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A Stutterer Surprises American Idol Viewers

April 4 was a surprising day for American Idol followers. For those who have somehow lost interest and failed to watch the TV show regularly, the finalists were down to seven last week. There were two men and five women. As expected, one of the guys was sent home that night.

The other remaining man standing was Lazaro Arbos, a Puerto Rican who is at the same time a stutterer. He set history as the first contestant with noticeable and severe speech defect to enter the final 12 of the competition. But his stay on the show was not all coated with sugar. For the past several weeks, music expert and commentator Jimmy Iovine has been all rants towards this guy.

On that same night, the judges thought Arbos would end up in the bottom two. But surprisingly, he was one of the top three most voted contestants, as announced later on the show. This week, the main question that has kept viewers glued to the show was ‘Will Arbos keep his luck and stay on the competition?’

Arbos clearly got the hearts of American viewers. He stammers and stutters whenever he speaks, making it really difficult for him. But when he sings, that impediment instantly vanishes. This is a unique strength that has proven to be his main weapon against elimination week after week.

Unfortunately, last April 11, the road ended for Arbos. He was voted off by the viewers. With his departure, American Idol has set a history by having an all-female Top 5, the first time it has occurred in its 12-year history. Unfortunately, as expected, Arbos was not good enough for the judges, who did not even contemplated about using their ‘save’ privilege to keep him in the competition. Interestingly, this week was supposed to be the last week that they would be able to use that unique power and they chose to just make it vanish.

Last season, American Idol was well-watched by Filipino fans because of Jessica Sanchez, who ended up as the first runner up in the finals against champion Phillip Phillips. Sanchez has Filipino roots, her mother being a Pinay from somewhere in northern Luzon.

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