The juggernaut that is "American Idol" aired their two and half hour "Idol Gives Back" special Wednesday, with a bevy of celebrities (Watch "Idol Gives Back" clips), but cut Senators Obama, McCain and Clinton for time. Despite two segments with Miley Cyrus, including a long, painful exchange with Billy Crystal, ones with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Maria Shriver, and dozens of other celebrity appearances, the presidential candidates' touted cameos got the ax.
The NYT reports:
Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain made taped appeals for charity on a special edition of "American Idol" on Wednesday night that didn't make the cut. The telethon for needy children around the world entitled "Idol Gives Back" drew the likes of Fergie, Bono, Brad Pitt, Mariah Carey and Miley Cyrus, and went too long. The candidates' contributions were kicked back to Thursday night's episode.
It was Simon Cowell, the "Idol" judge, who admonished the nation about the health care crisis in the United States, narrating a short, gauzy film that showed him visiting and consoling a low-income family with no insurance. It was Reese Witherspoon who spoke on behalf of the Children's Defense Fund, the organization for whom Mrs. Clinton worked as a young lawyer. It was Brad Pitt who praised the American can-do spirit in rebuilding New Orleans and received a standing ovation.
Daughtry in Uganda closed the show.