‘American Idol’ In 60 Seconds: Charity Can’t Save Tim Urban

On 'Idol Gives Back' week, it was hard to notice anything but Crystal Bowersox.

It was “Idol Gives Back” week on “American Idol,” that time on the show when the judges beg viewers to help solve the world’s problems when in actuality, the interest from Simon Cowell’s savings account alone could buy every human a mosquito net. Or 12.

It also meant that the top seven sang “inspirational songs” (with guest mentor Alicia Keys), a theme almost half of them interpreted as “cheesy soundtrack songs.”

Crystal “Not a Quitter” Bowersox solidified her front-runner status by delivering the season’s first official “Holy Crap That Just Happened on Live TV” moment when she burst into tears singing lyrics about “the Lord.” But it wasn’t the Holy Spirit that moved her. She told Seacrest it was PapaSox sitting in the audience that made her lose her cool. Bowersox’s “People Get Ready” was so good that nobody even seemed to care that she sang into a bong-shaped microphone stand.

Oh, and the other remaining six contestants sang too.

Wednesday was the official two hour (and 9,000,000 minute) “Idol Gives Back” telethon, so you know what that means: The contestants wore virginal white, Annie Lennox sang the crap out of a song that makes you cry (even if Icelandic ash kept her on another continent), and we got to see a past Idol frolic with smiling African babies. (This year we had the added enjoyment of seeing David Cook’s hairstyle change 15 times in four minutes of television!)

Producers pulled the biggest names out of their Rolodex for the admirable occasion, and unfortunately most of those celebs passed. But look! They booked Jonah Hill and George Lopez and Common and the one and only Octomom!

But “Idol” is first and foremost a music show (just kidding), so the highlights of the night were obviously the musical guests. Each member of the Black Eyed Peas performed a separate song simultaneously (also of note: Fergie dressed like Wonder Woah-man). Mary J. Blige dramatically took off her sunglasses during an “all-star” “Stairway to Heaven.” Alicia Keys left her voice at home, Carrie Underwood sang about changes (not menopause), and Sir Elton John performed “Your Song” for the millionth time in his career. It was most unfortunate when a demon entered the body of Joss Stone and ruined her performance with Jeff Beck. I hope she gets exorcised soon. Perhaps “Idol” will raise money for that cause next year.

In the end, despite David Duchovny, Disney stars, the POTUS, the Posh, Bill and Melinda Gates and the “Idol” judges begging America to be generous, viewers voted off Tim Urban, the shiniest happiest person in the cast. To think that $10 of singing lessons may have extended his “Idol” life.

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