February 18, 2009 8:03 PM
By Bye Tatiana
The first American Idol results show of season 8 came and went Wednesday with mostly high points, especially if you count the expulsion of Puerto Rican drama queen Tatiana Del Toro, who was tossed aside like the fruitcake she is.
Twenty-four million viewers voted for the three finalists who advanced Tuesday: Oil field worker Michael Sarver, pixie-ish Alexis Grace and widower Danny Gokey.
Idol producers have said they're going to get down to business faster this year, yet the results show was larded with filler material. Does it really take an hour to announce three names?
It does if your goal is to drag out the suspense.
Host Ryan Seacrest would dismiss two contestants, then announce a finalist. Then he'd dismiss a few more and so forth.
The high point of the show was a special appearance by season 7 top 12 members Carly Smithson and Michael Johns, who sang The Letter. Remember the furor over the elimination of Australian Johns last year? As Seacrest deadpanned, "They're still counting the votes."
I'm not sure anyone is this year's class matches up to either Johns of Smithson.
Next week's shows will air on Wednesday and Thursday, with another 12 finalists vying for a top 12 position. If God is merciful, he'll make sure it's Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchell's last appearance on network television.
On the other hand, he could have a cruel sense of humor.