'American Idol' eliminates Lazaro Arbos and determines Top 5 finalists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/12/2013
American Idol will crown its first female winner in six years next month.
American Idol eliminated Lazaro Arbos -- the competition's only remaining male singer -- during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 5 finalists.
Lazaro, a 21-year-old from Naples, FL, became the fifth finalist sent home from American Idol's twelfth season after he received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 6 finalists performing two songs -- one of which was from the catalog of Burt Bacharach and Hal David and the other being a song the contestants wish they had written themselves.
"I love that they love me for what I love doing," Lazaro said of his fans following his ouster.
Lazaro's elimination became official after Idol judge Randy Jackson announced the show's judges were not going to prevent his departure by using "The Judges' Save," which Randy and fellow judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban can use once during the finals to prevent the elimination of a finalist who receives the lowest number of votes from the fans during a weekly performance round. The decision would have to be unanimous amongst the judges to utilize the special save.
After discussing Lazaro's fate during his survival performance of "Feeling Good," Randy revealed the panel's decision to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
"Lazaro, we love you. You've been a treasure to the show. We've enjoyed you, but we're not going to use the save. Thank you, thank you," Randy announced.
Lazaro's elimination wasn't a surprise, as music producer Jimmy Iovine had predicted America would vote him out of the competition and the judges had panned both of his performances during Wednesday night's show. His first song of the night, "(They Long to Be) Close to You," received terrible reviews.
"Ugh, wow. I'm actually kind of speechless. Um, you know that I love you the person. I think you're an amazing guy. Your story inspires us all, but all I can say is no, no, no, no. That was horrible! Dude, listen. I felt like we were sitting back in the auditions in some city and we're about to say, 'Okay, no, next...' You haven't been my favorite all season, but I don't know what's going on with you right now. That's the worst performance you've ever had on the show... Wow, I got to be real," Randy said.
"In terms of your struggle, there's no denying that you are beyond courageous to be doing this, okay? But at this point in the competition... We can't go into another key and you stay in the old key... If you stay in the previous key, that's just the end of the song... If you're not aware of that, this is kind of a big deal," Mariah explained.
"You've got millions of fans out there in America who vote for you every week and they're going to love you no matter what, and they'll still love you after tonight... You didn't quite catch the key change until later in the song... I just think you've got to have an ear for that brother," Keith said.
Nicki had no comment at all.
Lazaro's "Angels" song was better than his first but still didn't compare to what the female contestants were bringing to the table vocally.
"The hard part I'm finding tonight is the way that the girls are singing, it's so crazy good. And I think we're getting to that point now where we're finding the difference between the ones who seem like they're in some kind of talent quest and the ones who are really artists and in this to make a career," Keith explained.
"Okay, yeah, what he said," Nicki noted without any further elaboration, seemingly giving up on Lazaro in the competition.
"I will say slightly better than the last time. There's something there, but Keith is right. The girls are just so crazy good. I mean, I don't know. It's a girls' race right now to me," Randy said.
"Of all your fellow comrades, you're the only remaining guy here. So it's difficult... You did redeem [yourself] somewhat from your last performance... That's more in the direction of a performance that would be preferable," Mariah said.
Prior to Lazaro's elimination, Amber Holcomb, an 18-year-old from Houston, TX, was revealed to be the other member of this week's bottom two vote-getters.