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'American Idol' Group Number 'Was a Train Wreck,' Says Finalist Devin Velez

Fumbling the lyrics to Motown classic “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" may have cost one season 12 guy the competition.

Idol Sugar pie honey bunch L
Michael Becker / FOX
From left: Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez and Lazaro Arbos

Most everyone knows that for the finalists, American Idol is one giant four-month pressure cooker. But nearly halfway into season 12, forgetting a lyric is just about unforgivable.

Yet that’s exactly what happened Wednesday night when a trio of male competitors -- Devin Velez, Lazaro Arbos and Burnell Taylor -- fumbled the words to Motown classic “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch).” Judge Nicki Minaj’s reaction from the judges’ table: "I’m gonna act like I didn’t see that or hear it.”

To be sure, it’s a somewhat sensitive issue considering Arbos’ stutter, made even more touchy when fellow contestant Velez first jumped in to fill the void then commented about the lackluster performance to the judges.

Speaking to the media after the show, Velez maintained that he didn’t want to “throw anybody under the bus,” but he also saw clear to have his own insurance policy that night. “I was prepared,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I knew my lines and I learned the whole song on purpose because I thought this might happen.”

PHOTOS: 'American Idol' Season 12: The Top 10 Finalists

Velez described the performance as “a train wreck” but added it "could have been worse. … We survived, though Nicki wasn't too happy.”

Added Taylor: “Our rehearsal went so good and I was so amped to perform. We were strong, but the minute it went downhill, we were all disappointed in ourselves as a group.”

For his part, Arbos said, “I don’t like to use excuses, but at the same time, we’d never heard that song. I’ve never heard that song, and I felt we could have used more time learning the words.”

STORY: 'American Idol': Get to Know Season 12's Top 10 Guys

On the bright side, Taylor looked at it as a learning experience, telling THR, “I would change nothing. And I'm glad Nicki said what she did because if she didn't, we wouldn't take it as serious. I feel like we all learned from it. Next week, if we're around, we need to kill it.”

Do you think one of the three guys is destined for elimination? Should he be? Sound off in the comments ...

Twitter: @Idol_Worship