American Idol giveth, and American Idol taketh away.
Just because Wednesday's show was a warm-hearted, all-star event to benefit poverty- and disease-fighting charities in the U.S. and Africa, it doesn't mean there wasn't a stone-cold elimination at night's end.
There were treats aplenty beforehand, including testimonials from Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman; music from Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas and Carrie Underwood, and the generosity of Russell Brand and Jonah Hill, who used their clout to get imaginary friends Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and "both hot guys from Twilight" to answer phones.
"We emailed all those people, but the emails may have gone to the spam file because our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org," Hill admitted sheepishly when Ryan Seacrest called them out on all the empty chairs.
Later, they were able to scrape Slash, Octomom and Jim Carrey together—but that, too, only prolonged the final results for Crystal Bowersox, Lee Dewyze, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus and Tim Urban.
And by the time the bottom three were put out of their misery, the show had run well past the two-hour mark, so you can imagine the thumb-twiddling going on during Elton John's grand-finale performance of "Your Song."
America's affinity for a sweet smile and a healthy head of hair couldn't save Tim this week. He'd made some major strides in recent weeks to "go from zero to hero," as Simon noted, but last night "Better Days" wasn't one of his better performances.
And heck, he wasn't even supposed to be here in the first place, having been cast aside originally, only to be saved when Idol producers had to let whatshisname go for a rule violation.
Still, it was pretty lame that Tim didn't get to say any final words because Idol Gives Back ran more than 20 minutes long and Ryan had to close the show. That wasn't Tim's fault.
Meanwhile, Aaron was a last-minute save, as was Casey, who totally underwhelmed with "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" and was rewarded for his efforts with his first trip to the bottom three.
Simon called his performance neither inspirational nor authentic, and there's no need to discuss—Casey's getting lazy and needs to kick it up a notch next week.
But we know what you're all thinking...
What was Octomom doing there tonight?!
"Call and talk to the Octomum and one of the Octos…I like this one, he's sort of jazzy," Brand bantered, pointing to one of the youngsters apparently hired to pose as Nadya Suleman's children.
We also liked it when Simon was voted back to England.
"But since there's a huge cloud of volcanic ash preventing people from traveling, Simon, you are safe," announced guest star George Lopez, who all-too-briefly roasted the judges and Ryan. Admiring Seacrest for the power he must feel when he's holding the results in his hand, Lopez quipped, "You must feel, like, 5 feet tall."
"Erik Estrada, everybody!" Ryan applauded when Lopez was done.
Shania Twain will mentor the top six next week and they will perform her songs.
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