Coverage of this event was split between the regular "American Idol" studios (hosted by Ryan Seacrest) and the Pasadena Civic Center (the latter of which was hosted by Queen Latifah). It started with a special message from President Obama & First Lady Michelle.
Top 12 (L.A.)- "Keeping the Dream Alive" from the movie "Say Anything"
The Black-Eyed Peas- "Rock That Body"
Ford music video- "We've Got a Big Mess On Our Hands" by The Academy Is...
Jeff Beck & Joss Stone with The Jubilation Choir- "I Put a Spell on You" by Hocus Pocus
Alicia Keys- "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)" & "Empire State of Mind (Part II), Broken Down"
Carrie Underwood- "Change"
Elton John- "Your Song"
There were also cameos by George Lopez, David Cook, Wanda Sykes amongst others. This broadcast ran 24 minutes overtime.