Television

The Touching Story behind 'Idol Gives Back'


From the African woman who broke Simon's heart to the little boy who melted it, only "Extra's" cameras were invited along for Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest's mission of mercy halfway around the world, a trip that marked the beginning of "Idol Gives Back."

While Simon and Ryan may be two of the most famous faces in America, the duo remained virtually unknowns in Africa.

"I think certain things you've got to see for yourself," Simon said of the experience.

But along with the joys encountered in the poverty stricken country was profound despair, as Simon and Ryan met a mother of 13 who was HIV positive.

"You can obviously see how bad it is," Ryan revealed. "But what you can't understand unless you're here is how hot it is; how awful the odor is...it's almost impossible to describe."

But following the pain, the "Idol" leaders found promise as they visited a local school.

"You couldn't have more of an extreme," Simon said. "Beautiful place, everyone is happy. This is heaven and before it was hell."

Tuesday night marks the start of the special two-night "Idol Gives Back," as the six finalists sing songs of hope and inspiration.

Superstars including Bono, Celine Dion, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood and original "Idol" Kelly Clarkson will appear in the special to benefit children around the world.

Don't miss this monumental TV event that is aiming to better the world, one child at a time.

"Idol Gives Back" airs Tuesday and Wednesday nights on FOX.


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