American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Idol Gives Back"

Idol Gives Back Season 7, Episode 29

Hey guys, it's Erin Fox again. Sick of me yet? Don't answer that. Seriously. It'll just cost me more in therapy. This is going to be a little different tonight.... It's two and a half hours long, so this is going to be more of a "quick observations" format instead of a recap. Why? Cuz there are three Idols this week, and cuz I'm the boss of this blog! (Until Nina returns, that is.) Did you notice a bunch of the finalists from So You Think You Can Dance? They are bustin' some moves to a track of Paula's new song (at least I think it is... ). George Lopez does his bit in Spanish. It's like 20 seconds long. Is this what the producers call a "guest appearance"? Pretaped messages by celebs in front of American Idol logos? Boo. Forgive me, I didn't watch the special last year, so I thought it would be different. Maria Shriver, the first lady of California and Mrs. Schwarzenegger, is welcomed out by "Maria" from West Side Story (oh, brother). But, I know her from my charity work and know that her message is truly genuine, and I applaud her for it. Go, girl! Ooh! There's a Best Buddies (the charity I was involved in for years) shirt in the front row onstage! Aww, that makes me smile. Ben Stiller, however, does not make me smile. He's lame. PS. The Heartbreak Kid sucked. Better luck next time. Jennifer Connelly does a digital short about dragging a bucket of water up the stairs of her brownstone and serving some kids really dirty water. A screen says 1.1 billion people don't have access to clean water. Point taken. Yeeeeeahhhhh! Snoop is in the house! I'm sorry, I just L to the O to the V to the E Snoop! He's so dope. How cute are the kids behind him!? I'm in a cute coma right now. Randy and Paula visit a school in Goshen, California, which is only 150 miles from Los Angeles. It's mostly a farming community where the average income is $9K a year. There's also a huge gang problem, and little Christian, who is showing Randy and Paula around the neighborhood, is adorable and heartbreaking. Ugh, a ridiculous Desperate Housewives bit introduces Teri Hatcher singing Carrie Underwood's hit "Before He Cheats." She starts out OK but I quickly realize how really pathetic it is. Seriously, I'm embarrassed for her. I'm more excited to see Band from TV: James Denton ( Housewives), Greg Grunberg ( Heroes), Jesse Spencer ( House), Bonnie Somerville ( Cashmere Mafia) and Bachelor Bob Guiney. The only one missing from the usual group is Hugh Laurie. Boo! I want Hugh! Billy Crystal is onstage talking about Idol and keeping up with pop culture. He's so un-hip to pop culture, he calls the next guest "Milly Seerus." Now I guess we're supposed to think it's shtick because he's asking if she's ever made an album or movie. She, of course, says she's done both and they're all No. 1. Then she asks Billy if he's in showbiz... ugh. Miley begins her song well enough, then it looks like she runs out of steam and lets the backup singers pick up her slack. She also turns away from the camera to head-bang with the band so we can't see her not singing. I'm on to you, Miley! Bono does a piece about a woman who has dedicated her life in Africa to helping her neighbors who have AIDS. It's very moving, and I wish it had been longer. Julianne Moore is on for a nano-second, and is clearly reading cue cards. My pet peeve, grrrr. Ew. Here's Fergie looking like a hot tranny mess... or maybe just a tranny. How did you bewitch Josh Duhamel? What are your magical powers? Tell me! OK, she has an awesome voice. But John Legend played the piano for her and didn't get to sing? WTF! I heart John. Speaking of heart, Fergie introduces the band Heart (like what I did with that?). They may be older, but they know how to rock! Now I know who Amanda Overmyer was trying to sound like. Fergie joins Heart onstage, struttin' her Fergaliciousness all over the stage. This is the best number of the night so far. Peyton and Eli Manning introduce a piece about Katrina and how New Orleans is doing three years later; specifically, how the children are coping. Eli and Peyton play with kids at a local school. Oh god, now they're playing "Fix You" by Coldplay. Damn you for making me choked up! That's right, underneath all the snark is a heart! Posh and Becks can read? Is it wrong that I want to feed Posh a cheeseburger? Wait, did you guys just see that? Ramiele and David H. are answering phones! They let the castoffs back! Bono is back and introduces Annie Lennox, who interviews orphans in Africa. It's so ridiculously heartbreaking, I can barely stand it. She speaks to a family of brothers who have lost their entire family to AIDS. The oldest brother is only 15 and tests HIV-positive. She takes the rest of the boys to be tested and they're all negative. The little guy counting ("one, two, three, nine") breaks the cute meter. As Annie leaves the brothers for the day, she weeps, and so do I... sniff, sniff. Annie sings a cool bluesy song. She's awesome. Celine Dion is talking about how some of the money from last year was spent in South Africa on orphans in need. Thank god the kids around her are so endearing because her cue-card reading (with ridiculous dramatic pauses) peeves me, too. Jimmy Kimmel comes out onstage to introduce Simon Cowell and rips on him, which is awesome! Go, Jimmy! OMG, the talk about the nipples is killing me. It's like a Simon roast, and we're all invited! Paula can barely handle herself, she's laughing so hard. I've never been a fan of Kimmel's, but I think he's just changed my mind. Simon's filmed piece is about doctors in New York who operate mobile clinics to provide health care to poor children and families. The family they visit is in crisis: The mom has lupus, the daughter has rheumatoid arthritis, and the son has four pins in his knee from surgery. Holy moly, this is too much. I love these doctors! I love the family! Simon introduces Carrie Underwood, who, based on how she's dressed, apparently thinks this is a Disney parade. Of course, she's quite lovely, and she sounds fantastic. I'm just teasing about the Disney parade, so calm down already! No hate mail! Clearly, I'm joking around because it's such a serious subject that if I don't laugh, I'll burst into tears. Ellen makes an appearance (pretaped) before Gloria Estefan and Sheila E. perform "Get on Your Feet." Toe-tappin' fun! Sarah Silverman is in the house. Hold on to your... everything! Hey, there's Elliott Yamin in the audience. Sarah introduces a piece about Forest Whitaker in Angola investigating the malaria crisis. A little girl has the disease and is close to death - it's so shocking that this preventable disease can't be stopped. A $10 dollar net could save their lives. Reese Witherspoon walks onstage looking fabulous. She speaks about education and the Children's Defense Fund. She travels to New Orleans to check out a "Freedom School," which is an after-school program to keep kids out of trouble and develop leadership skills. The family she speaks to lives in a rough neighborhood, and they have nine family members under one roof. I think I've gone through a whole box of Kleenex now. The Idols sing "Seasons of Love" from Rent. They sound great, except for some weird microphone issue. But by the end, I have goosebumps. Alicia Keys travels to Africa, and you can download her journey on iTunes and the proceeds will go to Idol Gives Back. Miley Cyrus follows a message by Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale. She's quite the performer, but I'm shocked that at 15 she's gyrating around while 5-year-olds and their moms sing along. After the song, a film about Miley and her dad traveling to Kentucky begins. They visit severely impoverished families and find that there's a great after-school program that has raised literacy at to 79 percent. The poverty in this area is frightening and palpable. Robin Williams comes out onstage as the winner of "Russian Idol." Awesomely, and ignoring sensors, he says his name is "Ivan Yakinov." Say that slowly and phonetically (I've [been] yah-king off... see how I tricked my censors by not saying the J-word?). I'm laughing my ass off that he snuck it in there. By the end of the bit, Robin ends up grabbing Simon's ass. Heh. Brad Pitt does a film on Katrina victims. He makes the point that houses weren't lost in the storm: Homes were lost, including memories and experiences and lifetimes. Brad and Make It Right are raising money to build houses to bring New Orleans back to life, and give families a place to call home. Brad comes out onstage and the crowd goes insane! Even the dudes have a crush on him. His microphone isn't working and the stage manager comes out to the rescue. She says perfectly, "I just wanted a reason to touch him." Hee. Brad introduces Daughtry, who also visited Africa. He sings a song called, "What About Now," and the message is clear. I heart Daughtry. Mariah Carey saunters in singing while Randy plays bass for her. I think Mariah sounds pitchy tonight, and I hate her arm and hand movements. So annoying! Luckily a choir joins her and sounds wicked awesome. The Idols close out the show, all in white, singing "Shout to the Lord." They sound great, especially when the choir joins them. Nice work, everyone! I hope you raise bazillions of dollars for all of these amazing and worthwhile charities. Stiller comes onto an empty stage pretending that Ryan told him to go to the wrong theater. The best part is that he starts swearing and even though they're "bleeped," it's so awesomely clear that he's saying naughty words. Gotta love those loose Fox censors! What did you think of the show tonight? What was your favorite performance? Which story moved you the most? Good night! See you tomorrow for the results show. Watch American Idol clips in our Online Video Guide. show less
Hey guys its Erin Fox again Sick of me yet Dont answer that Seriously Itll just cost me more in therapy This is going to be a little different tonight Its two and a half hours long so this is going to be more of a quick observations format instead of a recap Why Cuz there are three Idols this week and cuz Im the boss of this blog Until Nina returns that is Did you notice a bunch of the finalists from So You Think You Can Dance They are bustin some moves to a track of Paulas new song at least I think it is George Lopez does his bit in Spanish Its like 20 seconds long Is this what the producers call a guest appearance Pretaped messages by celebs in front of American Idol logos Boo Forgive me I didnt watch the special last year so I thought it would be different Maria Shriver the first lady of California and Mrs Schwarzenegger is welcomed out by Maria from West Side Story oh brother But I know her from my charity work and know th read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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