While looking for information on Tatiana Del Toro on the Internet, I immediately came across your article in her defense.
Bravo to you for your impassioned words. Perhaps because I am old enough to be her mother, I found Tatiana exhilarating, honest and of course beautiful and talented – a wonderful singer.
I can easily see that American Idol took advantage of an over-zealous, young woman by accentuating her enthusiasm. That cannot alter the fact that she is wonderfully talented and deserves a break. That is my main reason for loving American Idol, even though I don’t always love the way some contestants are exploited.
The fact remains that for many gifted young people, this is a chance to get their foot in the doorway and get the exposure they need to succeed. You don’t have to win the title here to go on to other show business successes.
I think that Tatiana is owed a wild card spot by the judges. I think this young lady would be a wonderful recording artist and perhaps her dreams of being an actress will follow. I remember feeling terrible about the early voting off of another potential star, a young lady named Jennifer Hudson – she did not need to win to prove her capabilities. I hope the same is true for Tatiana.
As for these ‘nude’ photos that really don’t exist, I think it’s just an early lesson of how difficult and unfair being in the public eye can be. But as long as this young lady has determination and belief in herself, she can weather these stories – she has to be resilient – for inspiration she can look to so many other entertainers who also suffered through disparaging moments – people like Barbra Streisand, Sally Field or Farah Fawcett.
Thanks for hearing me out and keep writing about her!
New York City
As you can imagine, we haven't made many friends with our articles in defense of Tatiana. That doesn't hurt our feelings, of course, since we're not exactly here to make friends.
The truth is, she can sing. She tackled a larger-than-life Whitney Houston song, something a contestant just doesn't do, and she shocked the judge's socks off. She knew she had to go all-in on her bet, and she did it. It was a sink or swim moment, and honestly, she swam.
If you looked at the post-show voting results from DialIdol.com, you'd have seen that she was indeed in the top four of the night. She was right on the cusp of being safe, even though it seems (from the official Idol viewer forums, at least) many viewers despise her.
Even if she's a train wreck, she's inarguably one we can't take our eyes off. She's not my favorite contestant, but it's impossible to deny that she has a star quality about her that generates virtual tons of interest. She's got more headlines than any of the three finalists that beat her out, and as of publishing this article, she has more stories than any other contestant at any level.
We'll see what happens with her. It's unlikely she'll be brought back in the Wild Card round when judges pick their three to resurrect, but an important lesson we've learned from Idol (like you pointed out with Jennifer Hudson) is that you don't have to win to come out on top.
Chris Daughtry came in 3rd, but outsold Taylor Hicks and Katherine McPhee (1st and 2nd place, respectively) combined.
Tatiana Nicole Del Toro isn't done. We haven't seen the last of her. She will get a contract out of this. As for acting, I can't say if she has any skill in that department, and won't even try to, but the doors are all open for her now.
Based on other letters we've received, and in an effort to extend fair time for equitable reporting, we have to point out that Tatiana isn't exactly 100% Puerto Rican. She calls Los Angeles her home, as do many of her family members, and that is the reason she auditioned in California instead of San Juan, Puerto Rico. She still self-identifies as Puerto Rican, and that's good enough for us. Face facts, if you want to break out in show biz, there's no city better than Los Angeles, and we can't expect her to fly home just to seem more authentic.