“Idol Gives Back:” What You Didn’t See

As you probably already know, last night’s “Idol Gives Back” telethon — which, by the time the credits started rolling, had raised nearly $22 million — was pre-taped Sunday night, and later edited for air. And despite running close to (cough) three hours, there just wasn’t enough time to squeeze everything that happened into the final broadcast. This meant that a lot of moments — including, absurdly, charitable video messages from all three leading presidential candidates — never reached the kids at home.

So for the record, Obama, whose message scored the loudest applause from the studio audience, pleaded with Americans to “help make this place a more just, more equal, and more hopeful place to live.” And Clinton asked that viewers “help our neighbors, whether next door or in another state or country.”

But those were just the more high-minded moments. From the cheesy to the sanctimonious, what else did you miss? For the diehard “Idol”-heads out there, a rundown of what ended up on the cutting room floor after the jump.

· For starters, the show’s opening number was cut short; “Idol” hopefuls Michael Johns and Kristy Lee Cook’s solo lines during the song’s first verse were nixed altogether. Ouch!

· John Legend actually performed solo before inviting Fergie out onstage him for “Finally.” Legend had performed his track “Show Me,” but guess he won’t ever be able to show us.

· If you thought Miley Cyrus and Billy Crystal’s exchange went perhaps a tad extra-lengthy, consider yourself lucky. The audience during Sunday’s taping had to snore through a whole lot more of it.

· You also missed Dolly Parton’s plea for donations, which was apparently taped during her recent appearance as a mentor to the “Idol” kids. Dude, it’s Dolly! “9 to 5”! Dollywood!!

· Gloria Estefan’s performance actually began with a solo; she opened with a ridiculously sluggish version of “Get On Your Feet,” which was freakin’ cheesy as all hell. On the broadcast, all we saw was Gloria welcoming out drummer Sheila E for the normal version of the track. Consider yourself spared.

· And speaking of merciful editing, you were all spared this God-awful blue-screen montage set to the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer.” It would have reminded you of last year’s “Stayin’ Alive” montage — only this one featured Eddie Izzard, Cheryl Hines from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Rob Schneider, George Lopez, Kobe Bryant, Vinnie Jones, Selma Blair, Baby Spice, Michael Chiklis from “The Shield,” Kylie Minogue, Camryn Manheim, Kyra Sedgwick, and even Dr. Phil. Yeah, you seriously missed all that.

· Oh, and Robin Williams’ “Borat”-esque Russian “Idol” segment went a lot longer, too. Most notably missing was a jab he took at judge Paula Abdul. Williams said that in Russia, they have a show called “So You Think You Can Drink.” He then said to Abdul, “Paula, you could win –- I know you could.” Paula was not amused, and later on, when Williams wasn’t getting any closer to wrapping things up, Cowell snapped, “Can we hurry this up??”