Instead, he began writing, recording, and learning his craft with a vengeance. Now, back as a solo artist as one of Britney Spears' Teens and on to the Top 12, the 17-year-old from Cincinnati is in it to win it.
"It's really cool to be able to do it again. I don't feel like I'm like a new kid anymore. I feel like everybody knows me everybody knows what's going on with me. I'm not really as nervous as I was last year," says Arin, who auditioned for Season 2 with his original song, "Count on Me," wowed us at Boot Camp with "What Makes You Beautiful" with Normani Hamilton, and really won us over with Nicki Minaj's "Starships" at Judges' Homes, before driving it home at the Live Shows with the Supremes' "Keep Me Hanging On."
"To be here, with less than 20 people still here is crazy. I think what the judges saw in me is I'm a performer. I love to perform and that's what got me here, not just my singing but me being able to be onstage and grab everybody's attention and be able to perform," he says.
He adds, "I'm ready. I'm ready to prove to everybody that I'm legit."
Check out Arin Ray's Meet the Finalists interview here.