Tuned In

Idol Watch: Idol Giveth, Taketh Away

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Brief spoilers about last night’s Idol Gives Back / elimination round of American Idol coming up—after the break!

So Tim Urban’s Teflon coating finally wore off and he was shown the way home. Eventually. But it came at the end of an Idol Gives Back telethon special that ran nearly a half-hour long. Now, look, even I’m not hard-hearted enough to critically dissect a charitable telethon (well, OK, I did shiver a little at Russell Brand chatting up Octomom). But it’s not like an event like this—planned-out, with a number of taped segments—was the victim of the unpredictable vagaries of live TV. If you want it to run long, just schedule it a half-hour long. I’m all for the fundraising effort, and I encourage you to give to Idol Gives Back right here. But see—it didn’t take so long to ask, did it?

One likely reason for the supersizing of the episode was that, unlike last year, it incorporated an elimination as well. The first year of the telethon, Idol went through the motions of an elimination, then spared the contestants at the end, apparently thinking sending someone home wouldn’t fit the spirit of the evening. Whether it was incongruous or not, though, waiting for the results hopefully kept more viewers around and resulted in more donations, so no complaints on that front—or on the elimination of Teflon Tim, though Aaron Kelly is probably even more due to go.

It seems a straightforward march from here to a likely final three of Crystal, Siobahn and Lee. But if you want to predict an alternative scenario—operators are standing by.