In an interview with Hollywood.com, Lazaro Arbos at least partially blames his poor performances on internet meanies:
Lazaro also told Hollywood.com that the reason his performance wasn’t up to par on Wednesday night was that he’d seen some scathing commentary on the Internet. “I think that when you become known, there’s a lot of people that talk bad, and I think that we have been letting those bad comments get to us,” he says. And yes, of course, those comments will hurt, especially when a major Idol commentator is calling his victory a result of the “courage card” and famed Idol-hating site Vote For the Worst has named Lazaro its Season 12 pick, but that doesn’t really hold up as an excuse for a bad performance.
There are really no excuses to be made for his bad performances. Lazaro needs to suck up and take the criticism like a grownup. If Lazaro knew Idol history, he’d be aware of the contestants, over the years, who have soldiered on stoically in the competition, without excuses, despite criticisms from the judges, fans or internet pundits. (Kellie Pickler, Sanjaya, John Stevens and Kristy Lee Cook come to mind).
The jist of the Hollywood.com article the quote comes from is that folks need to stop voting for Lazaro for reasons other than his vocal ability. I might snark about voting in my recaps, but when it comes right down to it, folks have the right to vote for whomever they want for whatever reason, so I’m not going to get up on my soapbox and lecture people. The Contestant Who Won’t Go Away is practically an Idol perennial. No point in fighting it, I say.
However, I don’t think it’s likely that Lazaro’s performances will improve in the coming weeks. The longer he stays on the show, the bigger the backlash will grow. Speaking for myself, it’s the reason why I’d never vote for a contestant like Lazaro, no matter how much I liked him personally. Watching a contestant struggle on the show is neither fun, nor funny.
American Idol is a voting show and by extension, a JUDGING show. If a contestant blows a performance, they best gird themselves for a slew of slings and arrow, because that is how the game is played. Period. Idol can be a lesson in toughening up. If Lazaro hopes to make it in the cut-throat world of show business, he needs to develop a thick skin, sooner rather than later.
If Lazaro is reading what people are saying about him online. Dude. Shut off your laptop. Don’t turn it on until the competition is over. Seriously.