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It is official: Lazaro Arbos is one of “American Idol’s” Top 10 singers.
A night after the Gulf Coast High School grad wowed the judges with his version of “Feeling Good,” viewers voted him into the show’s finals. That means Arbos, 21, also earned a spot on the upcoming “American Idol” concert tour.
Host Ryan Seacrest revealed the results before a live studio audience in Hollywood during a 90-minute live episode Thursday night. Viewers cast about 39 million votes as they whittled the Top 20 contestants down to 10, Seacrest said.
Arbos, a Collier County resident, was one of five men to make the finals.
The semi-finalists were again separated by gender and seated in a room backstage. Seacrest announced the male results first, pulling the finalists out one by one.
Arbos, who sat in the front row backstage, smiled and applauded for every finalist. But when there was only one spot left, his expression changed.
Seacrest returned. Arbos took a deep breath and looked down.
“The person to take the last spot ... Lazaro Arbos,” he said.
The host guided an overwhelmed Arbos out of room and toward the stage.
The audience rewarded Arbos with a standing ovation when he walked out. His parents were also in the auditorium, applauding.
Each of the Top 10 finalists performed a judgment-free victory song. Arbos, a Cuban-born crooner, sang the song that got him his golden ticket to Hollywood: “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
Arbos seemed overcome with emotion after the performance.
Seacrest asked Arbos’ personal idol, judge Mariah Carey, for reaction. Carey said Arbos was able to connect with the audience on several levels.
“Every time you get on the stage, you seem to have grown,” Carey said. “America is watching and they love you.”
For Arbos, it all started with his Chicago audition.
It was there that he first met the “Idol” judges and shared his personal story with American viewers.
When Arbos talks, he struggles to communicate because of a stutter. But when he sings, Arbos is stutter-free.
His personal story and talent have moved the judges and won fans.
Now, the man who said he had trouble making friends in high school has more than 18,000 followers on Twitter.
When the show came to a close, Arbos and the rest of the Top 10 singers celebrated on stage.
“Remember,” Seacrest said, “one of them is your Season 12 ‘American Idol.’”