American Idol News: Tugging Your Heartstrings

After going sour during the last vote-off show, American Idol is expected to hit the high notes this week. 

Not only will the remaining seven contestants be mentored by Mariah Carey, but a special guest will be in the audience.  David Cook's 36-year-old brother Adam (who's been diagnosed with brain cancer) made the trip from Indiana to Los Angeles despite his doctors' refusal to allow him to fly a commercial airline.

Backed by generous community members, Adam got an all expense paid trip to see his brother on a chartered medical jet.  A local radio station gave Adam a hotel room -- just across the street from the studio where the AI contestants perform.    

Perhaps it will be a chance for Ryan Seacrest to redeem himself in the eyes of many AI viewers.   

I know it's totally a very serious, precious family moment, but...

American Idol producers would be crazy not to give Ryan a moment to become "human again."  Thousands of viewers voiced their outrage last Thursday after Ryan told contestant, Michael Johns that he had the least amount of votes and sent him packing. View image 

Ryan caught Michael and his supporters by surprise when he made the comment that during last year's Idol Gives Back they didn't vote anyone off.  However, in the same breath told him -- "but tonight we're going to say goodbye to Michael Johns."  Gasp! 

Who (like Michael) thought he was being punked and would be spared on charity week?

17.8 million viewers tuned in on Wednesday night for the two and a half hour Idol Gives Back event.  Viewership was down 35% from last year.  More than $60 million dollars have already been donated to the foundation's six charities to help poverty-stricken young people survive.

Other than a direct donation online or by phone, there are other ways you can help the cause. 

American Idol winners will be featured on a postage stamp -- with net proceeds going to Idol Gives Back.  Each Tuesday for the next six weeks, a different idol winner (including this year's winner) will be featured on first class stamps.  Season one's Kelly Clarkson has a collection of four different images out right now.  A sheet of 20 will cost you $19.99.  A limited two thousand sheets will be printed for each state.  

Exclusively on iTunes, by downloading audio and video tracks of Idol Gives Back, all net proceeds will go to the organization.

Mariah Carey lent her voice to close the star-studded show last Wednesday and raise money for Idol Gives Back.  She's giving back to the show this week too -- by working with the contestants. 

Mariah's anticipated 11th studio album, E=MC2 is out in stores Tuesday!  (What timing!) 

The diva needs three number one hits -- to break the record for the most number one singles.  Currently, the Beatles hold that title with 20 number ones.  With 17 chart toppers, Mariah had been tied with Elvis until recently.  "Touch My Body" is her 18th number one single on the Hot 100.

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