Published February 08, 2013
The competition got intense during the men’s solo round of Hollywood Week on “American Idol,” but Devin Velez once again left the judges in a daze.
The 18-year-old Chicago native sang Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World," moving the judges and proving that he has the lungs to stay in the singing competition.
As his competitors let their emotions and insecurities get the best of them, Velez stayed cool and collected throughout each audition.
“I’m not that nervous. I don’t think I’m going to get nervous ,” Velez said minutes before taking the stage. “I haven’t been nervous yet in the competition. It’s because you need to stay focused.”
Velez, who also sang Andrea Bocelli’s “Somos Novios” and earned a standing ovation from music producer Randy Jackson during the acapella rounds, said he “didn’t expect” any of the accolades he's received on the show.
“It’s been amazing,” Velez said. “When Randy Jackson stood up for me it was like 'wow, I did something right!'”
Fellow judges Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj were also impressed by him.
“You are born to sing,” said Urban. “It’s what you do.”
Minaj was all smiles with Velez. But her smile faded once he left the stage since none of the other male contenders impressed her.
"This was the one time to fight for your life," Minaj bluntly told one of the singers, emulating tough-love judge Simon Cowell.
"I'm pretty sure that flame is now completely burnt out. I'm so disappointed. I don't know why you would choose this song," Minaj told the exuberant Papa Peachez, who wowed them during the San Antonio auditions.
As of now, 28 singers remain but eight more will be sent home next week.