The theatrics behind them, the 72 remaining American Idol hopefuls filed in one by one to sing what they hoped would not be their final solos for the discerning ears of Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson.
The judges didn't have much to say on Tuesday's episode, probably because the performances—and the lyric flubs, meltdowns and flameouts—sang for themselves.
Actually, forgetting the words didn't end up hurting those who had already proved their musical mettle, such as record-label castoff Joanna Pacitti; Stephen Fowler, who even messed up his do-over and just walked off the stage dejectedly; and Casey Carlson, who maybe should have inked the words to "Tattoo" on her hand.
Those three—along with 51 others—still have a shot of making Idol's Top 36.
On the flip side, it was the end of the line for early favorites such as Jason Castro's brother Michael, Leneshe Young, India Morrison and Kaylan Loyd.
It's on with the show, however, for Danny Gokey, Michael Sarver, Lil Rounds, Anne Marie Boskovich, Scott MacIntyre, Adam Lambert, Jackie Tohn, Nathaniel Marshall and Nick Mitchell (aka Norman Gentle),whose hammy rendition of "Georgia on My Mind" had just enough meat in it to keep Mitchell and his alter ego around a bit longer.
And despite the histrionics,Tatiana Del Toro, who apparently knows the words to every song, is still in the mix, as well.
All will learn their fate tomorrow at the new judges' mansion, where Simon & Co. get to pass judgment in plusher than usual surroundings.
But feel free in the meantime to let us know who's in your Top 36, whether your favorites just got axed or if Tatiana keeps making it because Idol producers want to show the hysterics that result when she is voted off a bigger stage.