On 'Idol,' It's the Night for the Three Candidates -- but Not for Aussie Michael Johns

Out of the race: Michael Johns, right, with host Ryan Seacrest.
Out of the race: Michael Johns, right, with host Ryan Seacrest. (Fox Tv)

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By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, April 11, 2008

The three presidential wannabes finally got to do their call-to-action close-ups on "American Idol" last night after not making the cut to appear on "Idol Gives Back" the night before.

The good news: They reached a larger audience on the results show than they would have during the celebrity-encrusted telethon for needy children -- more on that later.

With Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a fight to the finish for the Democratic nomination, neither dared risk showing any crack in the veneer. It was all "collectively we can make the world a better place and we can give our children a brighter future," "when ordinary people come together they can do extraordinary things," "I hope that everyone watching will make a contribution to 'Idol Gives Back' and help make this world a more just, more equal and more hopeful place to live."

John McCain, on the other hand, has the GOP nomination sewn up and dared to show a pulse:

" 'American Idol' is a lot like a presidential primary election. Except for people who live in Michigan and Florida -- their votes will actually count." Oh, snap!

Then he gave his obligatory "when Americans unite as one, and our generosity and compassion are unleashed, the results are nothing short of remarkable" shout-out. But he rebounded with, "As for me, it's back to work on my new immigration plan. Watch your back, Simon."

McCain wins -- no contest.

The Three Candidates appearance was just one of the "Idol Gives Back" Flotsam & Jetsam segments in the results show.

We also saw a Lip-Synch Dance-Off video not considered good enough for the charitypalooza, featuring such luminaries as Dr. Phil, Eddie Izzard, Selma Blair and Michael Chiklis, among others, faux-singing "I'm a Believer." And there were still plenty of celebs to read the toll-free number on the TV screen and urge viewers to make donations, including roly-poly Zack and Cody and Jim Carrey.

Getting down to business, in this "Idol" season's first genuine voting surprise, Aussie Michael Johns got the hook after landing in the bottom three for the first time. He was joined in the cellar by frequent visitors Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson.

After Johns was tagged the lowest vote-getter, show host Ryan Seacrest tortured him a while with some blah, blah, blah about how last year during "IGB" week, the show decided not to whack any of the Idolettes. This year, Seacrest said -- no dice.

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