Just a bit of the funny backstory: earlier this week, Colbert claimed that his "best friend for six months," Fallon, was going to match a $26,000 donation to DonorsChoose.org. Fallon said he promised no such thing, but in the spirit of saying your BFFSM will do something without consulting him first, he promised that Colbert would sing 'Friday' with the Roots if his audience could raise the $26,000 by Friday.
Well, they more than doubled that amount, and NBC Universal kicked in another 26 grand; more than $80,000 in contributions were made to this site, where educators solicit donations for school supplies and projects.
In a true show-stopping moment, winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and Kris Allen took to the stage to sing 'Together We Are One' by Delta Goodrem, during which they were joined by a revolving door of 'Idol' finalists that included everyone from Kimberly Caldwell to Constantine Maroulis and, yes, Justin Guarini.
Noticeably absent, though, was season 7 winner David Cook -- the only 'Idol' winner who did not take part in the group performance. According to Twitter, Cook was attending a charity event for cancer in Kansas City. An official word from Cook's camp has yet to be released.
Check out the clip after the jump.
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of FOX's 'American Idol?' Not just the typical questions like "what is Simon Cowell really like" and "does Ryan Seacrest's breath really smell minty," I mean the really important questions, like are the contestants ever denied bathroom privileges?
That's one of the many questions answered in this very long 'American Idol' piece at The Daily Beast. Lots of past contestants on the show (including season five winner Taylor Hicks - remember him?) dish about what goes on behind the scenes of the show when it gets to Hollywood. How are songs chosen? Who rooms with whom? Does everyone really get along? Do they sleep?
Jackie Tohn, who was on the show last year, says "the head games start right away. You never have any idea why anything is happening." So now we know: 'American Idol' is just like 'Lost!'
Since Leno and Eubanks teamed up in 1992, the ante has been upped tremendously for late-night musicians, with Conan O'Brien first bringing in E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg to head his band. And then Jimmy Fallon found the best part of his show, convincing revered hip-hop group the Roots to be the house group.
For a performer of any kind to make it to Broadway, though, you need more in your quiver than arrows pointing to image or personality. You need the solid, confident, cultivated talent that not only catapults a song across the footlights, but the chops to do it eight times a week. Acting ability, imagination, perseverance -- these are all key. The 'Idol' contestants and winners who have starred on the Great White Way know this. After all, if you've survived week after week, facing and conquering new musical challenges over and over, you're probably in good enough shape to make Broadway your home.
Quite a few 'Idol' favorites have come to the New York stage. Some stay for months, eating up the adoration of fans. Some are jazzed by the rigor of playing a role night after night. Some job in for a spell, then spearhead national tours, able to sing for the public wherever they live. However they do it, performing on Broadway is a mark of pride and distinction for nine 'Idol' favorites -- with the 10th set to arrive, we hope, later this year.<
Having waited tables or shoveled cow poo before becoming pop stars, famous people often don't care to rehash history. But when 'American Idol' is the vehicle that launched that superstar career, it's difficult to obscure the past with the sparkle of a Grammy and the gleam of platinum records, especially when the show's audition clips are some of the most fun viral videos out there.
Former 'AI' contestants like chart toppers Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and David Cook and Broadway babes Fantasia Barrino and Taylor Hicks once had to audition, too. Their tryouts are time capsules of raw talent that make you wonder how these artists ever wallowed in the same pool of hopefuls as William Hung, "Bikini Girl" and some of this season's worst auditions. Plus, watching Simon Cowell discredit Jordin Sparks during her audition because of her "weird smile" and "cutesy" delivery -- and knowing that he would eat his words when she won season 6 -- is priceless.
Take a look at the audition videos of all the 'American Idol's and see if you can spot the birth of a winner in each one.
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a major category that came of age in the aughts: Reality shows.
While I would never call myself a reality TV junkie, it really bugs me when people make blanket statements like, "I hate reality TV," or, "Reality TV is the bane of my existence." The genre has grown so much in the past decade that it has become just like scripted television, in that there's good and there's bad. Even though we're splitting this up into two lists, "Reality," and "Trashy Reality," you won't see a single show that starts with, "Who Wants to Marry" on either list.
This list is dedicated not to the guilty pleasures, but to the shows that you wouldn't be embarrassed for your neighbors to know you watch: the classy reality, if you will. So without further ado, here is TV Squad's list of the best reality shows of the decade.
He once saved a crowded school bus from falling off of a cliff ... using only a scarf.
Firefighters blamed him for the Laguna Wildfire when his Aviator sunglasses came in contact with the sun.
People stop and stare at every word he writes, particularly when he writes "boobs."
He is the most interesting man in the world. And his name is Charles Nelson Reilly. The actor, comedian, director and Match Game fixture has been posthumously immortalized by comedy musician "Weird Al" Yankovic in a new hilarious online single called "CNR".
My dad, however, thinks that Adam is in a class of his own and no one can touch him. That he'll win and nobody else even deserves to be in the competition. I pointed out the fact that he scream-sings all of his songs, but my dad was hearing none of it. My father is also tone-deaf -- not that that means anything.
Anyway, since we couldn't talk last night, I had to get that all off of my chest before we get into the Taylor Hicks and the Jaime Foxx and the elimination in tonight's show. Regardless of who leaves tonight, Adam's going to win and I'm going to be sad. Everything leading up to that is just going to be vague disappointments. Let's get started!
We open up with a really weird slow-motion retrospective of notable past auditions to "It's a Wonderful World." I always forget how skinny and young Clay was. Seacrest has changed a lot too-- and informs us that "THIS is American Idol" from what looks to be a perch on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Oh my God. They're showing that amazing video of those little girls completely losing it over David Archuleta not winning last season. I am laughing so hard right now. This is officially the best episode of American Idol ever.
Welcome to the final installment of "AI Aftermath," where we explore Idol's past. Each installment, as one more American Idol hopeful is eliminated from the competition, we take a look back at contestants past who were eliminated at the same point. We'll examine how they did on the show and what they've been up to since their eliminations. In honor of David Cook's crowning as your American Idol, we will look back at other winners.
This week: The Winners, featuring Kelly Clarkson (Season One), Ruben Studdard (Season Two), Fantasia Barrino (Season Three), Carrie Underwood (Season Four), Taylor Hicks (Season Five) and Jordin Sparks (Season Six).
Anyway, last night's epic battle got me thinking about past American Idol finales and whether any of them were this much of a contest. It seems like we've gone into most of the American Idol finales with obvious winners. Here's a breakdown of the past American Idol finales, and whether they stack up to last night's performances:
With Clay Aiken having wrapped up his run as Sir Robin in Spamalot, the Idol quotient on Broadway was down. Fortunately for theatergoers, it's Taylor Hicks to the rescue. Kind of. He's a bit of a step down from Clay Aiken, isn't he? I mean, Clay's new album debuted at number four, and Taylor was dropped from his label.
Whichever way you see it, Hicks will be joining the cast of Grease to take on the role of Teen Angel. Should you be in the area, you can head over to the Brooks Atkinson Theater and hear his version of "Beauty School Dropout." An interesting TV side-note, this production of Grease stars Laura Osnes and Max Crumm. You may remember them as being the winners of the ill-fated NBC show, You're The One That I Want.
And yet, I don't get nearly as annoyed when Jeff Probst yells "Come on in guys. [Team A] getting their first look at the new [Team B]. [Contestant Name] voted out at the last tribal council," even though he does it every single week. "[Team members], you're the last team to arrive. I'm sorry to tell you that you've both been eliminated from The Amazing Race." No big deal. So why do Ryan, Simon and the gang at American Idol drive us so crazy week after week?
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