Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Idol Gives Back

So, I'm not usually one for these celebrity fundraiser benefit concert type things (oh wait, I'm a total sap), nor am I one for American Idol (I just watch the singing and the criticism, right Brian? yeah. and The Hills isn't a guilty pleasure of mine either.)...but I turned on the TV and it was on (thanks, TiVo!), and now I'm watching (again, thanks TiVo - I can fast forward through commercials or anything else I don't want to watch). My question is though...when was it initially on? It looks like it is on "Tue. 8/7c, Wed. 7:30/6:30c & Thu. 8/7c" (from the Idol Gives Back website), but I SWEAR I was watching highlights from it on E! News at the gym yesterday (I promise! I even saw Taylor's mom fix Brad Pitt's microphone!). Le sigh, I am confused. Is it not live?

Here are my reports:

Carrie Underwood sang George Michael's "Praying For Time." I was honestly so moved by it that I started writing this blog post. Lyrics here, and a video here.

The celebrity power behind this year's Idol Gives Back is massive. I didn't watch last year, but seriously...just name a celebrity. They were probably there. Robin Williams as "Russian Idol." So funny.

The 8 finalists sang Seasons of Love. Someone's mic was on way too loud, and I don't know whose. But he/she was a little sharp, I think it was that Kristy Lee Cook, but I could be wrong. I probably am. I don't know what I'm talking about. I don't know...I like RENT and all, but this song is always the song for these types of things. Isn't anyone sick of it? Doesn't anyone find it a little tired or cliche at this point?

I sort of love little Miley Cyrus. I really don't want to, I really don't. But she's totally adorable, and she does actually have some of her dad's musical talent. And let's face it: she can rock a stage. And like I said, she's freaking adorable. Somehow, I have faith that she won't go all Lohan or Duff or Olsen or Spears on us...although with the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus thing, she might have a few issues later down the line. Oh well. She seems very grounded for now. My God, Am I Celebrity-Gossiping??? Stop.

Causes Spotlighted (that I remembered off the top of my head just now): Education, Malaria, AIDS, Katrina, Medical Care in the US, Violence in low-income communities...every celebrity had a chance to speak up about something. I don't know how I feel about that-I kind of like that it's not a benefit to support only one cause, but I don't know if something gets lost in the fact that it's this sort of jumbled grab bag of causes. I think I like that it's a lot; it highlights the fact that there is so much going on in the world. I actually think Alicia Keyes summed it up well: "It's crazy when you think about it, about how you can change the life of people forever, for the price of a pair of shoes." Did you hear that, celebrities? Did I hear it?

We all know how easy it is to get caught up in our lives, and it's also easy to get caught up in guilt. Guilt for not being charitable enough, guilt for complaining about things that are not as big of a problem as say, 8-month old babies dying of malaria because they don't have mosquito nets. I understand why so many people only take time to talk about these things a few times a year. It's hard. It's hard to think about, and it's hard to deal with. It is incredibly overwhelming to think about all the trouble that's out there, and how small and helpless you feel. You donate your $50 or so, and feel good for a while, but unless you dedicate your life to charity work, do you ever feel like you're really making a difference? How much of a difference can you make if you "ignore" it to go back to your normal life full of indoor plumbing, hot water, comfy beds and affordable medicine?

Blech. Now I'm just confused.

To donate: call 1-800-IDOL-AID or check out the website. Your employer probably does a corporate match (I know mine matches a donation of $50 or more). Even better.

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