Ryan does his introduction on stage, then makes his entrance through the curtain and does another introduction. Maybe they need a host to introduce the host, or a better format. Paula is showing cleavage and boobage tonight. Maybe she was inspired by Jessica’s recent performance. Tonight’s theme is the ‘90’s. Big stretch and what a bore. It’s hard to be retro when it’s still in short-term memory.

Bo starts it off singing a Black Crows song. It’s not a well-known song, but it’s obvious that Bo is used to singing with a band. The velvet shirt and the cowhide hat are outright corny. The lace up pants would stymie most performers, but he works them like a midnight cowboy. A performance like this could go either way. In the context of a band appearance, it seems appropriate, but as a solo performance it approaches hokey at times. The singing is always on though. Bo sounds like a pro and could easily sell records. Whether you can make a believable performance singing these type songs as a solo act is debatable. They did show the drummer toward the end, which helped the context, but at times Bo looked lonely up there.

Jessica is singing LeAnn Rimes. The song requires some vocal range and Jessica shows she has it. It’s a good performance, but the song is boring and totally unmemorable in the way that country ballads can be. It was an odd choice out of all the possible choices. Costumewise, for everything Paula exposed tonight, Jessica covered something up. Boring. Simon said it best when he said it was a forgettable performance and Jessica needs to knock one out of the park.

Anwar chooses the overplayed and over performed R. Kelly song, “I Believe I Can Fly”. Not a great idea, as it shows just how weak and whiney Anwar can sound in the early parts of the song. Anwar goes for the big-climax-at-the-end type songs, but I’m starting to get bored with the sameness of Anwar’s performances. He saves it all for the end and kind of wobbles through the first parts. Paula is higher than a kite tonight. She thinks it’s the best ever. Some combo of drugs must have kicked in just as he started. Simon brings it back to reality by agreeing with Randy that it was weak and boring. You could compare it to bad sex. There was a greatly overplayed climax for one person, the foreplay was lousy, and it certainly wasn’t satisfying to all concerned.

Nadia talks about her hair transitions through the decades. She’s back to cooking on the front burner tonight. She chooses a rocking Melissa Ethridge tune. It rocked, as in everything was in tune and straight ahead, but this isn’t the best Melissa Ethridge song ever. It was good, just not great. The kids need an A & R person desperately. The 90’s were boring, but there must have been better songs than these.

Constantine decides to show off his music school training tonight or he’s just tired of playing rocker. He chooses a Bonnie Rhaitt song to slow it down tonight. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” sort of says how I feel about Constantine. He can really sing and stays on key, but his appeal is to a specific age and gender, neither of which I am. Simon says Constantine is better than Bo tonight. Maybe he’s hoping there will be a hair-pulling spat later on.

Nikko Smith could end up a good singer one of these days if he could find a good song to sing. He picks the least memorable song and works it like a champ. He shows more spark tonight than ever in the past and sort of reminds me of a young Marvin Gaye. He hasn’t quite found his own place or the right song yet, but he is definitely improving.

Anthony Federov picks a horrible green shirt to go with his version of Elton John‘s “Something About the Way You Look Tonight.” He sings it partly like he was in church and partly like he was in Las Vegas. His over pronunciation of the verse comes off like a choirboy. He’s good for a few minutes and then he goes off the chart and ends it with everything but a bang and some showgirls. It’s too overworked. It is a hard song to sing and he does sing on key, it’s just a forced, unnatural performance. He looks strained and I feel it.

Carrie goes all the way country and tells us a story about boys and shotguns and daddy, and then sings Martina McBride‘s “Independence Day.” She is a good imitator, but she insists on smiling through the most desperate of lyrics in a way that makes me think she can’t connect a lyric to it‘s meaning. Simon says she has the “It” factor because he doesn’t want to be sued for saying “X” factor. I’d like to see her in person. It just doesn’t come through for me in TV Land. Maybe it's because I live in Nashville. There are Carries singing in every corner bar in town. I've seen Carrie twenty or thirty times.

Scott Savol has skirted by so far in the competition, but tonight may the night he scoots off the stage. He has pitch problems at first, which he corrects, but it’s still more imitation than from the heart. It was OK, but it wasn’t unique in any manner. All his effort is put into staying on pitch and doesn’t’ leave much room to make the song heartfelt in any way.

Vonzel Solomon has greatly improved. She chooses a Whitney song with some really big notes in it and hits them all. She looks like a star and sounds great. She’s getting my vote for most improved. Even Simon complimented her.

The contestants are finally emerging from their shells and losing their stage nerves. For a few, the holes in their armor are becoming more evident. Tonight the voting will be as much about who was interesting in their performance as well as how they sung it. Everyone sounded better, but how they went about it will make the difference in who goes home. Anwar, Anthony, and Scott should be most likely for bottom three. The ladies vastly outshined the boys tonight. Still, no big frontrunner.