stairway to heaven randy jackson idol gives back 'Idol Gives Back' Studio Dispatch: 'Stairway to Heaven' and the Chattanooga CougarZap2it’s weekly “Dispatches from Inside the ‘Idol’ Dome” brings
fanatics like you (and us) closer to all the action. What didn’t viewers
see on the TV broadcast? We got it covered.

All these snarky comments are in the spirit of entertainment. “Idol Gives Back” is a great program and we donated online earlier today. We hope if you are able to give that you do.

In fact, something that doesn’t fit in with our funny dispatch is that one little girl in the audience who tried to give the warm-up host a cash donation right on the spot. He had to gently tell her that it wasn’t a pass-the-hat situation. It was incredibly sweet. But now on to the snark.

CBS gets the second string

  • So you know how we talk about Cory the Warm-Up host in these “Idol” dispatches? He must have been at the Pasadena show for “Idol Gives Back.” The CBS studio show got Jay the Back-up Warm-up Host. There is a reason he is the back-up.
  • Jay seems to be operating under the impression that it is 2008. He called Kara DioGuardi the “newest judge” at “American Idol” and he told us all to do the “dawg pound” for Randy Jackson.
  • Jay also announces people like Oprah does. “Please welcome Ryan SEAAAACREST!”
  • Finally, Jay was handing out a t-shirt to the oldest person in the house. Except the oldest person was Doyle Darnell, the father of FOX’s President of Alternate Entertainment Mike Darnell. Yes, let’s give the free, cheesy t-shirt to the dad of one of the company bigwigs. We’re sure a tourist wouldn’t appreciate that more AT ALL.

She moves like a cat in the dark and then she is the darkness

  • When they welcomed the Idols to the stage before the show went live, the smoke machine was on overdrive. Who should emerge first out of the smoke? Didi Benami, a total goddess in her empire-waisted ethereal dress. It was like a vision of a miracle.
  • Meanwhile, Casey James looked like an extra from “Saturday Night Fever,” Lacey looked like a showgirl and Siobhan was a straight-up hooker.
  • Did you notice how during the group sing, Mike had to block Siobhan’s crotch when they were sitting on the steps? Yep. She was totally flashing some panties.

Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Cougar?

  • The Chattanooga Cougar was back tonight, except this time she was directly in front of us, blocking 76% of the stage with her giant sign for Aaron Kelly.
  • When they announced that Aaron was in the Bottom 3, she said, and we quote, “Oh, crap. No. No. Oh no. Aaron, no. No.” We wanted to lean forward and tell her that if he were to be eliminated, they weren’t going to have him put down.
  • When Casey and then Aaron were announced safe, she was literally screaming at the top of her lungs about how much she loved them. We hope to regain the use of our ears soon.

Stand-up Comedy hour

  • The five eliminated Top 12 Idols (plus Todrick Hall in the house!) were extremely appreciative of both George Lopez and Wanda Sykes’ jokes at the judges’ expense, giving them both standing ovations.
  • Except George’s critique of Ellen DeGeneres. What was that incoherent mess? The studio audience was dead silent except for, we swear to God, two very loud people going, “Huh?”

Dancing’ Queen

  • Big Mike was very into both Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige’s performances. We were alternately worried that he would A) Collapse the safe contestants’ couch or B) Rush the stage to start dancing with his R&B ladies.
  • Speaking of Mary J, that “Stairway to Heaven” was the most amazing musical event we have ever seen live. Ever. What a true cavalcade of stars. And we can never get enough of Randy Jackson rocking out on the bass.

Idol Gives Back

  • Not a dry eye in our section during the Annie Lennox segment, including us. The $15 million raised during the broadcast? At least half had to come following that piece.
  • They flew Carrie Underwood from Pasadena to the CBS studios via helicopter after her performance so she could film a 10-second intro for Sons of Sylvia. That seems excessive on a night that is about charity.
  • The one very weird disconnect for us was Victoria Beckham. We aren’t sure if you could tell on TV, but it’s hard to listen to someone talk about poverty and charity while looking like her outfit and jewelry could feed an African nation for a year.

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Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."