After some serious deliberation, viewers decided to send Devin Velez home from the American Idol 2013 Top 8. It wasn’t exactly a shocking decision, but it was a surprise when comparing his performances to other contestants like Lazaro Arbos, who’s received negative feedback from the judges over the last couple of weeks.
So why was Devin Velez eliminated from American Idol?
Despite having a strong voice respected and praised by the American Idol judges, Devin was often called out for failing to connect with his songs emotionally. Mentor Jimmy Iovine also cautioned him about being too safe with his song choices, saying there was a fine line between sounding retro and sounding old-fashioned.
During last night’s Season 12 Top 8 performance show, Devin’s version of Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” was a great albeit traditional take on the song. While the judges seemed to like his rendition, they noted again that it lacked some emotional connection and perhaps did not showcase his strengths as an artist well enough. In comparison, many of the other contestants added personal flair to their performances that made an impact on the judging panel.
What might have influenced America’s vote the most was the group male performance of the Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” which saw Devin, Burnell Taylor, and Lazaro Arbos struggle to make the song work. It wasn’t a complete bust, but it was bad enough to make Nicki Minaj yell at them to get off of the stage.
While we think Devin had one of the stronger male voices in the competition, we don’t think it was a complete mistake that he was sent home tonight based on his performances over the last few weeks.