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Entertainment behind the scenes

“American Idol” nixes nine

February 19, 2009

The Fox television show “American Idol” eliminated nine contestants on Wednesday night, allowing single mother Alexis Grace, widower Danny Gokey and oil rig worker Michael Sarver to advance.paula-abdul

A lot of contestants went home unhappy in the show’s first voter-driven elimination round. In past seasons, 24 contestants competed for votes. But the cast was expanded to 36 this season with nine contestants eliminated in each of three opening rounds of 12 contestants. Then, another three contestants will be brought back to the show as wildcards. Aside from some complicated math, the show’s new format also means numerous contestants are eliminated early on, just as viewers are starting to get to know them. 

 Contestant Tatiana Del Toro was reduced to tears during Wednesday night’s elimination. The night before, judge Simon Cowell called Del Toro a “complete and utter drama queen” and said she was “desperate to be famous.” In the context of a show about making it big in pop music, that could be an underhanded compliment. But on Wednesday night, Del Toro’s ambitious dreams were smashed, and while other contestants smiled amiably as they were cast off, she cried.

Del Toro received some praise for her singing from the judges on Tuesday night. Other contestants who also pleased the judges included Anoop Desai and Rick Braddy. Which one of those contestants could come back during the wildcard round? Did Anoop, who goes by the nickname “Anoop Dogg” in a joking reference to the rapper Snoop Dogg, suffer from descrimination because he is of Indian descent? Or did voters choose Michael Sarver instead because his working class background made his strive for fame more appealing?


American Idol fans favor what they know, and I don’t think Anoop represented their view of what an American Idol should be. Sad to say, but with Simon urging people to vote for Sarver, Anoop didn’t have a chance.

Posted by Nora Dee | Report as abusive

I don’t like this new format at all.
First of all, those people showcased in the audition rounds have an unfair advantage over other contestants. Danny and Michael were seen constantly. Rick Braddy, on the other hand, was never highlighted and although he had a great voice, didn’t have a chance in winning votes. Secondly, I also don’t like eliminating so many people in one round. I think it would have been better to have the judges eliminate 4 contestants in this first round to bring it down to the 24 finalists and then have America vote. That way we would get to know some of these folks better. Also, I’m not sure how the 3 wildcard contestants going to be chosen.
I think a little fairness in air time for each contestant will go a long way. How many times has this competition given way to a popularity contest instead of a talent contest? America should be asked to vote for who they think is the best singer, not for their favorite.
For whatever it’s worth, that’s my opinion.

Posted by Gerri | Report as abusive

I too thought Anoop was far more talented than Michael and I believe he had the whole package. Not only can he sing, he’s handsome and seemed to have a nice personality. I am hoping for one of those Idol “surprises” and he gets a chance to come back.


With the wild card vote, Tatiana, Anoop, and the others who were passed over may get a chance. Tatiana actually had a pretty decent voice, but, her personality got her noticed. While she made for great television, most of the attention was negative. Nobody really likes drama queens or divas, especially, not-yet-famous divas and drama queens. But, Idol is probably going to weigh these options, and I would put even money on her being one of the wild cards, not Anoop.

Posted by michele b. | Report as abusive

I found the new elimination process quite unfair. There were really good singers who were eliminated simply because they only needed 3 to move on to the top 12. I particularly like Anoop and Rick – good voices now eliminated because we don’t need them for another round of voting. Hope one of them comes back as a wildcard.

Posted by Yvonne A | Report as abusive

I am from America and I love Anoop I thin if it was reallt the TOP three they all would have been guys and Anoop would have been in. I am pretty sure he will be back for the wild card. But as for me he was my number 2 I LOVE Danny Gokey him and Anoop had the top performances of the night.

Posted by Nicci | Report as abusive

Oh and as for Tatiana please please don’t bring her back she is INSANE.

Posted by Nicci | Report as abusive

I’m disappointed that Tatiana Del Toro did not make it into the final 12. I think that she is a star in the raw. In fact, she’s the closest thing to Madonna I’ve seen since, well, Madonna–back in the day. Del Toro is certainly a better singer than Ms M; way better. She’s also undeniably charismatic. And the camera loves her. Most importantly, she is unforgettable, for all the right AND wrong reasons. That’s what makes a pop star. Del Toro is the only reason I’ve watched consecutive–not to mention entire–episodes of American Idol for the first time. I hope that she gets a chance to return for the Wild Card segment. As for u-know-who’s comment about being desperate to be famous; hello, that’s every contestant’s dream, so why pick on her?

Posted by Guy | Report as abusive

i really thought that anoop would go thro i really thought he had potential , i really saw him going far in the competition , but am hoping for the best and he will hopefully come back in the wildcard round :D, by the way how does the wildcard round work ?


Eliminating 9 at once is NUTS!!!!

Posted by Jim Averill | Report as abusive

Watching Anoop getting eliminated so early was a big big dissapointment to say the least.The contestants who have been eliminated have not been given a fair chance to showcase their talent.The only thing that i’m waiting for is the wildcard entry round because i know Anoop will come back.He has to come back ..He’s way to talented to have been eliminated like this ..America is watching and America knows !! Anoop has our support …Way to go Anoop and we’ll see you again in this season for SURE!!

Posted by Richa | Report as abusive

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