Stuttering ‘Idol’ contestant shocks and inspires judges

By Sarah McClanahan,

On the American Idol season 12 auditions in Chicago, Lazaro Arbos won over the judges with his touching story and excellent voice despite speech impediments.

Lazaro Arbos, a 21-year-old Cuban-American ice cream scooper who lives in Florida, has been struggling with his stuttering problems since age 6.

“It’s like a rollercoaster. The things that normal people would think are so easy become so hard for me,” Arbos revealed.

He further admitted that due to his condition, he didn’t have any friends because no one understood his condition nor wanted to spend time with him.

“Since he’s always alone and has few friends, I think music is his life, and I think without it, he wouldn’t know what to do with his life,” his parents told the Idol producers in a behind-the-scenes interview. “Normally when he wouldn’t be able to tell me something because of the stutter, I would just say, ‘Sing it to me.’”

“You can’t let things get you down because you have to keep going,” Arbos stated with certainty before his audition.

In fact, his rendition of “Bridge over Troubled Water” blew the judges out of the “water.” He did not stutter once throughout the performance.

“Just sing all the time,” judge Keith Urban commented to Arbos. “I love your tone. I love the way you sing.”

Nicki Minaj added, “I think you brought a very good vibe into the room.”

Many celebrities took to the Internet to celebrate the brave and kind Lazaro Arbos.

Last night on Twitter, Minaj tweeted, “Lazaro.”

Arbos is extremely grateful for the support he has received, and has even created a pet name for his new fan following: the Lazis! He tweeted, “Thank you guys sooo much for you're [sic] support you guys don't understand how much this means to me #lazis #dreamers #idol.”



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