As a concept, Idol Gives Back is a great thing. Here we have the most-watched show in the country, with an active viewing and voting base, working to get people to make the world better. Can't say I recall, oh, M*A*S*H or Seinfeld doing that.
The show's second installment aired Wednesday night, taking up a super-sized two and a half hours — apparently a little more, since my DVR chopped it off somewhere just past Miley Cyrus, Part II — and showing numerous views of tragic living conditions around the globe with big-name celebrities as our guide. The bulk of the show was taped over the weekend, but live in the Idol studios, the top 12 answered phones and the top eight gave us a few more inspirational songs. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said he wanted the show to be bigger and better than last year — and to top its $76 million fundraising effort. So, how do you think Idol did?
Without any actual Idol-related event (there wasn't even a fakeout elimination — instead, the goodbye comes tonight), the Idol Gives Back telethon is . . . just a telethon, albeit one with well-produced packages about poverty and tragedy, appearances by major stars, and musical numbers galore. There were a lot of good things about the special, and there were a few that didn't quite hit the mark. I suppose I was expecting something more fun, considering all the talent involved — but, then again, would "fun" have been the right note for a charity special? I'm not really sure.
Fox hasn't released any donation numbers for Idol Gives Back yet, but I'll keep you posted; I believe the last number I heard during the show was $20-something million, not including the $200 million of mosquito nets from Great Britain, but I could be wrong. Were you moved to donate? Did any of the acts stand out? You can read a few of my thoughts if you read more