What happened to Ladies First? First round is seldom the best round, but at least we get to see/hear them complete a song. Boys are going first. Our objective is eliminating 6 out of 12 boys. It’s very important that we have a balanced final twelve. Someone tell me why, please.

Nikko Smith gets the unfortunate draw of going first. It’s hard to be the first in any field, and first in front of millions of viewers is not easy. It’s a Stevie Wonder song, “Part-time Lover”. It’s upbeat and a good performance, but not great. Like I said, it’s hard.

Scott Savol picks a safe song too, “You Are My Lady”. Ugg. No one is going “out there” tonight. It sounds like MOR radio night. It was a little boring. Some people want to shine first round and some just want to get through. I had higher hopes for Scott. Hope he makes it through and picks a better song next time.

Anthony Federov was just as Simon says. Dull as dishwater. All that hype about almost not being able to talk adds up to nothing. He might sing in church on Sunday morning, but Saturday nights will be reserved for much more exciting entertainers.

Bo Brice sings “Drift Away” and does a fine job of it. He has an appealing voice and sings like a man. No pretense in his act and no need to pair him with the other “rocker”. They have a totally different style and approach. Simon likes him. Everyone likes him.

Travis Tucker decides to sing “My Cheri Amour” in a rather lounge act style. He could use a stylist also. He looks more Young Republican than American Idol. He has a medium voice that is OK, but not very exciting. All in all, boring.

Constantine Maroulis is the rocker that left his band to be there. He has an interesting voice. He’s got one of those smiles that girls love, but he doesn’t push my buttons. Paula loves him. He’ll probably stick around a while, if he can get over selling out at the 11th hour. He still seems a bit embarrassed to be there.

David Brown got raves in early auditions. Tonight he sings “Never Can Say Goodbye”. He sounds a lot like the original with some modern touches. He does a good job, but not as great as expected. Everyone seems nervous tonight and why not? It’s make or break time.

Jared Yates does a romantic Ricky Martin type love-me-girl type thing. ::Yawn::: He has a place in the heart of some young bored girls somewhere, but he lost me by the second line. The judges are as confused as me as to why anyone would sing that boring trite kind of song at this point. I could eliminate him tonight.

Anwar Robinson who looks like a hiphop or reggae singer, belts out “Moon River” quite unexpectedly, and quite nicely too. It’s an odd song choice that starts off slow, then jumps up a notch to somewhere else, and finally soars. I was not only surprised, I was entertained. He’s getting my vote tonight.

Next is the John Travolta in Grease wannabe, Judd Harris. His voice is too gravelly and too off-key to be an Idol, but he could sing in bar bands on the weekend. Giving it your all doesn’t necessarily make you good. Don’t give up the day job, though. I smell a one-trick pony.

Joseph Murena is another Ricky Martin wannabe. He sings in that pleading love-me-you-silly-girl type of voice I find irritating. “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?” Quite easily. He could go home for all I care.

Mario Vazquez isn’t falling in line with the whole falling asleep thing. He comes out with another Stevie Wonder song, “Do I Do?” Yeah, you did. He’s hopping and entertaining all over the stage. Paula gives him a touchdown, which is a sure sign she’s been watching Australian Idol. That’s Australian judge Mark Holden’s shtick for a really good performance. Paula has never been too original and should at least give credit where due.

Anyhow, first round of boys is over. It wasn’t tremendously exciting. Anwar Robinson was the only surprise for me. It won’t be hard to find someone to vote for and someone to hope goes home. I guess we’re off to a good season.