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American Idol 2022: Reliving every Fritz Hager performance

Fritz Hager on American Idol
Fritz Hager on American Idol. Pic credit: ABC

Fritz Hager came into the auditions this year and said he knew he wasn’t the best singer in American Idol’s 20th anniversary season.

However, he didn’t need to be the best singer. He proved throughout the competition that he could sing, he could take popular songs and refigure them to make them his own, and he picked up a lot of fans on his way to the Top 5.

Fritz Hager even watched his EP he released before the live sessions started hit number one on the iTunes pop charts.

Here is a look back at Fritz Hager’s American Idol journey.

The Auditions Round

Fritz Hager came in and said he was a 21-year-old security officer, but he was also someone who said he didn’t want to be in that job all his life, and he wanted to sing and perform. He said Phillip Phillips inspired him and he wanted to have a similar career.

However, he said that no one in his family but his sister had his love for music. He also said that he knew he wasn’t the best singer that would be there, and then he sang Before You Go by Lewis Capaldi. He was an exception to the Top 5 in that he did not get a unanimous decision pushing him on.

Lionel Richie and Katy Perry said yes, but Luke Bryan said no, and he felt that Fritz needed more work. However, Luke would eventually realize he was wrong.

Hollywood Week – Genre Challenge/Duets

In the Genre Challenge, Fritz Hager was in the Indie-Folk genre group with Lee DeWyze as the mentor. For his performance, Fritz sang Unsteady by the X Ambassadors, and Luke Bryan was impressed enough to go back on his previous doubts.

In the Duets Challenge, two of the singers that would make the Top 5 performed together as Fritz Hager and Leah Marlene teamed up as Team Green.

The two went on to sing Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, and Lionel Richie said he felt they brought the best out of each other. It was also the start of a great friendship, as when Fritz went home, he said he wanted Leah to win it all.

Showstopper Round

The first song for a live audience was the choice of the singers. Fritz Hager performed an original song during this round.

That was gutsy, as original songs are usually saved for big moments with fans at home voting, but it worked here. Katy gave him a standing ovation, and Fritz was very emotional. Katy told him he would move on.

Top 24

The Top 24 was the first time that the fans at home got to vote. The Top 24 split into two groups, with the first 12 singing on Sunday night and the second 12 on Monday night. Fritz was in Group 2.

He came out and sang Waves by Dean Lewis. He played guitar and delivered a controlled and impressive performance. Katy said it reminded her of the Kings of Leon and Mumford and Sons. Luke said it was a performance filled with depth. Lionel said he had a great attitude. The fans voted him on.

Top 20

The Top 20 was a huge night for the American Idol contestants, a three-hour episode with the singers pulling out all the stops.

Fritz Hager was out to perform the Billie Eilish song When the Party’s Over. It was tough, as he had to follow one of his idols, Phillip Phillips. He ended up putting his entire soul into the performance, and Katy was crying when it was over.

Breakout Hits/Judge’s Song Contest

For Breakout Hits, Fritz sang Let it Go by James Bay. He reimagined the song to fit his voice and continued to impress the judges. Luke said he felt that Fritz had made this his show and Katy said he had come a long way.

Up next was the Judge’s Song Contest, which was a fun competition. Each judge chose a song for the singers, and they chose the one they wanted to sing without knowing who chose it. The winning judge who had the most songs chosen got to save someone who the fans didn’t vote in.

Fritz chose to sing the song Wonderwall by Oasis. He felt it was a cheesy choice, but then he turned around and completely reimagined it and made it his own. Luke Bryan picked the song and Katy thought that his changes were brilliant.

Disney Night

Disney Night was Top 10 week, and it was time for three people to go home. Derek Hough was the mentor, and he focused most on the stage presence and how they carried themselves in their performance.

Fritz chose to sing Go the Distance from Hercules. The song is not the best out there for Disney, but Fritz did what he does best – he reimagined it and made it all his own. The fact he did so well with this song was a testament to his talent.

TikTok/Mother’s Day

American Idol audiences got a huge shock when COVID-19 hit the show. Fritz Hager was one of two singers who couldn’t show up to perform live. He also couldn’t perform live from his hotel, like Noah Thompson could, since Fritz just contracted it that weekend, and his throat was still hurting.

As a result, American Idol chose to show his rehearsal footage. For the TikTok trending song, Fritz sang All My Friends, which was originally showcased on TikTok. Luke called it a rock star moment, as Fritz was using an electric guitar while he sang.

For his Mother’s Day dedication – since the show was on Mother’s Day – Fritz sang The Ocean, another original song. This was a song that he wrote in memory of his grandmother about the beach house they used to visit. Katy called it a beautiful song.

Carrie Underwood/Contestant’s Choice

Fritz Hager came into the Top 5 and had two performances to put on for the fans. First, there was a Carrie Underwood song. Second, he got to choose his own second song as he fought for a spot in the finale.

For the Carrie song, Fritz chose to sing I Wanna Remember, which was a song Carrie sang with Needtobreathe. Fritz used the guitar again, which Luke liked, and Lionel said that he had a great stage presence.

The Competitor’s Choice song for Fritz was Youngblood by 5 Seconds of Summer. Katy liked it and enjoyed Fritz’s dance moves and Lionel said it was great showmanship.

However, Fritz didn’t do enough in the Top 5 to continue on, and he went home.

American Idol is on hiatus. The singing competition series will return in 2023 to ABC.

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