Tuesday’s Idol: It’s The Tatiana Del Toro Show

02/11/2009 AT 12:00 AM EST

Tuesday's Idol episode, which had the contestants back to performing solo for the second week in Hollywood, spent a good deal of time on diva Tatiana Del Toro, 23. The glimpses we've heard and seen of her singing have actually been pretty good, but her talent has been eclipsed by a hysterical drive to succeed. She responds to any hint of rejection with wobbling panic -- the producers must love having someone so crazily manipulable to toy with.

She got through, anyway, just skirting a total breakdown when the judges, long-faced and solemn, made her think she was being shown the door.

The hour was told in a flashback, starting with the judging concluded and the rejects-to-be segregated from those deemed worthy of continuing. Awaiting the verdict, both groups peeled off into conference rooms off a corridor that looked like something from The Shining. One interesting psychological point was that everyone in the same room as Nick Mitchell thought they must all be doomed: Mitchell, 27, had put on a red headband, shorts and a sparkle top to perform as his Jerry Lewis-like alter ego "Norman Gentle."

Amazingly enough, he survived the night, too. So did the following contestants:

Adam Lambert, 26, who sang Cher's "Believe" as a slow ballad. Audacious! Danny Gokey, 28, and Jamar Rogers, 26. At some point, probably soon, one of these buddies will have to be sent home. Jamar will go first, no? Scott MacIntyre, 23, the show's first blind singer, who got to perform at the keyboard. Joanna Pacitti, 23, even though she forgot the lyrics. Stephen Fowler, 26, got to stay, too, despite blanking out so completely he finally gave up and banged the keys in frustration. Well, Ryan said the contestants had been getting two hours' sleep a night -- I might forget "Jack and Jill." Michael Sarver, 27, the oil-rig worker. Seems like he will go far. Alexis Grace, 20, a singer who's been barely seen since her audition -- but she reconnected with viewers in just a few moments on camera last night. She may turn out to be really good.

Gone: Jason Castro's brother, Michael, 20. From dynasty to ditch! Leneshe Young, 18, who was so appealing in Lousiville.

Wednesday's show promises a new twist, plus something called "the Judges' Mansion." I wish it were truly grand, maybe a castle with a moat and crocodiles. -- Tom Gliatto

Tell us: Will you vote for Tatiana if she makes it? Who's better, Danny Gokey or Jamar Rogers? And were you disappointed for Michael Castro?


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