"Idol Gives Back" night ended with $22 million raised for charity on Wednesday, April 9. The star-studded event that was broadcast on Fox received donations from various sources including, callers and those who logged on to AmericanIdol.com, Britain via Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as well as the show's four main icons, Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
The $22 million figure was announced on air during the final hour of the broadcast, but it is not the final sum for Idol is still taking donations. The organizers expects to hit $100 million mark this year after last year raising as much as $76 million.This year, proceeds from the event held at Los Angeles' Kodak Theater will benefit six organizations such as Children's Defense Fund, the Global Fund, Make It Right, Malaria No More, Save The Children and the Children's Health Fund.
Stars ranging from actor Brad Pitt to politicians like Gordon Brown to sportsman Kobe Bryant have all appeared on the show to encourage people to donate. Britney Spears, reportedly, also chipped in $25,000 for the good cause after learning that children die of malaria in Africa. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain who were rumored to make an appearances, were a no show.
On other Idol news, the show has eliminated Michael Johns from Australia whose performance of Aerosmith's "Dream On" failed to impress the people of America in the "inspirational" week. "I'm definitely surprised," he told Seacrest. He was on the bottom three with contestants Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson.
Meanwhile, "X Factor" winner Leona Lewis who is in the middle of invading U.S. market with her debut album "Spirit", is reported to make an appearance on American Idol as a performer. The British singer who was mentored by Cowell when she was an X Factor contestant, is confirmed to be on the Fox show on April 23.