The 'American Idol' 2013 top nine performance show aired March 20 on FOX and featured the finalists as they took on hits by The Beatles. The evening proved an especially tough one for hopeful Lazaro Arbos, whose post-performance judges' comments left him fighting back tears.
Arbos, perhaps best known for the stutter that virtually cripples his speaking voice, worried mentor Jimmy Iovine with his planned "romantic version" of "In My Life." Iovine instructed Arbos to "really, really practice" and work hard to nail the rhythm.
But unfortunately for the Naples, Fla. ice cream scooper, his take on the tune didn't pan out. Although he looked dapper in a yellow jacket and the performance featured flashes of greatness, the overall effect was decidedly lackluster.
The judges tried to gentle with the sensitive Arbos, but the overall response wasn't positive and he cried. Mariah Carey reminded him that it's hard to sing songs by Paul McCartney and John Lennon because they're so universally recognizable, and called him "brave" for trying. She said she wished he'd done a faster acoustic version. Keith Urban criticized the key choice, opining that he'd started too low for his vocal range to handle. Nicki Minaj complained of a lack of confidence, and insisted that he return to the performer she once loved. Randy Jackson delivered the harshest blow of all, calling the performance Arbos' "worst... ever" and musing "I'm starting to wonder: where did the vocals go?"
The panelists weren't alone in their criticism. Vote for the Worst, a website that encourages fans to vote to save the weakest reality show contestants, pressed voters to support Arbos by calling him "clearly the worst one left."
Arbos took to Twitter following the show to justify his less than stellar performance, writing "On American idol you don't always get to sing the songs you really wanna sing I just hope to come back next week and show you who lazaro is."
To see if Arbos continues on in the competition, watch the March 21 "American Idol" 2013 top nine results show on FOX.