Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Anti-Malaria pledges come fast on “Idol” fundraiser

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r.jpg       He hardly fits the bill as an American Idol, but British Prime Minister Gordon Brown won fans for an extraordinary pledge to buy 20 million anti-malarial nets for use in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Brown made the commitment in a video-taped appearance on Wednesday’s “American Idol” charity TV special “Idol Gives Back” which brings celebrities, charities and viewers together in a bid to raise tens of millions of dollars for children’s charities in Africa and the United States.

Oil company Exxon Mobil, one of the “Idol” corporate sponsors, separately announced a $10 million donation to the fund raiser to be spent on anti-malarial efforts in Africa.

Brown’s pledge on behalf of the British government represents about one-sixth of the 120 million life-saving mosquito nets that experts says are needed to protect every child and family around the world from contracting the disease.

“Give back” those two minutes of our lives, David Cook!

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davidcook2.jpgOh no he didn’t.  Unfortunately, oh yes he did.

Rocker David Cook bombed on “American Idol” Tuesday night with an unfamiliar song and cocky performance that made it seem like he believed he had already wrapped up the competition.

Cook chose “Innocent,” a song by Canadian alternative rock band Our Lady Peace, to sing on a night when contestants were told to choose music that inspires them. The night’s theme was intended as a preview for “Idol Gives Back,” the show’s charity special that airs on Wednesday.

Miley’s no Idol fan

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Tween sensation Miley Cyrus sang up a storm on the “American Idol” charity special “Idol Gives Back” but it turns out the Disney star is no fan of the most popular TV show (apart from her own) in America.

Cyrus, 15,  aka “Hannah Montana”,  performed two songs live at the Hollywood taping of the fundraiser at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on Sunday and recorded a mini segment highlighting the plight of impoverished kids in Kentucky, where her dad Billy Ray Cyrus was born and raised.

Is “Idol” shaping up as David vs David?

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dcook.jpgNever is “American Idol” better than when seemingly second-rate contestants emerge from the shadows to blow the annointed frontrunners out of the water.

Rocker David Cook has managed to pull that off a few times this season already, most memorably with his rock take on Lionel Richie’s “Hello” before he even made it into the Top 12. Still, the 25-year-old hasn’t garnered anywhere near the attention seen by babyfaced teen David Archuleta or Irish diva Carly Smithson.

Is Idol’s King of Mean, Simon Cowell, kind at heart?

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cowell.jpgSimon Cowell plays the King of Mean on the panel of judges on “American Idol,” telling some wannabee stars they must be deaf if they think they can sing, calling others’ dancing hideous, and telling one female contestant she looked like the Incredible Hulk’s wife. But a story emerged this week that shone a new light on 48-year-old Cowell — he gave a couple whose three-year-old daughter is suffering cancer a check of $162,000 to pay off their mortgage.

The bombastic Brit, who was recently estimated by Forbes magazine to earn about $43 million  year, was so touched by the story of Madelaine Stoen when she appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s U.S. TV chat show that he declared he would be her “guardian angel.” Madelaine’s parents Amy and Randy Stoen from Claremont, Minnesota, were struggling financially after the youngster was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and would take turns traveling more than 100 miles from  home each day so she could get treatment.

“Idol” David Archuleta: Will he work it out?

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How the mighty has fallen.david-archuleta.JPG

Tuesday night on “American Idol,” 17-year-old David Archuleta officially lost his place as the singing competition’s frontrunner. Not only did the Utah native forget the lyrics (always a kiss of death on ‘Idol’) to The Beatles’ “We Can Work it Out,” he never recovered from the mistake. Judge Randy Jackson dubbed his uninspired performance “very forced,” while Simon Cowell bluntly called it “a mess.”

To make matters even weirder, Archuleta said in his pre-recorded interview that he had been nervous about having to choose a song from the Lennon/McCartney songbook because he “wasn’t too familiar with the songs.” Seriously.

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