in an area that is poverty stricken. But there are good things here also and our communities are really building up. Our communities pull together and help one another out whether it is fundraising for our high school baseball team to attend an out of state tournament or whether it is pulling together as a family to help families in need because they have gone through a devasting flood. I know that when people hear of Kentucky or West Virginia the first thing they think is "Hillbilly" and that it is all poverty stricken but that is not so. I suggest that if you really want to know what Kentucky and West Virginia is all about, try doing a google search on them and you will be wonderfully surprised.
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