The quest of American Idol finalist Sanjaya Malakar ended last night when it was announced that he received the fewest votes. Tuesday's performance show featured the Top 7 singers performing country music after being mentored by superstar Martina McBride. Malakar, 17, from Federal Way, WA, sang "Something to Talk About". Over 38 million votes, this season's highest total, were received after the show. On Wednesday, McBride performed "Anyway" from her new album "Waking Up Laughing," Fergie sang "Big Girls Don't Cry" and it was revealed that Malakar will not be moving forward in the competition.
Next week, American Idol partners with the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund (CPEF) on an historic television event: Idol Gives Back, a two-night special raising awareness and funds for organizations that provide relief programs to help children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa. On Tuesday, April 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), in keeping with the Idol Gives Back theme, the Top 6 finalists (Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones, Blake Lewis, Chris Richardson, Jordin Sparks and Phil Stacey) will sing "life anthem" songs about compassion and hope.
The special two-hour results show on Wednesday, April 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) will be a star-studded evening featuring live performances from the American Idol stage as well as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Also, viewers find out who receives enough votes to stay in the competition and who must go home on the live results show.
Celebrity participants for Idol Gives Back include Celine Dion, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Earth, Wind & Fire, Il Divo, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Josh Groban with the African Children's Choir, Jack Black, Helen Mirren, Rascal Flatts, Quincy Jones, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Annie Lennox and many more.
A limited number of tickets to the Idol Gives Back concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, are currently available for sale to the general public. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Americanidol.com.
The money raised by Idol Gives Back will equally benefit the United States and Africa. In the U.S., CPEF has selected America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Children's Health Fund as beneficiaries, in addition to the previously announced Save the Children. These organizations deliver support to poor children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country, providing them with medical care, food and grocery products, health and life skills, literacy programs and obesity prevention, among other important initiatives.
In Africa, funds will be dedicated to The Global Fund, Malaria No More, Nothing But Nets, Save the Children and The U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Each organization will receive funds to support efforts to battle poverty through various health and education programs, including delivering medical supplies and providing clean water. These organizations also aim to control and prevent malaria through practical resources and programs, including providing life-saving bed nets and other activities tied to Africa Malaria Day on April 25.
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