First things first: in yesterday's Idol Beat, I made reference to how excited I was for Idol Gives Back, a wildly successful annual event/trainwreck wherein the program brings a ton of celebrities on in an effort to raise money for various worthy charaties. I've just learned that Idol Gives Back won't be happening this year due to the recession. (The announcement was made last December, and I totally missed it.) That's the stated reason, but I think the unspoken one was that American Idol didn't wanna have to state post-Idol Gives Back that giving was down significantly. Either way, bogus. Onward: * Flo-Rida and Kellie Pickler are here, which would be an inherently interesting fact if they were going to perform the Ol' Dirty Bastard remix of Mariah Carey's "Fantasy." Which they won't. *You know, a family of rats could comfortably live in one of the fancy, long, "Old Hollywood" lavender gloves Paula's wearing tonight.
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* Shane Drake, director of this week's magic-themed Ford videomercial, looks like a well-coiffed serial killer, like Patrick Bateman's weasel-y little cousin. But the video is actually pretty good, full of outsized pagentry and poof. * Flo Rida: useless, lucky, doesn't deserve any more digitized ink than that. Well, maybe a little: the best part of his appearance was Ryan Seacrest making reference to the rapper's onstage "harem." Who even uses that word anymore? * Kellie Pickler looks about a decade older than she did on Idol Season 5. She's like a junior Cougar, a Cougar-in-training. And her new single has absolutely nothing on the weakest song on her debut album, which was actually really good, in its way. * Ryan to Kellie, after her performance: "There's calamari backstage." Calamari is sublime; I so need to become famous, if just to insist upon heaping platefuls of the stuff on my tour riders. And yeah, until right now I forgot about the who hullabaloo about how Pickler couldn't pronounce "calamari" when she was on Idol. * How did I forget to mention yesterday that Simon Cowell gave Adam Lambert's magical bathed-in-blue-floodlights rendering of "Mad World" a standing ovation on Tuesday night? On Wednesday, Adam admitted being floored by that unprecedented show of approval: "I was extremely honored, I really appreciated that gesture." * Buh-bye, Scott MacIntyre; no judges' save for you, though your save-me-please run-through of "The Search Is Over" was redeeming enough that I wanted to be able to kick you around for another week - if only because I so, so want a "two-contestants-eliminated-at-once" showdown week. Today's Ford-sponsored Bucky Covington Moment, from "Carolina Blue": "Chasing dreams and watching em' come true/ Everything is coming my way but you."