All in all, the money raised was impressive - $60 million, $100,000 from Ellen DeGeneres alone. The suffering, massive. Camera crews in Africa were unable to save a child they found wandering far from help with his mother, but were able to capture the death itself. Another woman died despite Ryan and Simon's horror.
But the Idol folks breached their contract. We in the Massive Idol Audience suffer through two days of sanctimonious and self-congratulatory fund-raising - plus cough up 70 million votes and $60 million - and we are then denied our little naughty fix at the end, all the more anticipated because of the backdrop of goodwill.
Bring us back to our core mission by sending somebody home. It would have been OK. We can compartmentalize.
Last Wednesday, all we had was the satisfaction of seeing Annie Lennox kick some Clay Aiken butt with her spellbinding cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Also, was it the dress or is Kelly Clarkson turning into Mama Cass? Jack Black nicely skewered the eminently skewerable "Kiss From a Rose." (Another Woody Allen touch: having Seal there in the audience, like Marshall McLuhan, to critique Black.)
But no. Idol wants to be so much bigger, so much more magnificent, than just a singing competition. So last week's votes will be counted in with this week's tally and two will be axed. That's a Donald Trump move, and, sorry, it skewers the voting and undermines the - ha - integrity of the contest.
Bono had it right when he noted in his little filmed Idol bit the ridiculousness of "an Irish rock star appearing on American Idol" as an example of how people from opposite ends of the - in this case, talent - spectrum can come together over a good cause. Next time, Bono, try not to look so embarrassed.
You're losing us, American Idol. We'd like to send the whole show through the trap door that the American Idol/Simpsons vignette last week had Simon disappearing into. As a fund-raiser, great. As television, the week was redeemed only by Bart Simpson as Ryan Seacrest evoking the name of the late, departed Brian Dunkleman as he sent Simon into the cellar.
Truly, only the Dunk-man, who pulled a David Caruso by leaving the show after the first season and then disappeared into a sea of regret, can save the show now.
Prediction: This week, LaKisha and Phil go home.
Dave on Demand's Prediction
The show made it appear as if the Sword of Damocles was hanging over Jordin Sparks and Chris Richardson last week. That was just a ruse to shock the audience before it was announced no one would be dismissed. But a flood of sympathy votes will make them both safe this week. It's time to say goodbye to LaKisha Jones (and sorry, America) Melinda Doolittle.