Idol's Lazaro Arbos on Sassing the Judges, Smuggled Whitney CDs, and 'Courage' Critiques! Plus: 'No Way 5 Guys Could've Left in a Row'

Lazaro Arbos decided after Top 9 week on American Idol that he wasn’t going to let the judges’ critiques make him cry again — even if he had to adopt a dismissive attitude to stop any percolating waterworks.

The Season 12 sixth-place finisher stopped by Idology HQ for a candid, sometimes eyebrow-raising chat about his memorable audition to “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” his feelings about Mariah Carey praising his “courage” while failing to discuss his actual singing, and a couple of high-profile on-stage snafus (the botched lyrics in his Top 8 Week trio, and what he says was a very last-minute key change that he whiffed on “Close to You”).

RELATED | American Idol Top 5 Performance Recap: Divas’ Advocates

Lazaro also offers some controversial opinions about the all-female Top 5, the collected works of the show’s four panelists, and the artists he wished he could’ve covered during his time on the show.

RELATED | Idol‘s Burnell Taylor Talks Trio Trainwreck, Motown ‘Mmms’ and His Almost Audition Song

So press play below for the full interview, and for all my Idol news, interviews, videos and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sara says:

    Wow, I’m surprised you even did Idology with Lazaro. I was expecting him to be skipped.

    • tewence says:

      why would he be skipped?

      • Sara says:

        I just mean that the reviews of him were rather harsh. Not just about his singing but there seemed to almost be personal distaste for Lazaro. Anyway. I’m glad he *wasn’t* skipped. I found his interview to be very interesting and it’s nice to see that some of his mistakes weren’t necessarily his fault. Seems to me he, and everybody else, would do a lot better without producers screwing with them and their talent.

        • tewence says:

          i can understand that…it must be hard to harshly review somebody then sit down with them for an interview.

        • vincent dante says:

          Of course nothing was his fault! That’s the transcendent theme in these interviews with Lazaro. Nothing is ever his fault! It’s always someone else to blame, someone else to snark about– we get it, Laz. How did America ever turn its lonely eyes to you?

          • mwawak says:

            That s pretty lame for you to say he didnt blame anyone. Really? He admitted forgetting words was his fault. So if you gonna judge……judge fairly.

        • Chris says:

          LOL, Angie, Amber, Kree, Janelle, and Candice are all doing just fine. Even Janelle, generally considered to be the weakest of the remaining singers, outperformed Lazaro every week with ease. So how is it that all the others did well yet Lazaro fell apart? Just sayin’. They were all on the same show, and everyone but Lazaro rose to the occasion reasonably well.

        • Kaba says:

          It’s his job to do these whether he likes them or not

        • SS says:

          Oh yes, that is what I gathered from Lazaro’s interview, that NONE of the mistakes he made were his fault. Why take the blame for anything when you can always shift it on to someone else.

          • deedee says:

            That’s not true. He did say he has a problem remembering lyrics, and didn’t try to pin that on anyone but himself.

          • Lee says:

            I’m with SS. It does seem like Lazaro could not accept responsibility for his own mistakes, such as learning a song in one day when in fact he had 4 days, changing a key in Close To You at the last minute, and so many others that I can’t remember because they were too ridiculous to remember.

      • Joline says:

        Did Lazaro really just criticize Mariah for taking too long to deliver a coherent thought??? How ironic.

    • Scott says:

      Very glad to see his interview. Fills in some dots of his Idol appearances.

      • Joline says:

        Lazaro compares his poor performance to Mariah? Honey – Mariah singing on the worst day of her life is in a different stratosphere than you on your best. Stop making excuses.

        • AlyB says:

          That was just crazy talk. Seriously. When he so flippantly said “oh well, they’ve all had a bad song”, my mouth dropped open. Can you imagine the press Mariah or Keith would get if they just forgot their lyrics in the middle of a song and stopped singing and just looked around, then sang off key? Or just sang out of tune for 3/4 of a song? i’m sure they’ve missed a lyric here or there or had a sore throat and some trouble hitting notes but nothing even remotely close to the train wreck that was Lazaro. That he excuses himself like that’s just how all singers are, is mind boggling. Someone needs to sit him down for a reality check before the tour.

          • CherylT says:

            AlyB, I’m praying that he doesn’t even go on the tour. Since he’s gotten so arrogant, I think he should just stay at home and see a speech therapist.

          • Linda says:

            Yes, Lazaro did voluntarily sign up for this competition, but I think there have been some harsh comments made on T.V. period about him. I will be the first to say he did not perform that well on some songs, but the judges were a little harsh on him sometimes; such as, knocking him down about his songs is one thing, but knocking him down about his stuttering is another. I think he did well, considering his stuttering, because if anyone has had a family member that stutters, you would know exactly what I am talking about. Your comment down below about him going home to go see a speech therapist is right down rude. Maybe you need to go see someone for a therapy session on being polite. Thanks Idology for interviewing Lazaro. Lazaro I wish you the best of luck with your future. Have a good day AlyB!

    • Vighorois says:

      Slezak also interviewed Danny GoOkey, so there you go.

    • JenD says:

      after MS sat down with Danny Gokey, I knew he could interview anyone.

  2. Laura says:

    Great interview. Michael, you were so professional and honest and patient — you got candid responses from him. It was interesting to hear his perspective about his season and his views about the judges.

  3. HannaB says:

    I love him. He has a lot to learn, but he’s a sweet soul and with some voice lessons I think he could find his niche in the recording industry.

    • Ted says:

      “he’s a sweet soul”

      No, he just has a speech impediment. That does not automatically create any kindness within.

      Lazaro has been downright fast to blame others the whole season. “Mazeppa” over at NYMag’s comment section for Idol recaps has been clear on how awful Lazaro, formerly “Rey’ behaves around others.

      Lazaro is clearly not what you want him to be, and what your are so desperate to try and convince others he is, for the sake of your pity-crush. The evidence is right up there, just press play or read a transcribed version of his answers if you can’t see past the stutter.

    • YL says:

      A sweet soul? Hmm, watch out! He is the most manipulative contestant ever been on AI but clothed in sheep skin. Just listen to his critiques against the judges who had actually saved him week after week, his backbiting jealousy against a female contestant who just wants to win (supposedly Angie), his arrogant dismissive attitude just because people no longer like him, his shameless pride to appear on GLEE when he should be going home to prepare himself better for prime time, and now interviews with sarcasm on TV for attention he so desired? I feel sorry for this guy really. He just doesn’t get it that he lost his popularity because his true face is appearing more and more.

      • marilyn says:

        the judges did not save him week after week the fans did. I personally believe the show was fixed this year. Janelle was a great singer but the judges only want kree amber and Candice as the top 3. that’s all they say week after week. they did not want a top male vocalist

  4. NQMGirl47 says:

    I dont know how I feel about Lazaro after this interview. He definitely has some “diva” tendencies but it must be rough to be thrown into the spotlight that way, told how courageous and great you are and then get torn to pieces. I also think the backstage manipulations and last minute song changes are a huge problem this year. These issues were mentioned by a number of the contestants, Burnell, Devin, and Lazaro all had songs they wanted to sing but were forced not to or had ways they wanted to rearrange songs but were pushed not to. This and all of the outdated music and themes is what is killing Idol and bringing shows like The Voice such great ratings. I hope Lazaro goes on to be successful in life and wish the kid nothing but the best but live tv is definitely not for him considering his speech limitations.

    • Linda Foltz says:

      In the past, they’ve pressured singers to do other songs or arrangements. The best of them have not given in. Take Casey Abrams. They did everything to discourage him from doing “Nature Boy” with the bass but it was epic. If these guys give in, they shouldn’t complain afterwards.

      • Tusk says:

        Didn’t Casey get eliminated after Nature Boy? If that’s the case, you can still respect Casey for sticking to his guns even if it meant ‘wasting’ the save and getting eliminated.
        Casey has been true to his artistic instinct throughout, even two years after his season :D

        @NQMGirl47, someone at MJ’s pointed out, didn’t Lazaro ask for a key change from the band seconds before he walked out to performed when he was revealed as a finalist? They didn’t change it, HE did.

        Add the fact that he excused his Beatles’ performance by saying ‘they’ changed the song last minute, then Jimmy showed footage of him recording the song 5 days before…. Am I supposed to believe him or the evidence?

        Somewhere in between is the truth, but his coming off as dismissive and disingenuous does not help his cause IMO

        • Fact Check Police says:

          No actually he didn’t get eliminated after Nature Boy. He got eliminated after I Heard It Through The Grape Vine and then he was saved. Then he got eliminated for good after Hi De Ho.

          • Tusk says:

            Thx for the correction..I had a feeling I might be ‘misremembering’ :P. The point that Casey was a musician of conviction despite being ‘persuaded’ otherwise, even at the risk of premature elimination still stands. You do have say in the matter.

        • MariMari says:

          Not that I’m disagreeing that Lazaro may not be on the up-and-up, but can you really trust Idol either? With the power of editing, how can one be sure the “..footage of him recording the song 5 days before..” was legitimate? They can make anything look how they want it to look – – like magic!

          • Owen says:

            Its hard to know who is lying. I get the feeling Lazaro probably is, but then again, at the point Jimmy said that, it was also the point Idol was desperately trying to get him off the show.

          • AlyB says:

            I believe Jimmy. They wouldn’t have made such a big deal out of it if it wasn’t the case. He never contradicted it once that footage was shown. It may not have been his original song choice but he had it for 5 days. If he waited for the last day knowing he has a hard time with lyrics, his failure is on him. The “magic’ editing you speak of was used alright. It was used to make him come off as poor, sweet, lovable Lazaro. A bit of the catty beast peeked through though and this interview just confirmed it.

  5. He seems to have had problems with the show that no one else had. There is something about him I don’t trust; this interview confirmed some of the instincts I had about him from the live shows.

  6. tewence says:

    i’m afraid that this guy is gonna need some humble pie before getting out into the real world. yes they are “just judges” but they are also the same type of people who are going to be giving/taking away opportunities. never burn a bridge, lazzie!

  7. Sara says:

    I dont like the way he speaks about Mariah, he portrays her as the mean bitch that stripped him naked and humiliated him infront of the entire nation, when infact she was the one crying for him when he was eliminated.

    • noa says:

      i am not the biggest fan of Mariah as an Idol judge (to say the least)- but this was seriously annoying to hear. and just one of the upsetting things he said in this interview. having said that- Slezak is my hero and he is a real pro. great job!

  8. patsy oh says:

    During the show I thought he came across as arrogant and untalented but was prepared to give hime the benefit of the doubt as I know nerves can affect people really badly.
    Wow. To bring up Mariah’s mental health issues “look at her in 2001” and compare his mistakes to hers is outrageous! God Bless you Lazaro, you have a lot to learn!

    • Linda says:

      It’s time for Lazaro to realize that a year from now he will be nothing more than a footnote on Idol’s wikipedia page.

  9. Matt says:

    Yeah, he seems to have excuses for everything. It’s like when he said he only had one day to learn his song, but then was called out for making that up. Gotta say that most of his excuses felt like they were probably not true either. They may have changed his key on that one song, but I’m guessing it wasn’t right before he went on.

    • Joy says:

      Honestly, even if it was, that’s the kind of thing a decent singer is not just going to *forget* about — if he’s listening to the music, he’s going to hear the change when it happens, and most people would instinctively try to adjust at that point. If he hasn’t practiced in the new key, he might have trouble hitting the right notes, so the last-minute rearrangement would be a plausible explanation for simply falling apart at the key change, but *missing* it entirely…I just don’t know how that happens.

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      Anyone who knows that song knows that there’s a key change in it.

  10. Shaun says:

    I thought they woulda skipped him because he takes extra airtime saying anything.

  11. PinBox says:

    Seems everyone else is doing just fine with their performances. If he really was singled out for quick song changes and such, I can only chalk it up to his dismal singing and performing abilities. Yes, it was excrutiating to watch him try to stutter his way through speaking, but, after all, he placed himself in the postion of becoming a public spectacle by trying out for the show in the first place. Spectacles may make for good television (in some people’s eyes), but I watch this show to see talented singers grow and give stellar performances, not so I can watch some pitiable and horrifying debacle. Lazaro should never have been selected in the first place, because it was done for reasons not remotely having to do with his ability to sing.

  12. Suziq says:

    I just wish they hadn’t put him through to the top 20. And I almost wonder if the inherent causes of stuttering make it harder for his brain to memorize new songs. I know that Mel Tillis was a great singer (with a stuttering problem), but being put in the “hunger games” atmosphere of Idol is such incredible pressure on someone with no speaking/word problems. That being said, Lazaro is a bit delusional and has quite a defensive attitude problem. His looks almost work against him…his face is very handsome…and I’m sure that brought him votes for a while. I don’t think his “story” would have carried him as far had he not been a handsome man. His looks became less and less appealing as he faltered, and it became painful to watch him in so far above his head. I really hope his “attitude” improves, and that he can enjoy the tour and just let go of his guard and become better by owning up to his shortcomings.

    • Joy says:

      I saw somebody point out that stuttering might make the lyric memorization harder because until you’ve got the tune down, you can’t just drill the words by reciting them to yourself over and over as ordinary speech. I’m sure that speaking English as a second language also *really* doesn’t help with trying to memorize English-language lyrics, and when you think about the song he botched worst…well, “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” may be inane, but it isn’t exactly linguistically straightforward.
      That said, where I finally lose sympathy for Lazaro is exactly what you’re pointing out — that he can’t *own up* to the things he’s struggling with. He honestly doesn’t seem to me to understand just how bad his performances were. If he were admitting that the whole thing was kind of a train wreck, and saying that he still hopes to succeed as a singer, but obviously got in way over his head here, and will have to be careful in the future to seek out environments where he can work within his limitations…great. But he comes across like he thinks that despite some problems, he basically did well, which is just wildly inaccurate. In past interviews, he said he “came back” with his second song on top 6 week — which was a decent top 6 performance *only* in comparison to the absolute train wreck that proceeded it. And he’s talking about wanting to do Glee, which is yet another environment that relies heavily on quick learning and adaptability from its performers. It’s okay not to be able to do everything under the same circumstances that everyone else can — but he needs to be realistic about what he can and can’t do, and make the effort to seek out environments where he’ll be able to actually deliver. Mediocrity plus good excuses do not add up to a successful career.

      • Joy says:

        I should say, the song whose *lyrics* he botched worse…I do think other performances were worse for him musically than Sugar Pie Honey Bunch. :-)

    • shawnuel says:

      I agree that he should not have been in the top 20. Idol asks for its own problems when pushing through backstory in favor of talent when hacks like Lazaro make it further than they expect. Then they backpedal and do everything in their power to “engineer” his dismissal. Personally……..I thought there were 4 or 5 better male singers that didn’t make it to the top 10 who would have lasted longer than these 5 guys did. And Curtis Finch was NOT the equal of the ladies. In his best moments he was right up there but he had woeful moments of inconsistency. I actually loved the two guys who were youth pastors that did not make the top 10. I may get torched for this next comment but, what the heck…….it almost seems like there was an agenda to to strongly promote effete men in this years finals, Not sure why that would be.

  13. Chris says:

    What a snotty attitude he has! I hate how he said that the judges had all released bad records and therefore that diminished their opinions. Yet he contradicted himself by saying that he liked Nicki, Keith, and Randy because they were honest. They generally told him he sucked, though. So which does he mean? He appreciated their honesty but their opinions were still invalid? He didn’t make sense.

    He is also far from the only contestant who had little time to learn songs, late changes, and the like. It’s just the nature of this sort of show, yet he obviously couldn’t handle it where so many others could. And then the bit where he claimed that there was no way five guys could leave in a row… yeah, he basically accused TPTB of cheating and then scrambled to cover when Slezak called him on it (much more gently than I would have!).

  14. Gypsy says:

    Lazaro needs to stop making excuses if he wants to make it in the music industry.

  15. JAO says:

    Good interview, Michael … thank you and I agree with the poster above me.

  16. IDOLFANADA says:

    i can understand Lazaro’s attitude. Having to grow up w/ his disability then being criticized in front of millions is tough. That being said, this interview left a negative impression. He seemed way too snarky for someone who was just given an amazing opportunity. His conspiracy theory is baseless. Blaming the band for the key change is cowardly. I cannot believe that he did not know many of the songs he sang… I wonder how long he’s been in the USA, it must be a while b/c his english is pretty darn good. He even gave some shade to Burnell (his anger is towards Lazaro is warranted). He really should not have thrown his conspiracy theories so early b/c the season isn’t even done. He still need exposure from AI. I wish him luck, he obviously had a large fan base since he made it this far. Hopefully they’ll support him beyond AI.

  17. noa says:

    look, if all you have to say for yourself is that you are not as experienced as the others, you should just say that you shouldn’t have auditioned this year. he wasn’t ready. this is a job. and a great opportunity. he wasted it completely. just say that- i wasn’t as ready as the others. that’s all. but he thinks his mistakes are not a problem because of it.

    i don’t know why he hasn’t learned to take responsibility of his actions, or why no one in his life is smart enough to make sure he doesn’t ruin any chance he has to make something out of his 15 minutes, but it makes me sad. if i had talked like that in private to anyone my parents would give me endless talks and make sure i understand how i can be a better and smarter person. too bad. he really could have inspired people even though he wasn’t a great singer or an experienced performer. but i feel like he and Amber are encouraging bad internet (and generally in life) behavior from their fans. that’s what makes me really upset here. is that you see kids looking up to them and learning from them.
    ugh. Bieber and Lazaro are giving me a headache.

  18. Alienate says:

    Sorry, this is too painful to listen to. Laz, Good Luck, and Good Bye.

  19. LeahKittyS says:

    People. Who cares if Lazaro has an attitude problem? Who cares if any of these kids have an attitude problem? It’s just a TV show. They’re saying what is on a lot of people’s minds. Why is okay for us to say it but not them? Because we are protected by the anonymity of the Internet and they are on camera? They’re human, too. Lazaro is not going to have a career anyway. He could be a perfect little angel for all we know, but because of how we have heard him sing he will not have a career. So let him sass it up. He’s cute. He has a nice voice; it just needs Auto-tune. And he can’t be a total monster if Amber is so close to him. Best of luck to him.
    P.S. I love how all 5 guys who have come in for these interviews have hinted in some way that the powers that be are a little too in control.

  20. Johnny says:

    I generally like the guy and do think he was probably not treated the best by some of the people on the show, but I don’t know that he realizes that some of his errors (forgetting the lyrics, screwing up a key change) musically are definitely problematic and warranted criticism. As for the Mariah comment, I think his point was that everyone has their off days. I don’t think he was being rude or anything, honestly.

    • Ron says:

      I do think he was being rude with the Mariah comment. By him bringing up her mental health breakdown around 1999/2000/2001, that is wayyyyyy below the belt. I’m sorry, but you can’t spin that any other way. He could have simply said that every singer (great or not) has their off nights. That’s fine. But to bring into the discussion a very public mental breakdown is rude to say the least. It’s uncalled for, disrespectful, and classless.

      • Johnny says:

        I’m only hearing a reference to her “bad songs” – where are you getting this mental health thing from?
        (BTW: this is a real question, I’m not trying to be rude or anything)

        • Ron says:

          Start listening to the conversation around the 8:45 mark and listen for 30 seconds. The comment I’m referencing is around the 9:09 mark and ends around the 9:12 mark. He says something to the effect of, “Look at her in 2001” with a little chuckle. I suppose this could be interpreted a different way, but that’s how I took it considering that was the time of her breakdown. So yeah, start at 8:45 and go to 9:15, but pay close attention to what he says, in the context of the conversation that had just been happening, from 9:09-9:12. Let me know if you have a different opinion on this.

          • Johnny says:

            Oh, okay. I heard the 2001 thing but I guess I didn’t know enough about Mariah’s past to put two and two together. I was hoping he was still referring to a rough patch musically, but if he really was talking about mental issues, that’s not acceptable. I’d hesitate to judge without clarity on what’s exactly he meant, but I really hope he wasn’t referring to mental health.

          • Ron says:

            Since he didn’t explicitly say it, I think you are right for being cautious in jumping to conclusions. I could very well be wrong, and he could have been referencing her bad songs from 2001, because that was when her worst received/worst commercially successful songs came out. But I do want to say that her music suffered in 2001 because of her mental breakdown. When she was psychiatrically hospitalized, her record company paid her to get her OUT of her contract. Because of this, her music career hit a huge low in 2001. So, he could have been strictly referencing her songs, but her mental breakdown in 2001 and career failures in 2001 are directly linked to one another, so I still think it’s in very poor taste to bring it up.

  21. luimi cerano says:

    I liked Lazaro, but I’m starting to see a different ugly side here. I will probably let you be for now until you can get some positivity and be little more greatful #lostafan #unfollowed

  22. Ettie says:

    Welcome aboard the Lazaro Express! Our next stops are a flop album and an adult film career.

  23. nich says:

    If remembering the lyrics is such a hard thing for him, why did he try out?

  24. H says:

    Ugh. This is the first post-Idol interview where I’ve found myself disliking the finalist even more. Slezak, you are a trooper.

  25. Yolonda says:

    I can’t imagine an arrangement for an entire band on National Live TV would be changed 5 minutes before it was to be played. Granted, the musicians on this show are good enough to transpose at the last minute (as they played it) but it would be highly unlikely that they would be asked to do so. This excuse of his is suspicious, to say the least. The modulation would be written into the arrangement ahead of time. No question about that.

    • ejones says:

      Actually Yolanda, my mum was a very accomplished accompanist on the piano, she was skillful enough to have transposed to the key that Lazaro was singing in a seemless ‘there and then’ way such that the judges and the public would not have noticed.

  26. dani n. says:

    To compare himself with recording artists with massive careers is just downright lunacy. And to say they all have off days, AI yi yi. We’re talking about a kid who had melt Downs three weeks in a row. Just getting his potential career off the ground. He doesn’t have hours and days and months and years of hard work behind him to give him the benefit of having off days. Yes
    I am with those who think he needed to put in the work on his voice before being on this show. He took the easy way out,over estimated his talent and good looks.And got a kick in the ego for it
    Deservedly so.

  27. Jessica says:

    My feelings about him remain-he comes off to me as unprofessional. I feel he had time between getting his ticket to Hollywood and Hollywood week to learn more songs. He allowed them to change the songs and as Keith said for one of the last critiques there is a difference in people being professional and thinking about careers vs treating this as if it’s a talent show. I wish him the best as a person but think he needs some more experience/maturity to make it in the industry.

  28. lll says:

    I agree with him and the backstage politics. Yes, they rigged the votes to make sure there was a female top 5 so that a female is sure to win this year. Everything else I could have done without.

  29. Mary says:

    That was a tough interview to get through. I think he needs to grow up and take responsiblity. Mariah was trying to be nice instead of coming out an say you suck, which I guess he does not comprehend. I am sure the producers did throw a few curve balls at him, but I am also sure he was not the only one. I wish him well but I hope he realizes that he does not have a future in music.

    • elizabeth3613431 says:

      Mariah might have been trying to be nice, but she came across as very condescending toward him by never giving him real feedback, even when he knew he had messed up. Lazaro is trying to have it both ways here: he disrespected Mariah because she pitied him, but he himself didn’t own up to most of his shortcomings on the show (except for forgetting the lyrics). But I do agree with him that it was insulting to hear Mariah praise his courage week in and week out, as if she were reminding everyone that poor little Lazaro had to be treated differently than all the rest of the contestants.

  30. Jo says:

    Oh Lazaro Lazaro Lazaro. He apparently just doesn’t get it. Poor kid. I hope he has a successful career whatever it is. Great questions, Michael!

  31. Joe says:

    I honestly feel for the guy. He lacks self awareness. I hope his family and friends are prepared to take care of him when the tour ends. Once that’s over, his phone is not going to ring and people need to help me come to terms with the fact that this show isn’t going to give him a career as an on camera entertainer.
    I mean, maybe Ryan Murphy throws him on Glee for a small arc if it gets renewed, but I think that from my take they want people on Glee who hit the ground running actor wise and don’t make excuses. With the ridiculous filming schedule Glee has, I don’t think he can handle it.
    Idol gave him a moment and I hope for Lazaro’s sake he can find things to make himself happy outside of this business. I just don’t think he built up the momentum to be taken seriously as a singer in this business and I can’t imagine anyone seeking him out to work with him.
    And I hate to bring up the courage card, but it did take a lot of balls to walk into that room with Slezak and do this. That said, that doesn’t make him a talented performer.

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      Ryan Murphy is not going to put him on Glee. Other ex-Idol contestants with much better voices have been passed up, despite being more talented. Lazaro doesn’t have a hope in hell.

  32. And, this is why I think Mariah tries to painfully be positive. She knows some of these kids can’t stand to be told the truth. I think Lazaro blames Mariah and Randy’s critiques for sending him home

    • Jess says:

      He clearly does. Nicki was much more mean to him throughout (including “Get off the stage!”) yet he praises her. Mariah says one “mean” thing (simply noting the truth that he didn’t stay on key), and he talks about being mean back to people who are mean to him. WTH?

  33. ohreli says:

    “I dont like to excuse myself, but….”

  34. dj says:

    Oy. I don’t think he has the type of attitude to make it in the music business. It’s back to the ice cream store.

  35. Matt says:

    What a jerk. Mariah was always nice to him, not mean. Her making “bad” music is different from him not singing on key. And Mariah told him for WEEKS to find the right key for that specific part of his voice. So, why does he act like she never talked about his singing?

  36. EZMARTIN says:

    Kid is an ignorant fool, incapable of handling criticism. He can certainly kiss his chances of collaborating with anyone currently associated with Idol goodbye.

  37. Adrian Arciniega says:

    He doesn’t seem to take criticism very well.

  38. Rose says:

    Why people are so judgmental and harsh when it comes to this guy? It’s all a matter of perspective and interpretation. What could be interpreted as being a diva can also be interpreted as his way to shield himself from being offended by harsh comments. As he said he didn’t want to break down and cry again so maybe this is his way to prevent it. I agree with him that if the judges don’t respect him, than he can choose not to respect them. I don’t think that they shouldn’t criticize his performances but there were times that they were out of line. Yeah I think he’s naïve to believe he’s going to have a career but I also think that people are naïve to dismiss the so called conspiracy theories about the production of this show and what’s going on back stage. If the producers want a female winner they will have a female winner. They invest a lot of money in the show so they’ll make sure they’ll get what they want have no doubt. It’s obvious that all the guys that were chosen this year are nowhere near as good as the girls. He needs to take responsibility for his part in his bad performances though I believe it wasn’t his fault entirely. If you need to blame someone, than the judges would be the right address. It’s clear he’s not experienced enough and his disability makes it harder to deal with the challenges of this show. Yet he made it into the top 10 because the judges pitied him or were moved by his story whatever. Things aren’t always as they seem maybe there’s truth in what he says; don’t be so harsh just because you’ve already formed an onion of him. I wish him the best of luck mainly because it would be fun to see all the people who invested so much malice time and energy in making fun of him or just being mean, get pissed off. Unfortunately I’m realistic so I can only hope it won’t be too painful for him when reality will kick in and his bubble will burst. May the Force be with you Lazaro hope you’ll make skeptical like me eat their hats off :P

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Rose, you are my hero today :) Thanks for speaking up <3

    • JenD says:

      rose, i agree with everything you said, except take out the word judges and put in the word producers. but you are absolutely right that they are the ones putting up the money for the show and if we don’t like it, we can start our own talent show (which is what simon cowell did). i’m disappointed b/c i think lazaro lied to defend himself about the key change (doesn’t that song have the most well known key change in the history of pop music?) and jimmy called him out on a lie too. but…. the poor kid was in so far over his head, i blame the producers entirely for putting him through. i hope his life is better for this, from where i was sitting it seemed traumatizing. i’m hoping he does well on the tour, so there’s two of us rooting for him anyway :) and the girl contestants at least seem to like him, even if burnell stays mad at him.
      and i’m impressed (yet again) with MS for treating lazaro professionally and asking those questions that were pretty tough, but he accepted lazaro’s answers and let them stand. oy vey, that poor kid.

    • Chris says:

      Another Lazaro apologist! That’s just pathetic, dearie.

  39. Girl Power says:

    What a punk. Look forward to this summer, boo. Lazaro lost all of us except for Amber after the Top 8. Amber and Lazaro were the only contestants Mariah didn’t talk to after that (she’s the only one that talks to contestants because she gets there early) because five of us told her all the nasty things they were saying to us. Nigel wanted Mariah to be the nice one, then the mean one, and now he just wants everyone to get along. I don’t know how she hasn’t gone crazy. We aren’t allowed to say bad things about Nicki, but we can about Mariah, except we won’t because she’s universally our favorite. She gives US the best critiques because she cares about us. With Lazaro, she honestly just didn’t care anymore, and she’s not a cruel person. Notice every change we make comes from her input (except Amber, who doesn’t talk to anyone). We LOVE her. She took four of us to her studio last night! All of the judges have to say “vote for Amber” because she’s the only one Jimmy wants to sign, but Mariah has so many connections that we’re not worried anymore.

    • Adam says:

      and you know this how? Where’s the proof? do you want us to believe that you are one of the remaining girls?

      • Leah Hoffman says:

        Yeah, are you?

      • Owen says:

        Yeah, I’m pretty sure its not one of the remaining girls, cause even if they felt this way, not one seems the type to actually write this. Plus, Burnell seemed rather into Amber right up to his final night. And Mariah doesn’t give Kree the best critiques (where Nicki usually does). Seems to me some very creative person (props!) is worried Amber is overcoming their favorite…

        • Shel says:

          100% agree with your comment, Owen, that “Seems to me some very creative person (props!) is worried Amber is overcoming their favorite…”.

          The Idols have super-busy schedules. Somehow I doubt that one of the remaining girls would take the time to view a 12-minute video with Lazaro and then type up a 200-word vent.

          • Shel says:

            As has been suggested elsewhere, the post is likely the work of a fan of Angie/Candice/Kree who is getting nervous that Amber might threaten their fave, and decided to diss Amber in this (admittedly creative) way.

      • anonymousrm says:

        Got to love how delusional you people are that you can’t believe one of the remaining contestants wrote this. BTW it was Angie.

    • Alex says:

      I’m really curious as to who this is now. Obviously not Amber, though, which is good because she’s my least favourite.

    • MamaLis says:

      I find this verrrry interesting. And something makes me think it’s an “inside job.” Maybe it IS a contestant. Or perhaps it’s one of the countless people employed on-set everyday… watching these contestants day-in and day-out.. all their privileges and all their hidden dramas. It certainly doesn’t have to be a female, btw. It’s simply “signed” GirlPower. Yup.. the tone of this makes me think their actually might be something to this. Maybe not. Just interesting…..

    • Cathy says:

      And does no one else think that its inappropriate for a “judge” to be taking only some contestants to their studio? Actually quite surprised by the bitterness and judginess this year by contestants and people that have been voted off.

  40. Leela says:

    Hmmm…it will be interesting to see how he’s received on the tour. Providing anyone buys tickets.

  41. David4 says:

    Wow. He is stunning. I saw clips and went “oh look, he’s adorable”, but damn, he looks really great now.

  42. Did anyone catch what he said about Mariah and 2001? Was this a Glitter reference? What ever it was he’s a tool!

    • Joline says:

      He was trying to compare himself to Mariah by saying that everyone goes through rough patches – look at her in 2001 (during her mental health issues and release of Glitter.) I have personally never seen Mariah forget the words to any of her songs or sing in the wrong key. But either way—seemed like a low blow considering the fact she tried to be encouraging and supportive throughout his run on the show.

  43. Leah Hoffman says:

    First of all, a good singer can adjust to a key change, even if it’s unexpected. A good band can do the the (it reminds me of when No Doubt was on SNL and Gwen Stefani started “Don’t Speak” out of key, and the band transposed the key to her bad pitch.)

    Second of all, THIS GUY IS DELUSIONAL!!! He’s conceited, he’s an ass, I don’t like him at all. He refuses to see his own flaws, he makes excuses and he will be long forgotten.

  44. Phan says:

    It’s unsurprising that Lazaro can’t grasp how Curtis could have left first simply because Lazaro would need to have heard the phrase “self-aware.”

  45. Jenny says:

    I honestly don’t know if it is an intentional attitude but more he just is not polished in how to deal with media. He wasn’t groomed or prepped for years to do something like Idol. Also how could the guys not figured out there was no way they were going to win. I am sure tht plays on your attitude about things. Not trying to make excuses but there was no way he was ready for the Idol machine and should have been sent home before voting rounds started.

  46. jalahyacinth says:

    I tried to watch… I really did. But the excuses! I think I counted 5 in the 3 minutes I lasted… That’s just sad.

  47. syb says:

    Great interview Michael.
    Lazaro doesn’t seem to appreciate that he signed up to be critiqued on national TV and he sounds like a whiny vindictive jerk when he has to fire spitballs at those who rightly called him out for singing off key and failing to learn the lyrics like everyone else had to do. Nobody was mean to him on air. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, but in regard to the on air comments, Lazaro’s responses make him look like a tool.

  48. CK says:

    Thinking part of what came across as a bad attitude may have been an attempt to overcome the stuttering problem. “OK, whatever” is easier to say than “Thank you, I’ll take that in and try to do better next week”. Not making excuses, just an observation. In any event, good job Michael on this interview.

  49. Lori says:

    Wow, he’s a jerk.

  50. Nat says:

    I commend you Slezak for sticking with that until the end. True professional.
    Lazaro’s answers only further solidified my impressions of him. Those comments about the judges releasing bad records…just WHAT. What does that have to do with anything? It’s not like he’s had a long-lasting recording career that makes him comparable. It’s just disrespectful. Not to mention those comments at the end when he implied the show was rigged because the five worst contestants who happen to be male went out first…

    I do sympathise with the fact that he was raised in a country where he couldn’t receive as broad a musical education and his speech impediment struggle. But two things: (i) If I was going on Idol, I would study study study for every theme week and (ii) In the UK’s Pop Idol about 12/13 years ago there was a contestant who had a stutter. He had no trouble with lyrics; he actually came second in the competition, and ended up having an OK career for a few years. So stutter or no, that shouldn’t have held him back.

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      He’s apparently lived in the US since age 10, and he’s 22. That’s 12 years of exposure to US music and other pop culture. Not to mention he’s apparently a Glee fan as well, so that gives you some level of exposure to popular music.