Global charity and shattered dreams aren’t necessarily sentiments that mesh well together, but “American Idol” is planning to give the combination a try next week.
The third installment of “Idol Gives Back” will air next Wednesday (April 21) night on FOX. The two-hour episode will feature performances by artists including Jordin Sparks, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, The Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox and Sir Elton John. The episode is also scheduled to climax with the elimination of one member of the Top Seven.
Speaking with “American Idol” executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz on a conference call on Thursday, HitFix asked about the decision to co-mingle the regular “Idol” episode with the philanthropic special.
“We did it both ways,” Frot-Coutaz explains. “The first time we did it, we did an extended results show, which is what we’re doing this year. The second time, we did a separate episode and we found that it worked better for us to do it as an exciting results show and to make it more organic to ‘American Idol’ than to make it a separate show. As such, Wednesdays are results, so we do have to do results and within two hours, we obviously have plenty of time to cover both the charity portion of the event and the result portion. We’ll just do it as we normally do these things. It’s a blend of entertainment and a blend of actual ‘Idol’ competition.”
Of course, in the 2007 debut of “Idol Gives Back,” Ryan Seacrest treated the episode as a traditional elimination episode and then, in the name of “Idol” charity, he spared eventual winner Sparks, who had seemingly been positioned as the lowest vote-getter.
The following year, “Idol Gives Back” was a two-hour special with no promise of elimination. The following night, in a special Thursday “Idol,” Michael Johns was sent home in one of several results that eventually led to the creation of the Judges’ Save.
After a one-year break, it isn’t hard to figure out why “Idol” would make this year’s “Idol Gives Back” a results show, rather than a stand-alone telethon. The first “Idol Gives Back” drew more than 26 million viewers. The second drew under 18 million.
So should we be suspicious about a possible non-elimination episode, forcing the second double-elimination episode in a month?
HitFix asked Frot-Coutaz point-blank, will somebody actually be sent home this week?
“Idol Gives Back” airs on Wednesday, April 21 on FOX.