"Idol Gives Back" this year kicked off with a video greeting from President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. " 'American Idol' has always been about changing lives - on the stage and around the world," President Obama said. "We want to thank American Idol for the example they're setting, and encourage everyone watching to make a contribution."
Obama then imitated judge Randy Jackson by saying, "You're all my dogs." The First Lady wouldn't miss the chance to mock the judges too, telling Simon Cowell to "be nice". Afterwards, Ryan Seacrest welcomed the four judges who each brought back stories from around the world.
Queen Latifah is on duty this year to lead the show. Celebrities contributing on stage are this season's Top 12, Carrie Underwood, Elton John, Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Joss Stone and Jeff Beck. The non-performers who help encouraging people to donate are Jennifer Garner, Victoria Adams and Bill and Melinda Gates among others.
The special event is airing live on FOX and at the end of the show, one contestant will be eliminated.