Idol exec: “some people don’t want to spend two hours watching poverty and people suffering”

When Idol Gives Back, American Idol 6‘s two-night for-charity event, begins tonight, viewers won’t have to worry about being sad or missing out on karaoke.

Producers “have to be really careful, because people watch ‘American Idol’ for entertainment and to see their favorite contestant,” executive producer and FremantleMedia COO Cecile Frot-Coutaz tells the AP. She continues, “Maybe some people don’t want to spend two hours watching poverty and people suffering.”

In other words, our ratings are more important to us than actually helping people. Frot-Coutaz, who most recently insisted that Sanjaya wouldn’t win just days before he was eliminated, says, “we’re going to try to do it in a way that gives them great entertainment but raises awareness for people who are very poor, and children in particular, in the United States and Africa.”

Tonight’s show will be a typical one-hour performance show, although contestants will sing “‘life anthem’ songs of compassion and hope,” according to the AP, and viewer votes will result in contributions from corporations. Tomorrow night’s results show will become a two-hour telethon co-hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and featuring performers including Kelly Clarkson and Bono.

‘American Idol’ Hits High C, for Charity [AP]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.