“American Idol” hopeful and Collier County resident Lazaro Arbos said he is spending a lot of time rehearsing for his first live show before millions of television viewers.
The 2009 Gulf Coast High School graduate is one of 10 male contestants who will compete tonight (8 p.m. on Fox) for a chance to become an “Idol” finalist.
Arbos said he is getting more comfortable with performing as time goes on.
“Now, the more I sing, the nerves are happening less,” he said.
Viewers will get to decide who will go and who will move into the Top 10. For the first time ever, fans can "SuperVote" — cast multiple votes at a time — online through the "American Idol" website, "Idol" mobile app or Facebook.
With SuperVote, each fan can allocate a total of 50 votes to one or more singers in whatever proportion they choose and can change their voting selections during the show.
Fans will also still be able to call in and text their votes.
The results will be announced during a 90-minute special Thursday night.
Arbos, who has become a fan and judge favorite because of his blend of personality and vocal talent, said he is excited about the song he’s performing tonight.
“I know the song well, and I feel really confident about (it),” he said.
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Last week, Arbos received mixed reviews for his performance of “Tonight I Wanna Cry,” which was co-written and made famous by “Idol” judge and country singer Keith Urban.
Arbos said he chose the song because he fell in love with it when he heard it for the first time about a month ago, but that he realizes now that the song was not right for him.
“I wish I could take that back … I know for a fact I could have done, way, way better,” Arbos said.
Still, singer Nicki Minaj, who is one of the more critical judges this season, complimented him after that performance for always staying true to himself.
Arbos admitted he was surprised by her comments because he was expecting her to be harsher.
“I was really shocked and really excited that she said all of that,” Arbos said.
He said being exposed to the “Idol” judges behind-the-scenes and performing for them week to week has helped them become more relaxed around each other.
“You kind of get to know them as real people, not stars,” Arbos said.
But he still has starstruck moments, especially when he is around singer Mariah Carey, one of his personal idols.
“I always wanted to meet her. And now we’re on the same show. That’s kind of wild,” Arbos said.
As for his fans, Arbos said he would do his best “not to disappoint them.”
“Hopefully, I give them a good show,” Arbos said.