For such a wanna-be feel good show this week, the end result on last night's American Idol - ha, ha, no results - left us feeling a bit snookered.
Celine Dion singing with a virtual Elvis was creepy beyond belief, especially with the six remaining Idols dressed in all white like dead people in a Woody Allen flick. Dreadful. About 70 million votes were tallied, which would have meant Newscorp. owed the impoverished people of the world $7 million, except Rupert Murdoch put a cap on his largesse at $5 million. Savvy!
All in all, the money raised was impressive - $30 million, $100,000 from Ellen DeGeneres alone. The suffering, massive. Camera crews in Africa were unable to save a child they found wandering far from help with his mother, but were able to capture the death itself. Another woman died despite Ryan and Simon's horror.
But the Idol folks breached their contract. We in the Massive Idol Audience suffer through two days of sanctimonious and self-congratulatory fund-raising - plus, cough up 70 million votes and $30 million - and we are then denied our little naughty fix at the end, all the more anticipated because of the backdrop of good will.
Bring us back to our core mission by sending somebody home. It would have been OK. We can compartmentalize.
Last night, all we had was the satisfaction of seeing Annie Lennox kick some Clay Aiken butt with her spellbinding cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Also, was it the dress, or is Kelly Clarkson turning into Mama Cass? Jack Black nicely skewered the eminently skewerable Kiss From a Rose.
But no. Idol wants to be so much bigger - so much more magnificent - than just a singing competition. So the votes will be counted in with next week's tally and two will be axed next week. That's a Donald Trump move, and, sorry, it skewers the voting and undermines the - ha - integrity of the contest.
Bono had it right when he noted in his little filmed Idol bit the ridiculousness of "an Irish rock star appearing on American Idol" as an example of how people from opposite ends of the - in this case, talent - spectrum can come together over a good cause. Next time, Bono, try not to look so embarrassed.
You're losing us, American Idol. We'd like to send the whole show through the trap door that the American Idol Simpsons vignette last night had Simon disappearing into. As a fund-raiser, great. As television, the week was only redeemed by Bart Simpson as Ryan Seacrest evoking the name of the late, departed Brian Dunkelman as he sent Simon into the cellar.
Truly, only the Dunk-man, who pulled a David Caruso by leaving the show after the first season and then disappeared into a sea of regret, can save the show now.
Prediction: Next week, LaKisha and Phil go home.