It’s performance night again. It’s down to 10 boys and 10 girls. They’re all about equality of the sexes over there at Fox. Ryan dressed down to simple T-shirt and pants tonight. Maybe it’s hint of what’s to come. Some relaxation is definitely appreciated. Randy is looking for some relaxed performers. Paula has a flippy do, and Simon doesn‘t want to be called by his last name. Maybe he feels it’s too formal. He wants things more relaxed. There might be a hint of trying to be more viewer friendly after last week’s ill-mannered dismissal debacle.

Mario Vazquez is up first. He had to wait till last the past week. He likes to get the crowd going, never a bad trait in a performer. “I Love Music” is a good up song. I could do without the fugly hat and blazer. They look like leftovers from Miami Vice, but he gives it a street twist. He keeps the tempo up and the crowd really likes his performance. He was good, on key and did a good job. He gets good remarks from the judges and should return next week.

Anwar Robinson, the music teacher, works an old Marvin Gaye favorite, “What’s Going On?” He moves the song to a more fevered pace than the original version; good enough to make you want to hear another verse. He was as good as last week if not better. A great on key spirited performance once again. I’d like to hear him sing the entire song.

Joseph Murena follows up with a tamer version of “Let’s Stay Together” than Brother Al Green’s. It’s like tampering with perfection to attempt this song. The guy is good, but pales in comparison to the original, not changing it or making it unique in any way. He performs nicely and with energy, just doesn’t have anything special about his performance. If you’re going to choose a classic, make it different and original in some manner.

David Brown of the shorter dreads is the next performer. He chooses yet another Stevie Wonder song, “All in Love is Fair”. There’s been a plethora in this competition. He’s singing it in a pained expression and slightly flat till he builds. He has pitch problems at the beginning and when he returns to low volume. I don’t see him making the final cut unless he makes big changes.

Constantine Maroulis is up next with his best bad boy attitude and he’s singing “Hard to Handle”. I prefer the Black Crowe’s version. He’s not polished by any means, he screams off key, but he’s animated. He’s trying his best to be a rocker in a pop world. Paula parrots that he “owns the stage”. She needs a new book of pat phrases. That one must be really worn by now. Constantine pushes none of my buttons. Maybe young girls dig it. Simon is right. I could go in any of 8 bars around here and hear someone as good if not better. (Hey, it’s Music City!)

Scott Savol remarks about his appearance beforehand. That won’t be an issue if you bring it. Scott is a good enough singer, but his voice is not that strong and not that unique. I want him to be better just to prove that looks don’t count, but his talent doesn’t overshadow anything at this point. It’s a good performance, but not a great performance. Paula is high or acts high as usual. She says he really “brought it” and oddly enough Simon agrees. I think he’s just tired of the whole thing and doesn’t want to argue anymore.

Travis Tucker is the worst song chooser ever; maybe the second worst dancer, and certain to go home this week. He sings an old Lionel Ritchie song that was irritating the first time around and does a mediocre job of it. “All Night Long” is what it seems like listening to him singing. Randy digs it. Ditto for Paula. Simon is apologetic for last week‘s remarks. It’s a love fest. Who doped the cokes? Did Paula pass out meds backstage?

Nikko Smith chooses another Marvin Gaye hit, “Let’s Get it On”. In spots he does a good imitation of Marvin, but it’s not too original. Marvin used to work this song at a sexier pace, but he had more time and more back up singers. Randy loves it. Randy loves everything tonight. Is he on X?

Anthony Fedorav looks like a grain fed Midwest mamma’s boy. If you want to talk about song choices, this seems like a big bite at first, but he sings the big pop ballad like he was in the big arena. He sings well enough to make the girls do the wave. Girls are going to love him. He IS this year’s Clay Aiken and proved it tonight. It’s boring to me, don’t really want another Clay, but he’s not lacking in talent.

Bo Bice talks about getting fired in order to come to Idol. It was a good decision for him I think. He chooses an old Allman Brothers’ tune, “Whipping Post”. In fact, Bo sang with Johnny Neel’s band, who was or is a part time Allman Brothers Band member. Gregg Allman actually sang this song better, but it’s great to see real rock happening on the American Idol stage. He does a fantastic job and stays true to the roots. I’m having flashbacks. I'm up on my feet lighting my lighter. I used to follow the Allmans’ tour in my younger days, and to see it performed on the American Idol stage 30 years later is wack. The judges love it. I love it. Someone better open a window in here and let some of this love out.