Naples, Fla.-raised singer Lazaro Arbos was among the vocalists selected as American Idol's Top 20 contestants in Thursday's episode. Arbos, who was profiled by the Tampa Bay Times in a feature story about stuttering years ago, has prospered in the contest despite a severe stutter. But when he sings, the stutter vanishes, exposing one of the competition's strongest voices. His appeal on the show was obvious in the Sudden Death episode aired Thursday, where the show's male singers performed before a crowd of thousands in Las Vegas. Singing a song written by judge Keith Urban, Tonight I Want to Cry, Arbos avoided the typical criticisms launched at contestants who try doing the judges' material, earning points for his poignant story, puppy dog eyes and strong voice. Next Wednesday, live episodes begin and America gets to vote on who stays or goes. — Eric Deggans, Times TV/Media Critic
Naples singer Lazaro Arbos makes it to Top 20 on 'American Idol'
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