Simon gets roasted (but dishes it back) while Brad gets groped (but for good reason)—I was at the Idol Gives Back taping last night at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, and it did not disappoint.
Here are my 10 reasons—as if Pitt's appearance wasn't enough—why you should watch the annual fundraising shebang when it broadcasts live on Wednesday night:
1. The show opens with the remaining Idol contestants singing Rihanna’s summer pop anthem “Don’t Stop the Music.”
2. Fergie! First she sings a ballad with John Legend on piano, and then she joins Heart for a rockin’ rendition of “Barracuda.” The Duchess even did cartwheels in her body-hugging black leather pants.
3. Jimmy Kimmel throws some nasty barbs at Simon Cowell. Among the goodies, Kimmel asks that if we all agree that Cowell just says what we’re all thinking, then “why hasn’t he said anything about the fact that his nipples are the size of pepper mills?” Cowell shot back later on, “Jimmy Kimmel—I just want to say I love the Jay Leno show.”
4. There are video addresses from all three presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama. Sen. Obama received the biggest applause from the audience of 3,000. FYI: Producers have asked McCain for a redo before Wednesday’s telecast, because the video his peeps submitted was really stinky quality.
5. Even before performing, Annie Lennox receives a standing ovation after a video is shown featuring her visit with four young brothers in Africa orphaned by AIDS. The oldest boy is just 15.
6. Great Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces that England will be donating 20 million mosquito nets for malaria-plagued Africa. Cost? About $200 million!
8. Forest Whitaker and wife Keisha’s segments about their trips to Africa will have you in tears, especially when you witness a mother caring for her newborn with malaria.
9. Brad Pitt. Dang, he’s hot! But what you probably won’t see when IGB airs is Pitt’s microphone malfunction. His remote mic fell off, but a lucky stage manager got the chance to help him put it back on. She cracked, “I just needed a reason to touch him.”
10. In his first public appearance since his wife filed for divorce last month, Robin Williams appears as “Bob,” the winner of Russian Idol. After revealing that one of Russia’s most popular reality shows is So You Think You Can Drink, Bob turns to Paula Abdul and cracks, “You could probably win that!” Wonder if that’ll make the cut for Wednesday?
Idol Gives Back benefits six charities. Last year, the inaugural telethon show raised $76 million. Producers hope to beat that this year with $100 million.