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April 10, 2008
Idol Chatter: Are you kidding me?

OK, so check it out. I'm still picking my jaw - and my starstruck eyes - off the ground after Aussie Michael Johns was eliminated tonight on "American Idol."

I have a vague memory of what happened the first 57 minutes of the show because, while I had a feeling maybe Michael or David Cook would get a bottom three scare (like Brooke White last week), my sights were set on either Carly Smithson or Syesha Mercado, who joined Michael on the "silver thrones."

Said Michael: "I'm definitely surprised. If there's a song to go out on, that's not a bad one."

No shock: David Archuleta is safe. And a last-week ukelele purchase protected Jason Castro. For the first time in as many weeks, country crooner Kristy Lee Cook got sent to the safety of the sofas. However, I don't think she actually sat.

As for the rest of the show, host Ryan Seacrest navigated the audience - and us - through a montage of "Idol Gives Back" leftovers. Let's face it: There were waaaay more celebs who did participate than made it on Wednesday night's broadcast.

So, folks like Dr. Phil, Ricki Lake and (sorry I don't watch the Disney Channel) Zack and Cody were relegated to tonight's recap, which started with Ryan announcing that $60 million had been raised. (That doesn't take into account Great Britain's beaucoup $200 million for mosquito nets to combat malaria in Africa.)

Folks can still contribute, of course.

Icky moment of the night? Sorry, but I was sort of creeped out by Season 6 "Idol" winner Jordin Sparks caressing and carrying on with "No Air" and Chris Brown..

I'm too old, right?

Props to the three presidential candidates - Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain - for making it on air tonight to ask for donations. McCain even warned judge (and Brit) Simon Cowell that if he won the election, immigration reform would be at the top of the list.

(I happen to know all three judges are signed through two more seasons.)

I'm very eager to hear what Michael has to say about his departure, so check back to 21Q on Friday for an interview.

In the meantime, "Dream On."

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