And so it begins! Tonight America got its first opportunity to vote for their favorite would-be superstars. First up were the guys. How did they do? Well, all in all, not amazing, am I right? Let’s discuss.

Clint Gamboa performed “Very Superstitious,” and it pains me to say that I thought this was not his best performance. The power was there, but it was just a wee bit too screechy and his moves seemed stiff. Homeboy needs to tone down the wailing and loosen up a big. He also needs to ditch the coke bottle glasses, they’re distracting and make him look like Truman Capote.

Jovany Barretto performed “I’ll Be,” staple of wedding singers and middle school dances for over a decade. Seriously, such a boring middle of the road song. It’s like the sonic equivalent of dry toast. But! Jovany did a decent job performing the dry toast, so we’ll see.

Jordan Dorsey was next, performing Usher’s “OMG,” and OMG he was not good! I think most of it was due to it being a poor song choice for him, but his performance was all over the place. Definitely not one of his best, and the judges said as much.

Tim Halperin followed Jordan, and gave a perfectly fine performance. That’s what it was: fine. Nothing special, just fine.

Brett Loewenstern performed The Doors “Light My Fire,” and coincidentally, fire is also the only for sure way to destroy him since he is a supernatural demon monster. Also, is it just me, or does he look a little bit like Mystery, pre-“Pickup Artist.” Anyone? No? Ok then. Anyway, Brett, creepy as he may be, did a decent job, and the judges got all gushy over him. I fear he will go far.

After Brett was Judas Priest-singing James Durbin, who I thought was one of the standouts of the night. Sure, he’s a little Adam Lambert-y, but he has a good voice and great stage presence, and I think he’s kinda cute too in a weird tourettes-y sort of way. (Side note: did anyone else notice the lady holding up the “Tourettes Rocks” sign in the beginning of the episode? Amazing.) I think he may be pulling ahead as my favorite.

Robbie Rosen followed Brett, singing Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” which to me was a poor choice since it just makes me think of sad homeless puppies and kittens (seriously, that ASPCA commercial has ruined that song for me). The judges were mixed on his performance, with Steven and Jennifer loving it, and Randy thinking it was “a little pitchy.” I for one agree with Randy, it definitely wasn’t Robbie’s best.

Baby lock them doors, because Scotty McCreery was next! He gave another stern and soulful deep-voiced country performance that was exactly like all the other ones he’s done and the judges ate it up. Yaaaaawn. I thought he looked like he’d been hitting the spray tanner a little too much too. Scotty’s lookin a little orange, is what I’m saying.

Up next was Stefano Langone who was fine. He’s talented, but I think he risks being a little forgettable. He needs to find a way to stand out soon or he’ll get lost in the lurch real quick.

Paul McDonald shimmied and shook all over the stage while singing in his weird hushed raspy voice. The jury’s still out for me on this one. At first I thought he was really creepy and manic-looking, but over the past few episodes he’s grown on me a little bit. Maybe it’s his neon white teeth. They’re positively hypnotizing!

Hallelujah! It’s time for churchy Jacob Lusk, who blasted his way through “A House Is Not a Home” with his usual powerhouse gusto. It wasn’t his best, but it was still really good. Steven Tyler said it was so good that he would “bathe in it” which 1.) makes no sense and 2.) is really gross and creepy. Seriously, tone it back, Tyler. But yeah, I do think Jacob is going to need to switch things up and show some versatility in the future or he risks getting pigeonholed.

Finally, Casey Abrams performed a weird angry version of “I Put a Spell On You,” screaming and shouting his way through the song like he wanted to kill someone. Towards the end I thought he was going to leap into the audience and strangle a poor tween with his bare hands. Apparently, the judges love a good rage jam though, since they all raved about how “sexy” it was. Take note, freaks: Steven, Jennifer, and Randy like it rough.

So that was it for the guys! All in all I thought a lot of the performances were pretty underwhelming. I mean, they weren’t bad, but few stood out as being really good either. Right now I think the frontrunners are James Durbin, Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, and (ugh) Scotty McCreery. James has a good combination of talent and heartwarming story, Jacob has that powerhouse voice that everyone loves, Casey for whatever reason seems to be the audience and judge favorite, and I think Scotty will do well in the heartland. Also, as insane as this sounds, I think Brett might go far too? I don’t know, it seems like some audience members have been placed under his evil spell and are falling for him. Stay away from the evil light, audience! He just wants your soul! Next up are the girls, who seem to FAR outstep the boys in the talent department. Should be a harder vote for sure. Can’t wait!