Lazaro Arbos is a Cuban boy from Naples, Florida with a really big dream: he wants to be the country’s next “American Idol.” And with his emotional audition on the 12th season of the hit singing competition, he may very well be on his way, with a singing voice that soars and a touching story that inspires even the most cynical of viewers.
“Singing is just something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Arbos of his decision to audition for “American Idol.” “When I sing, I feel like my real self comes out. With music, I can show the world who I really am.”
Arbos has a severe stutter and despite undergoing speech therapy as a child, his impediment prevents him from engaging in relaxed conversation. It’s a disability, he says, that has hindered him in nearly every aspect of life.
“My life wasn’t going very well,” confessed Arbos of life pre-“American Idol.” “I couldn’t get a good-paying job because of my speech. Why would someone hire me when they can get someone that speaks perfectly fine?”
And yet, Arbos – who lives at home with his parents and works scooping ice cream at a local shop – shines when he sings, a quality that judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban recognized. The 21-year-old was given a golden ticket, which will allow him to enter the Hollywood rounds of the show and prove himself as a possible “American Idol” success story.
“I kind of passed out on the inside,” recalls Arbos of the moment he was unanimously voted into the show’s next round. “To hear the world’s biggest pop stars say they really like you is shocking!”
Argos says he was thrilled that the judges enjoyed his rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” – a song he says, that has helped him through life’s toughest times.
“I can sing all kinds of songs including ones I don’t necessarily relate to,” says Argos, who at 18 began training with a vocal coach when he decided he wanted to become a professional singer. “But when my mom got sick recently and couldn’t work as much, this song expressed how we could come out from that.”
For Arbos, who emigrated from Cuba with his parents when he was 10 years old, the opportunity to compete on ‘American Idol” is his shot at the American dream. While he continues to have bad days and good days (“There are times I can’t speak that well and sometimes I have days where I don’t stutter that much”) he holds onto the hope that he may very well become a star like “American Idol” winners Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood.
“My goal is for my songs and my background to inspire people,” says Argos.
“Living my dream and taking care of my family is all that matters.”