American Idol: Annie Lennox Brings Down the House

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Last night American Idol took a brief but extravagant hiatus from our usual who-sucks-the-most Wednesday night routine to present the celeb-studded benefit concert portion of the Idol Gives Back campaign. Besides raising money for worthy charities from viewer donations, the night featured more famous and entertaining reasons not to totally hate on producers for the results delay.

Below, a recap of last night’s best arguments for giving.


1) The Idol producers aren’t too quick to forgo their usual interests: making the contestants look like fools. But a night of charity leaves little room for humiliation. A live, nine-part vocal arrangement of Rihanna’s techno dance hit “Please Don’t Stop the Music” featuring the contestants of So You Think You Can Dance truly hit the spot, seamlessly
wedding degredation with flamboyance. Even Ryan Seacrest joined in at the end. (He’s not a bad dancer — who knew?)

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2 ) Snoop Dogg is perhaps one of the least likely mouthpieces for modesty, which made his appearance with Charlie Wilson and his own Snoop Youth Football Team even more awesome. As he performed his newly released street anthem “Can’t Say Goodbye,” the league of young athletes danced awkwardly in the background. Adorable.

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3) One of the major themes was giving people opportunities they are usually denied. Apparently the night of charity was extended to Teri Hatcher, who was generously offered a spot at the mike despite the fact that she can’t sing. It was really nice that everyone clapped and let her finish her attempt at Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” We can’t help but remember that when Ryan Seacrest wanted the opportunity to try dating a female in 2006, Teri graciously accepted that offer, too.

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4) Annie Lennox’s version of “Many Rivers” was by far the most persuasive perfomance of the night. If they were wise, our contestants were backstage taking notes. I was watching, my jaw unhinged. The singer is no stranger to the world of philanthropy, and, unlike most of the stars on last night’s performance, her commitment to the cause was inflected in every note she sang.

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5) David Archuleta has clearly been waiting all his life to perform Rent’s “Seasons of Love.” It was his night. The number was refreshing compared to the rest of the evening. In proper Idol form, all of our contestants tried to milk 15 minutes of song out of their 10 second solo parts of the performance, with the exception of David. His solo was long but far less baroque. Overall, he seemed to be the only contestant on stage who believably feigned an interest asking America to “remember the love,” not just “remember my name.”

Stay tuned tonight for less kindness and more cruelty when another one of our contestants gets eliminated!

– Amy Beecher

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