Naples’ Lazaro Arbos defies critics, will continue on ‘American Idol’

Lazaro Arbos.

Lazaro Arbos.

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Viewers voted Collier County singer Lazaro Arbos into this week’s “American Idol” Top 3, bucking the judges’ predictions and making him the last male singer left in the competition.

Viewers cast over 25 million votes after Wednesday night’s classic rock performances, host Ryan Seacrest said.

Before Seacrest announced the results of those votes, the judges revealed their Top 3 picks. None of them chose Arbos.

And Jimmy Iovine, the music producer who helps “Idol” contestants prepare behind the scenes, said Arbos’ voice isn’t ready. Iovine “put him at the bottom two or out.”

“If America gets it right, there can only be one person going home,” Iovine said. “That’s Lazaro.”

But Arbos’ fans disagreed with Iovine and the judges.

Arbos, who stutters when he speaks but not when he sings, has built a loyal fan base because of his musical talent and compelling personal story.

“They love me for me,” Arbos said last week.

The judges gave Arbos’ performance of Queen’s “We are the Champions” strong reviews on Wednesday, with judge Nicki Minaj calling it “crack juice.”

Arbos is one of six singers who will return to the “Idol” stage for another round of performances next Wednesday night on Fox.

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