Collier County resident Lazaro Arbos tried to shine during his “American Idol” live performance Wednesday night, but the judges were underwhelmed.
This week’s theme was “Music of the ‘American Idols.’” Each contestant chose a song that had been performed by a past “Idol” winner.
Arbos, 21, a Cuban-born aspiring singer who moved to Southwest Florida with his family when he was 10, sang “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson, the first “Idol” champ. “Breakaway” is a song about a person who feels out of place in a small town and dreams about breaking away to follow a dream.
“I’ll do what it takes until I touch the sky,” Arbos sang. “I’ll take a risk, take a chance ... and breakaway.”
After the performance, judge Keith Urban asked Arbos why he chose the song.
Arbos, a Gulf Coast High School grad who struggles with a stutter when he talks but not when he sings, said it was kind of what he was going through.
“I’m from a small town and coming to (Los Angeles) without my mom and dad and all the people that I love,” he said.
While Urban agreed that there were similarities, he said the song was not in Arbos’ “wheelhouse.”
Judge Nicki Minaj was less gentle. Though she complimented his attire — bright blue blazer, black skinny tie, gray pants and wing-tipped shoes — she also disliked the song choice.
“I like that you look like Ricky Ricardo,” she said. “This was probably my least favorite one, babe.”
Judge Mariah Carey said people were in love with Arbos’ courage.
“You’re just showing so much vulnerability,” Carey said.
Though Carey said she understands “what it feels like to overcome obstacles,” she said there were better songs to get Arbos’ voice into its ideal range. Still, she praised his presence.
“Keep doing what you’re doing,” Carey said. “We feel you singing from your heart.”
Like last week, it is up to the fans — not the judges — to decide Arbos’ fate. This week’s results will be announced during a live show tonight beginning at 8 p.m. on FOX.