American Idol Recap: Idol Gives Back

The donations coming in from Idol Gives Back are climbing. Toward the end of tonight's benefit show Ryan said at that point -- they've raised $30 Million dollars for charities. The organizations participating help people in extremely devastating circumstances. You too can donate. Anything, it can be anything. As actor Eric McCormack so eloquently stated, "if everyone who voted for Sanjaya gave us a dollar, we'd do good."

Donate by Phone: 877-436-5243 which is 877-IDOL AID Donate Online:

More than 70 million votes were tallied. After the 50 million mark -- News Corp. pledged $5 Million.

Seventy mil is a record number of votes to come in for a single show. I should point out that voters had four hours to dial for their favorites (and raise money for special causes).

By the way, not one of the remaining 6 Idol hopefuls will be going anywhere. American Idol "gave back" to the contestants for their musical contribution to this show. They all were spared this week.

At the start, Ryan teased us by saying the results were the most shocking ever in the history of the show.

It came down to Chris Richardson and Jordin Sparks. Ryan started with Chris -- telling him he was safe. Then he calls to, Jordin -- and her eyes started filling with tears. But the host tells her she's safe too. He questions, "how can we let someone go on charity night?"

I question -- how can you do that to the poor, undeserving girl? And depending on her reaction -- that could have been damaging to her popularity. Luckily for her, she was gracious, but apparently devastated. Of course. I wonder who the bottom two really were?

For all you voters who I'm sure aren't feeling duped because you voted for what will turn into relief for needy children and such-- your votes will still be counted.

AI plans on tacking the votes from this week on to whatever votes the singers get in next week's show.

One thing I thought didn't fit in to the whole scheme of things -- that AI contest they have on a weekly basis. You know, where the winner of a really simple 3 option -- multiple choice problem about Idol history gets $10,000, among other perks.

Oh yeah, here's 10 G's for answering a stupid question. I don't get it.
It felt out of place to see that while we are raising money and awareness for AIDS and malaria -- and helping people in extreme poverty situations.

Some startling statistics:
Every 30 seconds a child in South Africa is orphaned by AIDS.
Every 30 seconds malaria kills one child.

Should AI make this an annual event? What were your favorite show moments?

Do you have a touching story that will inspire readers to donate? Did you see or hear anything tonight that made you decide to give money? Share with us.

For those who voted and donated -- this is where your money will go: In the US: Save the Children, America‘s Second Harvest: The Nation‘s Food Bank Network, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Children‘s Health Fund. And in Africa: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Malaria No More, Nothing But Nets, Save the Children and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Exclusive video from this week's Idol Gives Back event is available for download by iTunes. You can easily get them on the American Idol website. All proceeds from this go to the charity organizations as well.

Whose antics made you laugh harder -- Ben Stiller or Jack Black? Did anyone else think that former season 6 contestant, Chris Sligh, was going to come out to sing with Jack Black like I did?

What about the Celine Dion and "virtual" Elvis duet (through the magic of television)? What did you think about that?

And what was up with Ryan messing up and starting over three times -- right off the top of the show? Was that portion taped, not live? There were a few train wreck moments. And why were some celebs who said they'd participate MIA?

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