Ellen DeGeneres to host, Bono to speak during 'Idol Gives Back'
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/23/2007
Ryan Seacrest may want to watch his back.
Fox has announced that Ellen DeGeneres -- comedian, actress, Emmy-winning talk show host and host of this past February's 79th annual Academy Awards -- has been tabbed to host the Idol Gives Back charity concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, April 25 from 8PM to 10PM ET. The event is part of a fundraiser that Fox will broadcast when Idol's sixth season Top 5 are revealed this week.
On Tuesday, April 24 at 8PM ET/PT the Top 6 finalists -- Melinda Doolittle, Lakisha Jones, Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Phil Stacey and Chris Richardson -- will sing tunes they find personally inspiring to keep with the Idol Gives Back theme. As usual with Idol, viewers will vote for their favorite contestants via toll-free numbers and text messages following the performance show. However on this night, sponsors will donate money to charity for every vote cast. Presumably due to the fund-raising aspect of Idol Gives Back, the Top 6 performance episode will not be broadcast live on either coast.
Then on Wednesday, April 25 beginning at 8PM ET, Fox will air a special two-hour live results show featuring numerous artists and celebrities, 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, Annie Lennox, and many more. The special two-hour results show will feature live performances from both the Idol stage as well as at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where DeGeneres will serve as host.
U2 frontman Bono is also scheduled to meet with Idol 6's Top 6 during the Wednesday night results show to talk about the work of ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History and how the Idol audience can contribute to the cause. The Top 6 will also perform "American Prayer," a song written by Bono and Dave Stewart about the AIDS emergency in Africa.
In addition to the performances, viewers will be able to make their own donations to Idol Gives Back via toll-free lines and the Internet. The money raised by the two shows will go towards organizations that provide relief to children and young people living in poverty in Africa and America. At the conclusion of Wednesday's results show, Idol 6's Top 5 will be revealed.