Brad Pitt Gets a Hands-on Welcome at American Idol

Brad Pitt Gets a Hands-on Welcome at American Idol
Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Landov

04/07/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Brad Pitt was speechless when he walked onto the American Idol stage Sunday night -- literally.

The crowd went wild when the actor took the stage at Hollywood's Kodak Theater to tape a segment for Fox's second annual Idol Gives Back special, making talking impossible.

The crowd jumped to their feet for the hunky superstar, whose efforts to help rebuild housing for families who lost everything in 2005's Hurricane Katrina were recognized by show. (The broadcast will air Wednesday, April 9.)

After nearly 30 seconds of cheers, the 44-year-old Pitt -- who was slated to introduce a film clip about former Idol contestant Chris Daughtry's visit to Uganda -- tried to say "thank you," but his microphone wasn't working.



That's when Idol stage manager Debbie McVickers rushed up to see what was wrong.



As McVickers hurried to fix Pitt's microphone, which had come unclipped from his shirt, she joked to the crowd about her "moment" with Pitt: "I just needed a reason to touch him."

Then, when a female production assistant came out to make sure the mic was affixed properly, McVickers joked again, "We need more women to touch him." Once properly wired for sound, Pitt was able to get through the introduction without a hitch.

Last year, the inaugural Idol Gives Back campaign raised more than $75 million for domestic and international charities. This year, producer Nigel Lythgoe told the audience minutes before the taping began that he "could feel" the show would crack the $100-million mark.

In fact, the show has already exceeded that amount thanks to a $200 million pledge by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who, via a taped message, said the country would pay for 20 million mosquito nets for African families in need.

The impact of the evening was not lost on Miley Cyrus, who, like others in the theater, learned that even ten dollars -- the cost of one mosquito net -- could make a difference in someone's life. "There's that can give hundreds, thousands," Cryus said. "It's good to have that self-power and be able to say, 'Okay, no matter how much I'm putting in, I'm making a difference.' "

Other big moments of the night include performances by Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, John Legend, Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan and Mariah Carey. And Fergie's rendition of "Barracuda" with Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson brought down the house.

All of the evening's music can be purchased on Itunes after the Idol Gives Back telecast. --Monica Rizzo and Jed DrebenMario Anzuoni/Reuters/Landov

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