There are five contestants left and the air is thick as thieves with scandal. Did she or didn’t she? Was there a snog or wasn’t there? The first thing that comes to mind is that a gentleman never kisses and tells. The obvious fact is that the publicity serves to better only one person, one person that is releasing a new record soon and shopping a tell-all book currently. It’s all talk until someone shows some proof and I hope it’s better than some scratchy phone answering machine tape. I want live action videos like on Cheaters.

This week’s theme is a double barrel gun, so to speak. Be careful where you point that thing. Everyone will sing a Song from Lieber and Stoler and then, a Song Currently on the Billboard charts. Oh Boy. Someone worked hard this week. I bet this crew thought up New Coke. Why not throw in Songs from Octoberfest and Songs from Sci-Fi Movies? It’s all related, somehow.

Anthony starts off with “Poison Ivy”. Let’s hope it’s catching. Back to the glasses and the boring, boring, off-key cruise ship singing tonight. He’s hopping and bopping and boring as hell. He sang off-key and jerky. Simon called it an insipid, amateurish performance. Yep.

Scott has some attitude this week before his song, “The Lights are Bright On Broadway”. It’s the best sounding song that Scott has sung yet. It’s not perfect, but it’s enthusiastic. I don’t know how he’s stayed this long, but he’s better than Anthony tonight. It’s all relative.

Vonzell is going to sing “Treat Me Nice” sung by Elvis. It must have been one of those hundreds of movie songs. It was never a big hit for Elvis and he never sang it later in life, so it’s unfamiliar. Vonzell has no trouble getting in the groove, and puts some personality into it. When she gets to the chorus, she’s lets loose with some soulful sounds. It’s an odd, old song, but it she sings it in a contemporary way. I don’t know. It was interesting, but would you buy it? Randy would. Paula would. Simon would not.

Bo is singing, “Stand by Me”. It’s a good choice, my only complaint being that everyone has taken a stab at this song and he doesn’t do anything new with it. He is singing straight and using the deeper part of his voice that the ladies love. Those that love Bo will love this and those bored by him will be bored. Randy likes his song choice and gives him big props on knowing himself and making the right choices. Paula says there is no need to critique him. Simon says they said it all, Bo chose the best song of all.

Carrie is singing, “Trouble” another song sung by Elvis. Carrie is singing the blues tonight. It’s straight ahead and she’s using the growl in her voice to its best advantage. She puts together a good performance with a time change and sounds like Brenda Lee used to. Simon says she gave her fans exactly what they wanted. If you liked Carrie, you loved this. I give her props for kicking that mike stand like a bad girl. You’ve got to start somewhere.

Round one is over in a whirlwind. Personally, I could have gone with a single theme and one song per contestant tonight. I need a break. There hasn’t been time to digest all the scandals. They are using the tactic of don’t give us time to think about it. Paula is on and off so fast we don’t get a chance to look deeply into her eyes to see if she is lying.

Anthony is the pale horse of this competition; or maybe it’s Pillsbury Doughboy, the early years. It’s white and bland any way you look at it. His second song is a Backstreet Boy’s ballad sung in a dreadful earnest fashion. It sounds like Journey on a bad night without the good singer. He goes to the end of my line just for choosing a Backstreet Boy‘s song. Anthony go home.

Scott has chosen another unknown song to me, but I did recognize the word “homies” in it before I quit listening closely. It’s one of those “oh girl” ballads that even the girls aren’t interested in listening to. “Everytime you Go Away”, by Brian McKnight has never been more boring. Now Scott is giving attitude about not going home this week. Spare Us. Idol may have plans for five more years, but I can’t take much more.

Vonzell loves the photo shoots and all the glamour that goes with Idol. Don’t most divas? “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” is the Idols single on the chart and Baby V chooses to sing it solo. She sounds great and Randy and Paula agree. It’s obvious Simon doesn’t want another diva winner this year, as he disses Vonzell every chance he gets tonight for no apparent reason other than his future plans don’t include her. He’s filled that slot already. He’s had the white girl bluesy singer, Kelly, the black man soul singer, Ruben, and the black diva, Fantasia last year. You can see him filling slots before the singers begin their songs. He doesn’t have a rocker guy yet, and he’s shopping for one of those or a blonde country girl. He hasn’t over marketed either of those “types” yet. He’s not shopping for black diva though. If only he weren’t so obvious.

Bo is singing yet one more song I don’t know. It’s a night full of them. He sounds good and rocks it all the way through. Randy, Paula, and Simon agree that he is the best. I think the Idol producers have made their choice of who they’d be comfortable promoting this year. I like Bo, too. I hope he wins over Carrie. It’ll be the first sell out rocker Idol ever. Do you think Bo would be happy as The American Idol or better off going home and recording his own record now? It all comes down to antidisestablishmentarianism. Is he or isn’t he?

Carrie is sitting on the steps. She once again picks a country ballad. Is it Martina McBride again? I obviously don’t listen to Billboard Top 100 songs very often. Here comes the key modulation, trademark of country girl singers the world over. Randy calls it perfect, but I heard a couple of notes that weren’t. It’s too country for any pop chart or me. Simon says she was robotic. Tip of the iceberg I say.

All in all, the mixed themes and the rushed atmosphere made for one of the most herky-jerky shows yet. It seemed hurried, unfocused and mediocre overall, kind of a soulless night. Can the themes get any more obtuse or the song choices worse? No one stepped out and made me think, “There’s an Idol”. Bo, Carrie, and Vonzell sounded best. Anthony and Scott have got to go. Could we do a surprise elimination ala America’s Next Top Model and send two home at once? Please, pretty please. We could cut this whole thing a week short and get out of here early. Couldn’t we?