Motown week proved to be tough for the Top 8 singers on “American Idol” Season 16. Nowhere was this more evident than in the guys’ group performance. The flawed performance of “Can’t Help Myself” by Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez and Lazaro Arbos was criticized by the judges (particularly Nicki Minaj). In addition to this, the first hints of competition were seen as each guy tried to defend himself.

The result was kind of a mess and a distinctly negative point in the night. What did the guys have to say for themselves after the show? Although each was a bit indignant at the specific criticism, admissions of imperfection were made.

Impressively, none of the guys were ready to knock down any of the others. Each instead pointed out what he had done right.

“Our group performance wasn’t so great,” Devin quickly admitted after the show. “It was harsh. But my thing is, you should never be offended if they’re not speaking about you. [Nicki] said, ‘It was a train wreck, you guys forgot your words and you were flat.’ I knew I was on-pitch, I knew I sang my words right… They’re not talking about me. I don’t take it so hard.”   

Even if he wasn’t ready to take credit for the mistakes, Devin wasn’t happy about what happened: “It still felt bad to be up there, getting such harsh remarks. ‘Cause this is my team.”

Burnell expressed his opinion that the guys could have improved with more work. “I honestly feel like we did our best, even though we slacked a little bit,” he said. “I know now that we need to work hard. And if my brothers need an extra push, I’ll help them and guide them and say, ‘Look. We’re the three guys that are left. You know, they’ve got five girls that’s left. So we need to make sure that we are on top of the game so that we can stay.'”

When asked about his own comments on the stage, Burnell pointed to disappointment as the trigger. “When we didn’t do what I feel like we should have done, I was extremely disappointed,” he explained. “Even though we were in a group, as individuals, it made all of us look bad. So that was my whole message. It wasn’t throwing anybody under the bus, because I love them.”

With two guys insisting that they did not mess up the song, did Lazaro, the third guy in the song, say that was his problem? Yes, he did.

“I think I screwed up. I think they said what was so,” Lazaro admitted. “I don’t like to use excuses to back myself up, but I never heard that song in my life, and I think we could have definitely used more time learning the words. And then I forgot the words.”

Lazaro was not, however, too broken up about the criticism: “I learned last week, you can’t think about the past,” he said. “You can’t think about what went on. So I can use that to apply to our last song of the night.”

Posted by:Laurel Brown