In case you haven't heard, Idol is Giving Back. If they give the profits from the sale of three hours worth of Idol, I won't complain. News Core is giving 5 million up front, based on available votes. That's a start. They say 10 cents for each vote cast up to 50 million, so I'm sure a little double dialing will fix that. Ford and Coke have to pony up also. What I don't want to see is Simon with any more children. He is so out of place it is scary. Ryan is on top of it wherever or whatever, but Simon is just not the apparent heir of kindness and caring. Don't push the envelope. It just might burst. Let's face it. Three hours is not going to save the world, but it makes Idol look better.

The theme is songs of Inspiration. Save me, or I should say spare me more appropriately. Chris is first. “If I Could Change the World” has never sounded more like plea to young girls rather than caring about changing the world. It was a pretty good performance, but he did slip in a twisty dip and boyband it as much as possible. Randy is not worth listening to anymore. He is just taking home the check these days. Paula is loopy and convivial as ever. Simon is pretending to be nice tonight. It's the more generous, caring Simon. He likes the song, Chris, and everyone involved. I'm feeling a little sick.

Did they do audience research and come up with this “feel good” theme? The footage they are showing is the briefest and most emotional they could come up with. It's not hard to find suffering in the world. It's not far from anyone's home. I'm undecided if I care for this cross breeding of commercialism with caring, but I'm leaning toward No. Melinda is singing another song I never heard. I admit I don't listen to much inspirational music. She could end up with the same luck that Mandisa had when she chose Gospel. It was a good song and Melinda sang it great, but I am unable to judge what I won't listen to. Simon was so gracious with his “You are like a mas-tuh class in singing” that I'm having cramps. Is anyone inspired enough to get out your credit cards yet? And where is Bono? If you are going to use his name, I want to see his witty comments and words of wisdom to the contestants. Maybe he is mentoring the group number. I feel like I'm back in the eighties and Michael has just assigned us our parts. Let the catfighting begin. We are the world, we are the Idol.

Ryan is really hopped up. Ford, Coke, and AT&T made “generous” donations. I want numbers, not adjectives. Blake is singing “Imagine”. It's almost not right to use this song for a singing competition even if the theme is songs of Inspiration. Blake did the A-ha part so weirdly I could strangle him. He should have picked a different song. The words are great but the performance is mediocre. Blake could easily end up in the bottom with this one. Was he doing Morrisey? It stunk whatever it was. I sing that with more emotion than him after I take a sleeping pill when I can't sleep. I sing really good then. Really. At least that good.

“Tonight your votes are saving lives.” Was there ever a better written ad hook? Tomorrow night is a hoopla of everyone that they could get to show up. Lakisha has to again mention that she is a Single Mother. I see a framed portrait of Lakisha in my head with a brass plate beneath that says “Single Mother”. Anyhow, she is singing Fantasia's song from the autobiographical movie of a single mother. Weird, bad song choice. Lakisha is going down in the winning column. She needs to pick better songs. Paula is having head rushes and babbling like a mad woman. Simon translates and says that Paula preferred Fantasia's version. He finally gets booed into silence because he is trying so hard to be nice, yet desperately wants to say how horrible he thought it was. It was uninspiring to say the least. I'm not having a fun night, much less inspirational. It makes me want a pain reliever and a quiet room so far.

On with the generosity. Phil is up next and he works his baby girls into the conversation before singing. Go for those sympathy votes because the plucked eyebrows aren't working. Did I mention that I hate sappy songs? That includes almost all inspirational songs including this boring number. I probably should listen more. Maybe I wouldn't be so cynical, but I doubt it. Phil's song sounded like country. I feel sure he'll be moving here to Nashville along with Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covinginton and Bo Bice and all the other Idol losers. Simon really really likes Phil. He goes on and on in his complimentary chatter. I'm waiting for the Simon robot to get stuck on one phrase, “people really like you, people really like you, people really like you, people really like you” etc... I wonder where the real Simon is tonight?

Yes, I know it's for charity and a good cause, but is all the spectacle necessary. My favorite givers are always the Donated by Anonymous. Simon is not a good spokesperson for caring and suffering. It reeks of self-promotion. I like Simon the hardassed singing judge. I don't much care for Simon the compassionate. Jordin is wrapping up the night with a big hit inspirational song. I even know this one. Jordin is peaking at just the right time on Idol. She looks and sounds like an Idol. She makes the audience emote with her, not just listen to her, which is the rarest talent. Randy cannot get over the fact that Jordin is seventeen. He mentions it a lot. Too much in fact. Paula babbles. Simon thinks she is fantastic and could have hit record with that. He is always thinking about sales when he is not thinking about being his generous and kind self.

Is it me or is this Idol boring? We have one great, but uninspiring singer, and one inspiring, but not great singer and a group of others that are following along in the rear. Tomorrow is two hours (I'm sure it's for Charity) and the biggest surprise ever on Idol according to Ryan. I'll be watching the last 10 minutes or so. I've never liked big surprises. I'd like to hear a good Pop song sung in a manner that you might hear today, but that doesn't seem to happen very often on this show. It doesn't really matter because it is all for charity and Idol is giving back. Have you heard?