- (Photo: AP / Matt Sayles)
American Idol took its charity theme very seriously this week as it spared all six finalists from being voted off.
To raise awareness and relief for poverty stricken children in America and Africa, the nations biggest show had a star-filled week as part of Idol Gives Back, a two-night special that had sponsors offer money for each vote casted this week.
"All your favorites are still in the competition, announced host Ryan Seacrest during Wednesday nights show. How could we let anyone go on a charity night?"
The news means that all of the remaining finalists will still have at least another week on the program. Because nobody was cut from this weeks performances, however, two of the final six singers will be sent packing next Wednesday.
All the votes that were cast this Tuesday night will add into next weeks tally, so low vote-getters this week may still be in trouble. None of the vote results were released, however, so it is unclear who may be in the doghouse.
While Wednesdays surprise announcement may have come as a relief for the contenders whose performances Tuesday night received the least praise, it may have been slightly disappointing for supporters of the three Gospel Music Association (GMA)-backed singers who had received quality critiques from all the judges.
Melinda Doolittle, 29, former back-up singer from Nashville, home to todays biggest Christian artists, was again given a flawless rating for her performance of "There Will Come a Day" by Faith Hill. She has continually shown herself to be one of the shows frontrunners.
"It must feel great, week after week, getting the praise and love and support and the great critiques, commented 90s pop star and judge Paula Abdul, because Melinda there's no one like you. You are just you're magical. You really are. You're magical."
Jordin Sparks, 17, another Christian vocalist who has been continuously vying for this seasons Idol crown, also received perfect remarks from each of the three judges this week. This comes one week after outspoken judge Simon Cowell announced that she could win American Idol.
Randy Jackson, who seems to favor Sparks, gave the critique, You know something? I keep saying it every week, but it's so true this week. I think that's one of the best vocals by any contestant ever on this show ever in six seasons, and it's sung by someone who's 17-years-old! That was the hottest tonight America! Right there!
Phil Stacey, 29, music minister at First Coast Christian in Jacksonville, Fla., also had another good week after his previous strong performance.
"Phil, you know, I really like you, explained Cowell. I'm glad that you had a good week last week and you've come back with a spring in your step, confidence. I thought it was a good choice of song. My only thing I would advise you on is that last week, we heard more of a kind of a country-tone in your voice, which I think suits your voice much, much more than the way you sang it tonight. And I'm going to tell you, if you can connect now with the two elements, you actually could do very well in this show because I think people like you."
Idol will return next week with contestant performances on Tuesday and a vote-off show on Wednesday, eliminating two contestants rather than one.
As part of this weeks Idol Gives Back, each casted viewer vote, whether it be by phone or text message, had a sponsored donation to Charity Projects Entertainment Fund to aid youth that are in need. Several pop stars and actors made appearances and performances on the show to support the cause, including Kelly Clarkson, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Ben Stiller, and Madonna.
The program still remains the number one show on television, bringing in 26 to 37 million viewers per telecast this season.