A quick primer on Devin Velez, in nine items:
1. He is one of nine remaining finalists on Season 12 of
2. The 18-year-old lives in the
3. Last Thursday, he barely survived the first week of finals, which begins the show's round of live performances that eliminate one contestant each week until a champion is crowned.
Asked to pick from songs associated with past "Idol" winners, Velez chose a country song,
Velez finished ninth of the 10 finalists in voting determined via phone and the Web.
4. But Velez has the chops to come back this week, when the results are announced Thursday night after live singing (of
The judges have loved his range and poise as a singer through such tunes as "What a Wonderful World," "Somos Novios" ("It's Impossible"), and
5. He was called "a Spanish Ken doll" by judge
6. Velez is a senior at Rickover
Velez's is blond.
He was already well-liked by students and teachers, according to Biela, but for some freshman girls, his "Idol" success has bumped his popularity to a new, picture-in-the-locker level. "Right next to
7. Even before "Idol," Velez had earned a reputation at school as a singer. He was the lead last year in Rickover's first musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."
He fronts the jazz band and has won talent shows. You can find videos on YouTube that Velez has made (a cover of Pink's "Perfect") and ones such as "Devin Velez (my talented nephew) Singing @ Amanda's Wedding."
8. His followers, whom you can learn about through his Twitter handle, @devinAI12, are known as "Devineers."
Many of his tweets are about coffee.
9. "Idol" is not do-or-die for Velez.
"As awesome as it would be if I won," he told the show's producers, "it's not gonna change what I would do in the future. ... I think that's different 'cause most people are like, 'I'm the next American Idol.' And I'm just like, 'I'm a singer.'"
7 p.m. Thursday, Fox