Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer and man behind the curtain for American Idol, held a conference call today to discuss Idol Gives Back, the epic charity event that American Idol will host for the second year one week from today. Idol Gives Back will air on FOX Wednesday, April 9 from 7:30pm to 10pm and feature a boat load of celebrities and performing artists in an effort to provide aid for the world’s needy. Last year’s Idol Gives Back raised $76 million and Nigel hopes that this year’s event brings in even more. He spoke about the show to the media today. These are the highlights from the conference call.
Last night, David Cook had heart palpitations and high blood pressure. He’s fine now. Ellen Degeneres can not do the show because it’s just too much, apparently. Her dropping out means that it’s only going to be more Seacrest. Half of the show will be filmed on Sunday from the Kodak Theater, and Seacrest will now host it. There was going to be a Mariah Carey/Marvin Gaye duet, but they couldn’t get the rights to Marvin, so it’s not going to happen. Nigel says the most difficult thing about putting Idol Gives Back together is just putting together the pieces. It’s a big puzzle. Incorporating all the pieces from the celebrities is hard. The footage is still coming in.
The list of people is huge, and more people who haven’t been been announced yet. Adam Sandler and Drew Carey are two new names I haven’t heard yet that Nigel mentioned. There are six major charities that the proceeds will be going to this year. The celebrities appear because they want to show that everyone is involved, everyone should be involved. The presidential candidates will be on the show as well. Brad Pitt will be there in person. Robbie Williams is also going to be there, and Nigel wants to keep what he’s doing a surprise. It’s the performance he’s most looking forward. Heart will be performing with Fergie. The British Prime Minister is going to appear and make a statement.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)