The two-hour Idol Gives Back special airing April 21 promises tons of surprises, including a mysterious appearance from Bill and Melinda Gates. American Idol is keeping things quiet so fans will tune in, but a few facts have leaked.
SheKnows Entertainment can tell you this: Former Idol’s make big returns and then there are the superstars including Elton John, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood and The Black Eyed Peas. Also promised is something “quite incredible” from philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates!
Ryan Seacrest will share his hosting duties with Queen Latifah for the big night and performers set to take the stage include the previously mentioned Sir Elton John, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood and The Black Eyed Peas, as well as Annie Lennox, Jeff Beck, Joss Stone and Mary J Blige. Justin Bieber will also make a pre-recorded appearance as he is currently in Japan.
Idol alums will also be in the house for the big event. Confirmed guests include David Cook, Kris Allen and Chris Daughtry. Allen and Cook have both traveled through Idol Gives Back and will share their experiences in Ethiopia and Haiti, respectively.
Meanwhile, Simon Fuller previews that Microsoft founder Gates and his wife, a famously benevolent pair, have a special surprise in store. He teases they, “have done something very special, quite incredible, this year,” but fans will have to tune in to see what that’s about!
The past two Idol Gives Back specials have included appearances from the likes of President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former President George W Bush, Brad Pitt, Bono, Reese Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Pink, Celine Dion, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and countless others.
The program has raised 140 million to benefit charities around the world and across the United States over the last few years. This year’s proceeds will go to Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children’s US Programs and the United Nations Foundation.
“This year, (it’s) a little bit more weighted toward domestic causes because we feel it is an American show,” said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America and American Idol executive producer. “It’s a very, very tough couple of years in this country and it’s only fair that we focus on US causes as well as some big international causes.”
In another change, the fundraiser is airing as part of the weekly American Idol elimination episode this year, as opposed to a stand-alone broadcast. This means that in the midst of all the giving and good spirits, one of the seven remaining contestants will be sent home. Who do you think it will be?
Tune in tonight from 8 to 10 pm on Fox, give what you can and enjoy the show.