DeGeneres Is the New Dunkleman
Oscar host will team with Seacrest on 'Idol Gives Back'
Seacrest, who has MCed the FOX smash solo since Brian Dunkleman was cut lose after the first season of "Idol," will share the spotlight on Wednesday (April 25) night with Ellen DeGeneres.
As most people with a pulse know by now, "American Idol" has been building up to this week's "Idol Gives Back" two-night spectacular benefiting relief programs for children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa. The event is so large that it'll be expanding beyond the mere confines of the "Idol" stage.
Thus, on Wednesday night, Seacrest will host from the show's usual venue, while DeGeneres will report from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. DeGeneres ("Mr. Wrong"), whose daily talk show is an Emmy magnet, recently hosted the 79th Annual Academy Awards, earning mostly respectful reviews.
The two-hour Wednesday show will feature an exhaustive list of celebrity appearances and performances including Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Earth, Wind & Fire, Il Divo, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Josh Groban with the African Children's Choir, Jack Black, Helen Mirren, Rascal Flatts, Quincy Jones, Carrie Underwood and Annie Lennox. Those are just the people mentioned in the most recent "Idol" press release, who knows who else might attend?
Following Tuesday night's standard "Idol" performances (with the ambiguous "life anthem" theme), viewers will vote as usual and corporate sponsors will correspondingly donate money to charity. During the Wednesday show, viewers will be invited to call toll-free pledge lines (or go online) to donate money to the cause.