Lazaro Arbos performs on "American Idol." (Frank Micelotta / Fox )
Thank you, America. You finally sent home the right guy. Yes, at long last, and after scaring many of us by mysteriously landing in the top three last week, Lazaro Arbos -- lover of bright colors, sweater of anxious sweats, forgetter of lyrics, weeper-turned-shrugger, bearer of Nicki Minaj-bestowed nicknames like "Ricky Ricardo" and "Fonzie," and certainly no judge favorite -- was sent packing Thursday on "American Idol."
That means we won't have to steel ourselves for the 22-year-old Floridian's missed notes and words -- and the judges' resulting awkward responses -- anymore.
But more important, it means a woman will assuredly win "Idol" this year, for the first time since Jordin Sparks captured the crown in Season 6. Because there are no men left in the competition -- not one single dude -- whereas every single top-five woman has made this season's top five overall. It's the first time in "Idol" history that the top five finalists are all girls.
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America, thank you for that too.
It remains to be seen, of course, who this season's winning woman will be, but the "Idol" voters now appear to be up to making a good choice.
Before Arbos sang for the save we (and he) knew he'd never get, Ryan Seacrest divided the six remaining singers into three vote-determined twosomes. Kree Harrison and Candice Glover were at the top, right where they should have been. Janelle Arthur and Angie Miller were in the middle. And Arbos was joined in the bottom two by Amber Holcomb, who, despite her ultralong legs, super-cute dimples and vocal agility, is clearly not as popular with the voters as she is with the judges and mentor Jimmy Iovine.
For a brief moment, it seemed possible that Arbos might once again escape elimination and Holcomb might be the one in danger, in which case the judges would almost certainly have used their one save of the season to rescue her. But no, Arbos' stumbles and sub-par performances had finally caught up to him.
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Did the judges even bother to discuss saving him as he sang "Feeling Good," somewhat defiantly? Mariah Carey did look teary, but then she always did have a soft spot for Arbos' emotional back story. That was not without cause: Arbos is brave for not allowing his stutter to prevent him from stepping into the spotlight to pursue his dreams.
Certainly, he's been embraced as an inspiration by his fans. Within minutes of Arbos' elimination, an email from the Stuttering Foundation of America (presumably readied weeks ago) appeared in my inbox, hailing the disappointed hopeful as an "ambassador for the stuttering community": "Bravo, Lazaro, Bravo!!" it said. "To the stuttering community, from Day 1, he was already a winner."
So there you go, Lazaro. Your devotees still love you. You'll do fine.
Now let's see which of these talented women will win this thing. After all, Thursday night's performances by Kelly Clarkson (Day-Glo eyelids!) and Scotty McCreery (now with beefier arms!) showed us what an "Idol" win can mean for a person's career. Candice? Kree? It's yours to lose.
Are you sad to see Arbos go?
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