'American Idol' judges continue to be critical of Naples' Lazaro Arbos; What will voters say?

Lazaro Arbos.

Lazaro Arbos.

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It was another rough night on “American Idol” for Southwest Florida singer Lazaro Arbos.

Longtime judge Randy Jackson seems to think it could be the end for Arbos, the lone man left in the Top 6.

“It’s a girls’ race right now,” Jackson said.

Wednesday’s live show featured two rounds of performances. During the first round, the “Idol” singers chose songs from producer and songwriter Burt Bacharach’s catalogue. In the second round they picked songs they wish they’d written.

Arbos — a Gulf Coast High School graduate who worked in Naples as an ice cream scooper before joining “Idol” — appeared ready to shine at the start of the show.

“I am really confident that I’ll get to the Top 5,” said Arbos, who has received international attention because of his touching personal story. He stutters when he speaks but not when he sings.

But the judges were not impressed with either of his performances.

During the first round, Arbos sang Bacharach’s “(They Long to Be) Close to you,” which the Carpenters made famous.

Jackson said although Arbos’ story inspires people, the performance was a letdown. He called it Arbos’ worst.

Judge Mariah Carey — who said she’s been criticized for being too nice — said Arbos did not change keys when the song required him to.

“We can’t go into another key and you stay in the old key,” she said. “If you’re not aware of that, that’s kind of a big deal.”

For his second performance, Arbos sang “Angels,” which was originally performed by international pop star Robbie Williams.

Arbos said he chose it because “it talks about love and compassion.” He also revealed that being away from home and the people he knows has been tough.

“This whole process is really cool, but it (can) get lonely,” he said.

Judge Keith Urban said there were elements in the Cuban-born singer’s tone during the “Angels” performance that made him realize why the judges loved Arbos in the first place. But Urban said it is becoming clearer who the “artists” are in the competition.

“The way the girls are singing is so crazy good,” Urban said.

Fans will decide who will stay and who will go. Tonight’s elimination round begins at 8 p.m. on FOX.

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Comments » 1

JimmyMackey writes:

Ooooh, that “Close to You” version was so bad I was cringing through the key changes. I feel so bad for how embarrassed he must feel after those judges’ comments. Unfortunately, I’m gone nearly every evening it seems these days, usually for my job at DISH, so watching TV is difficult. I love that I can pause and watch where I left off with my DISH Hopper Whole Home DVR when I move from room to room. That way I get American Idol watched while I’m getting ready for work and I don’t miss a thing, while getting my TV in when it’s convenient for me.

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