Ellen DeGeneres Out as 'Idol' Gives Back Co-Host
Close to the last minute, Ellen DeGeneres has pulled out as co-host on the now-annual Idol Gives Back American Idol charity event.
"Ellen, we were told, couldn't do it due to personal production pressure and it's going to be taken over by Ryan," says producer Nigel Lythgoe, already talking to reporters Wednesday (April 2) about the Idol Gives Back special.
Wait. Does that mean Double Seacrest?
"Only one Seacrest," Lythgoe says reassuringly, "Because we're doing part of the show on the Sunday at the Kodak Theatre and then obviously live in the studio."
Last year, Seacrest and DeGeneres hosted live facets of the Idol Gives Back special from different venues, with Seacrest on the regular Idol stage on the CBS Lot and DeGeneres handling festivities from the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
This year, though, DeGeneres' part of the show was going to be taped early, with fans and stars gathering for a bevy of performance shooting and Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on Sunday (April 6), as Lythgoe says.
"We've got a lot of co-hosts," Lythgoe emphasizes. "There's a lot of stars gonna be coming on that stage, so it isn't like last year. You know, there's a lot of really good people coming on that stage to introduce people."
The Idol Gives Back special will air on Wednesday, April 9.
Among the stars expected to either make appearances or perform are Bono, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Robin Williams, Celine Dion, Forest Whitaker, Billy Crystal, Dane Cook, Kiefer Sutherland, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Jennifer Connolly, Amy Adams, Fantasia, Elliott Yamin, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Fergie, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Annie Lennox, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5, Heart and Gloria Estefan.
This year's charity recipients will include Children's Defense Fund, The Children's Health Fund, The Global Fund, Make It Right, Malaria No More and Save the Children's U.S. Programs.