Tatiana's Dreams Dashed on "American Idol"

It's Wednesday, the first voting results night of this season's "American Idol," only three of last night's performers will survive, and host Ryan Seacrest warns us to "take nothing for granted."

Ryan Seacrest congratulates contestant Danny Gokey, who advances, while Tatiana Del Toro (left) gets sent home. (Frank Micelotta - Fox)

Does he mean like how we take for granted that Tatiana the Terrible is toast? And how we take for granted that Danny "Just Lost My Wife" Gokey and little pink-tipped Alexis Grace are going to get to sit in two of those stools that the people who survive this round get to sit in -- because they clearly won last night's popularity contest if not the singing portion of the competition? This year, as part of the changes to the show, the tractor seat stools are out. New, streamlined stools are in, stools that look like giant, shiny martini glasses -- the Stemware of Massive Opportunity.

Or, maybe, when Seacrest says take "take nothing for granted" he's referring to how we're assuming that Ricky Braddy hasn't a chance of achieving Stemware of Massive Opportunity status, because he got no on-air time during the first whole month of this season's "Idol" and just kinda showed up out of nowhere this week to give one of last night's two best vocal performances.

Because, as serious students of "Idol" know, on-air exposure during the Fly-Over Auditions and during Hollywood Week are critical to surviving the initial rounds of competition once viewers get to do the voting.

That's why this season's Idolettes all hate Tatiana -- the show's producers have had the camera all over her since her first audition.

"Thank you for your tremendous support!" Seacrest enthuses, revealing that Tuesday night we voted 24 million times for our favorite Idolettes -- 10 million more votes than same show last year. Yes We Can!

Some parents are sure going to be surprised when they see their little princess's text messaging charges on the next AT&T bill.

So, to recap, tonight we are going to learn: which chick Idolette got the most votes from among the initial 12, which guy got the most votes, and who got the second most votes of the first 12 Idolettes behind the week's top vote-getter which, obviously, is either the top chick or the top guy. Pop quiz tomorrow.

But first, it's time to Banter with the Judges. Randy Jackson reveals that some of last night's performances were good and some were bad. Kara DioGuardi seconds the motion. And, because Kara's new to the show and does not know any better, when Seacrest asks her to name names of the bad performers, she actually does.

Intrigued, Seacrest asks judge Simon Cowell -- the only judge worth listening to -- to critique Kara's first performance as Idol judge during a live "Idol" performance show.

"Amazing -- unprecedented," Simon smirks.

"He's lying," Kara simpers, modestly. Poor, sweet, stupid Kara.

Next, it's time for the This is Their Journey video, sort of showing us how these 12 Idolettes got here, followed by This Week in Group-Sing, in which we think we see Idolette Jackie Tohn shoving other chicks aside to position herself in the camera's face.

Then it's time for the How These 12 Did Last Night video recap, in which Voiceover Seacrest says Tatiana "turned the night around." Only some of the people shown in the clips following her actually performed before Tatiana did. One night in and they're already re-writing this season's "Idol" history?

Then it's time for -- no, not the results, we've got an hour to kill -- Seacrest to ask the Idolettes to grade their own performances. Jackie wants to know whether he means in the "school" sense or the "Olympics" sense. Anyway, she gives herself a B+. Anoop Desai insists he's relaxed until Seacrest starts grilling him to "tell the truth" and he admits he's "the most nervous I've ever been."

Tatiana is "humbled" to be here. Stevie Wright still can't figure out why the judges told her to sing a young song when she sang an old song, and then didn't like her young song. When, of course, they just didn't like her performance of that young song. We know she's confused because the three non-Simon judges couldn't bring themselves to say she stank Tuesday night, and instead focused on "song choice."

And now, at last, Seacrest goes in for the kill.

Winky Wiggly Casey Carlson is the victim, terminated for having winked and wiggled her way through a Police tune, after which Stephen Fowler gets whacked for having performed a Michael Jackson number.

Next, Seacrest calls Alexis to the center of the stage, and sends her to the Stemware of Massive Opportunity.

Seacrest gives Jackie the hook. Then Ricky gets the old heave ho.

Seacrest calls Anoop and Michael Sarver to the stage simultaneously. This can only mean one of them is going home. That would be Anoop, and Michael moves over to the Stemware of Massive Opportunity. Only 20,000 votes separated the two guys, Seacrest wants us to know. Which we think means Michael is not the top guy vote getter of this week. Our head starts to hurt.

Time to plug the new American Idol Ride or Game or whatever it is at Disney World. You can now go to Disney World, in Orlando, and buy a ticket to wait in line a really long time to pretend you're trying out for "Idol." Or, you can wait in line a really long time to actually try out for "Idol" next season without buying a ticket. Your choice.

Seacrest then calls for "the next two contestants" which means something is up, because he's picking them randomly so they'd have no way of knowing who they are. But, of course, it's not two of this season's Idolettes. It's two of last season's '"Idol" rejectees, Carly Smithson and Michael Johns, who are here to entertain us with their rendition of "The Letter." So this is what Seacrest meant when he told us not to take anything for granted.

That painful bit over, it's time for Seacrest to end the dreams of three more Idolettes: Ann Marie Boskovich, Brent Keith and Stevie are all sent packing.

That clever Seacrest has saved the best for last: Tatiana and Danny. Crazy and Shameless. Seacrest tries batting them about a bit, with stupid questions, but Tatiana is, mercifully, speechless, and Danny tells Seacrest to get on with it. Seacrest tells Danny to move over to the Stemware of Massive Opportunity.

Danny takes a victory lap, while Tatiana gently weeps. Cut to the Coke Red Room, where one of Danny's pals holds up a photo of Danny and his dead wife for the camera.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  February 19, 2009; 6:00 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: Tatiana No Laughing Matter on "American Idol" | Next: Multiple Choice Mistakes Mar 'American Idol'


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Goodbye to chunky monkey Tatiana. Anyone else notice she gave another furtive look for the camera after she got the old heave-ho? Is she some sort of Puerto Rican royalty? She seems to have a sense of entitlement and looked shocked (SHOCKED! I tell you) that she was sent packing.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 19, 2009 6:39 AM

I am SO glad Tatiana's gone. The judges had better not bring that twit back during Wildcard week. I hope Anoop gets another chance. Yippee, Danny!

Posted by: MILW | February 19, 2009 8:59 AM

I like to predict, based on seating, how they are going to be picked. Last year, they mixed it up from time to time. But it was obvious last night that it was going to come down to Crazy and Shameless. Dodged one there, but remember, Tatiana has a huge chance to be a wild card. I would almost bet on it.

So I was a Carly fan, but holy fake teeth and hair, Batman! She surprisingly covered up the sleeve. That performance (by both of them) was just as bad as the clowns the previous night. Hello song choice. Talk about irony.

They really need to make the results show a half hour, but we all know that won't happen.

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | February 19, 2009 9:06 AM

Tatiana's true colors just came shinning through--I'm sure if Paula could have commented about her she would have gone to the "you're all the colors of the rainbow" bit. The outright sobbing at the end was way too much-kind of a Marsha Brady not getting her way stunt. I hope Braddy comes back as a wild card. As for the judges I think Simon is hilarious with the surroundings of three of the least communicative people on the planet Randaraula--just trying that on for size.

Posted by: amanda3200 | February 19, 2009 9:08 AM

I was hoping to hear Tatiana, with her yellowed Chicklet teeth, wailing in the background as Danny sang his victory tune. And good Lord what's that girl been eating since auditions, huh? Little porker. I was a bit surprised when Ryan asked her what her psycic (sp) thought now or the fact that the cameras went to her waaay to much at the end there. Seemed that they were getting some last minute jabs in much to the delight of the studio audience. Oh well. On to other her other talents: acting, producing, directing, painting, miming, astronaut.

Posted by: mstaines | February 19, 2009 9:16 AM

I hate this new format where only the top 3 get in from 3 different groups of 12:

1)As a contestant, it's luck of the draw which group your in.

2)It makes the aforementioned "If you get not TV time you're toast" mantra even more true. Before at least the unshowns had a chance to sing for us a couple times if they didn't suck.

3)It over-represents "niche" voting blocs for lack of a better word. Rather than having to split their votes up between contestants, they can all vote for their niche contestant every week. It would be like gettign 3 Sanjayas - 1 each week.

IMHO, and I'm sure some of you liked him, was Sarver getting in over Anoop. He was fine, but he wasn't great. But the country fans only had to choose between him and that disaster who sang "hicktown." Next week all of the country fans can vote for a different person, etc...

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2009 9:22 AM

Another boring and predictable results show.

Why an hour? How about just 3 minutes -- she won, he won, he won, applause, see you next week, buy Coke, drive a Ford, good-bye -- and then 57 minutes of Hole in the Wall?

Posted by: molsonmich | February 19, 2009 9:28 AM

"Why an hour? How about just 3 minutes"

The Tuesday shows are worse at 2 hours. I did the math:

12 singers x 1:20 min per singer = 14 minutes of actual singing per show.

That leaves us with 1 hour and 46 minutes of things that are not singing. They could fit the whole thing into a half hour and still spend more than half the time hocking Coke, Ford, and AT&T Wireless.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2009 9:40 AM

Why an hour? Did you people just move to this country. TV is about making money, not just making you happy! Of course they draw it out for the Ad revenue, if not your show that you love to complain about would not exist!

Posted by: happydad3 | February 19, 2009 9:52 AM

People, this is why DVR was invented. There's no more fulfilling use of DVR than to use it to fast forward through the crap filling of American Idol.

You can watch a results show in like 5 minutes.

Posted by: danilynn17 | February 19, 2009 9:53 AM

Random thoughts:

I liked Danny Gokey more when he rolled his eyes in irritation when Seacrest did his "we'll find out...AFTER the break" routine.

Where did they get that arrangement of "The Letter"? The Andy Williams Show archives? And did we really need to hear that Carly doesn't go out in public anymore without a wig?

I never thought I'd say this, but I felt sorry for Tatiana as I watched her fighting mightily to preserve her dignity.

To liven up next week's results show, I suggest bringing in the "Lie to Me" guy, who could come charging in at various moments to deconstruct the proceedings: "Ryan, you ACT as if you're a caring friend, but your eyes are saying you want to make her break down in tears."

Posted by: owingsmills | February 19, 2009 9:53 AM

Ahhh, nothing more satisfying that AI's first vote off and then reading all the feedback! I just love it. I agree with all the comments about format. I like Alexis best of all...Danny has potential, but he's not as great as he thinks he is and he seems to think he really is "all that and a bag of chips." I laughed out loud when Danny's friend held up a picture of he and his wife knowing Lisa would have something to say about that!

Mstaines - loved your observation about Tatiana's chicklet teeth. Very funny--and I'm not just saying that cause your my bro!

Amanda3200 - hey sis, don't know what you're referring to with Marsha Brady?? I did think it was interesting that Danny didn't so much as give Tatiana a look or a hand squeeze or anything during their tense
"did I make it" moment. And when he learned the good news, he still didn't acknowledge her and went right into his singing smiling from ear to ear while she skimpered off to cry...

There's nothing like AI drama to make you forget your own....(smile).

Posted by: majorjasoncastrofan | February 19, 2009 10:03 AM

I love the fact that Gokey didn't do the obligatory hug of Tatiana after she was booted. He eventually came over to her but only after a prolonged moment of anguish as she twisted on the hook.

it was great. Crazy deserved it.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | February 19, 2009 10:16 AM

I can only hope Anoop and Braddy get more of a chance in the Wild Card round. Sarver has no chance of winning with his vocals. What a waste.

Posted by: sknyluv | February 19, 2009 11:01 AM

I've spent my entire adult life in the music business helping artists achieve their dream. I have not had as much fun over all of these 44 years toiling away as I do reading Lisa's take on the trash presented each week by Fox's AI. She is spot on with her comments and a bit nice if you ask me talking about the judges. I'd much rather read what you wrote than sit through the show. Bravo Lisa, bravo!

Posted by: Jsa66 | February 19, 2009 12:02 PM

"'He's lying,' Kara simpers, modestly. Poor, sweet, stupid Kara."

I would agree that Kara might be stupid but I would not call her sweet. She has consistently gone out of her way this season to attack attractive female contestants (bikini girl...) with petty, derisive comments (bring a pole next time).

I thought watching the audition episodes that she might bring that same cutting (although insecure) attitude to the live shows. So far she has been a terrible addition- seeming to amplify the seal clapping/molten hot exclaiming not worth listening to judges.

Also- I'm extremely glad Jackie Tohn is gone. Who in America refers to themselves as a great entertainer?

Posted by: repricer | February 19, 2009 12:58 PM

"Who in America refers to themselves as a great entertainer?"

Top Ten List: Ten Americans who refer to themselves as great entertainers:

10: David Hasselhoff

9: Wayne Newton

8: Doug Henning

7: William Shatner

6: Rush Limbaugh

5: Ted Nugent

4: Pat Sajak

3: Barbara Mandrell

2: Liza Minelli

1: Taylor Hicks

Posted by: molsonmich | February 19, 2009 1:27 PM

Talk about completely missing the point. Kara and Ryan completely missed Simon's point. When Ryan asked Simon what he thought of Kara's first live performance, Simon responded "Amazing" (sarcastically) and "unprecedented" which is flatly true. Much as I think she's a talented performer, I don't think she's added much to the mix yet. She has the potential of being a valuable critical aid, but she's decided to try to join the PauRanKar contingent by adding nothing to the reviews. The one thing about her insecure rant about Bikini-Girl was that she was at least correct in her assessment of BG. If she can get back to musically rating the performers instead of rating their EQ (Entertainment Quotient) then she might actually be a positive contribution to the show. She's far more talented musically than any of the other judges and she's turned that side of her brain off so far. Turn it back on, Kara.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | February 19, 2009 3:15 PM

Has Gokey become the new fashion diva with his signature glasses? Every day it's a new pair. On Tuesday he wore dark, then Wednesday all white. What a diva. Kinda weird. Gettin tired of this guy real fast. And oh yea, did I mention his wife died?

Posted by: dovelevine | February 19, 2009 4:13 PM

[12 singers x 1:20 min per singer = 14 minutes of actual singing per show.]

Uh, yeah, you did the math. Just not very well.

12 singers x 1:20 min per singer = 16 minutes, not 14.

Which of course means nothing compared to your point, which was that there is darn little singing compared to the lame "banter" that has come to be far too overdone.

Posted by: pinheadpipsqueak | February 19, 2009 5:50 PM

Kara is Randy's "yes man". I think she parroted everything Randy said Tuesday. Paula deviated from RanKar at least once during the Tuesday critiques.

Kara adds nothing to the panel except wasting time.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 19, 2009 6:24 PM

Yeah, seriously... I think I'm starting to agree with the folks who were saying Danny looked "smug" sometimes--he's not completely the innocent, mourning, devoted hubby he's making himself out to be... I think he knows how well his "character" will market and is now just shamelessly milking his poor wife's death to get ahead in this competition. It was getting to be a lot to handle when he had to comment about his wife *yet again* before his performance, but then, when his friend had to show the camera a photo of Danny and his late wife (obviously plotted out beforehand by Danny), it was just too much. The man has no individual personality--and even if he did, he's determined to keep himself linked to his "mourning widower" image... it's just disgusting.

Well, I'm not surprised America's falling for it (and, well, he does sing well enough to stay in the competition at this point), but you know what REALLY riles me? Michael Sarvar, or however you spell his name. Anoop was a MILLION times more interesting (not to mention a better singer) than Michael. He really only got to stay on likeability/pity factor, but honestly--to all the folks who voted him in/Anoop out of the competition last night--do you REALLY see this man as our next American Idol? @_@

Yeah, didn't think so. Thanks so much for berefting us of Anoop's beautiful singing voice, which would've at least been there for another 5-6 weeks if all was as it should've been.

Posted by: Kureno | February 19, 2009 6:47 PM

P.S. You know, I actually felt sorry for Tatiana. She's crazy, but at least she's genuine and she REALLY wants this. Next to Mr. "I Know How to Play this Competition Like a Game" Gokey, I'd rather have Tatiana's sincere idiocy. Overall, she's more entertaining too--or at least, she doesn't have to use as cheap a tactic as getting the sympathy vote over a loved one's DEATH. @_@ Even if she is insane, it's sad that such a sincere and passionate dream got stepped all over--especially since, based on singing alone, she definitely should have stayed.

Posted by: Kureno | February 19, 2009 7:02 PM

agree somewhat with Kureno -

and surprised that there was no mention of Ann Marie Boskovich- who I'd hope is a wild card - but based on Simon's comments on Tues prob not.

I did not like Alexis - either night. Surprised that Simon seemed to - he usually pics up on flat, off-timed singing.

Posted by: Justice26 | February 19, 2009 9:27 PM

I agree with every negative comment made about Tatiana, but I still felt sorry for her. Her reality sensor is completely broken.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | February 19, 2009 10:58 PM

I was all happy when I first saw the "stools" and directly thought of Lisa's "shiny silver tractor stools" from last year! And now you're saying they're not the tractor stools. I totally thought they were.

Posted by: anjacarolin | February 20, 2009 1:38 AM

"and surprised that there was no mention of Ann Marie Boskovich- who I'd hope is a wild card - but based on Simon's comments on Tues prob not.

I did not like Alexis - either night. Surprised that Simon seemed to - he usually pics up on flat, off-timed singing."


Wait, you're criticising Alexis, who was great, for "flat, off-timed singing," and mourning the loss of Boskovich, who *mangled* "Natural Woman" with...actual flat, off-timed singing?


Do yourself a favor, watch Ann-Marie's performance again. Then dig yourself up a copy of Kelly Clarkson singing the exact same song 8 years ago...then come back and talk to me.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 20, 2009 8:06 AM

Anoop is just a big geek. yes he can sing but do you seriously think he's going to sell albums? it's just as well that he's gone now. this isn't a singing competition which is more than simply a voice.

it's like watching Bill Gates sing.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | February 20, 2009 10:39 AM

correction: this IS a singing competition which is more than simply having a voice.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | February 20, 2009 10:45 AM

DreamOutLoud, you're right, it IS a singing competition, which is primarily about voice. I admit Anoop's performance this week wasn't his best, but he absolutely deserves to be in the next round based on vocal talent. In addition, I think Anoop already has a good start on the stage presence and will continue to improve if they bring him back in the Wild Card round. I personally adore the geekiness and find his singing all the more appealing for it; as do others, clearly.

Posted by: AmaliaAusten | February 20, 2009 2:12 PM

dovelevine: I wondered the same thing -- Danny seems to have at least 4 different pairs of glasses! I even wondered whether maybe they are "fake" because how expensive would it be to have so many pairs of prescription lenses? (Lisa, can you investigate whether he even needs glasses?) But maybe that's how he spent his wife's life insurance...

I also agree with kureno that I'd rather have Tatiana's sincere craziness over Danny's cynical exploitation of his dead wife. He really makes me want to puke.

Finally, kureno, I too prefered Anoop to Thickneck until I saw how Anoop was slouching on the Sofa of Anticipation with his legs spread wide apart like he's got bowling balls between his legs. At least Thickneck knows not to go on TV looking like a sullen teenage boy on the metro.

Posted by: pinkstate | February 20, 2009 3:22 PM


I noticed in the straight-on shot of Danny a huge amount of refraction from his lenses. He's got to be blind as a bat without them. (My wife's lenses do the same thing.)

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | February 20, 2009 3:32 PM

Here's what I hate most about this year's voting...the gender quota. I'm a feminist from way back, but can we please just vote for the best singers? There were obviously better male than female singers in this grouping. Sigh, does EVERYTHING have to be politically correct? Geeeyaaahhh!

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | February 20, 2009 5:38 PM

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