At the American Idol auditions for Season 20, few people could have expected that some of the singers making it to the Top 7 would still be in the competition.
While some were expected, like the two Platinum Ticket holders and the big voices of the competition in Nicolina, there were also some underdogs who rose to the top.
There is Leah Marlene, the self-proclaimed weird girl, who proved her voice is as good as anyone’s on the show. There is also country singer Noah Thompson who didn’t even think he was good enough to try out until his best friend signed him up.
Then, there is Fritz Hager who has spent most of the competition downplaying his chances and taking on a true underdog attitude.
He is also the frontrunner to win it all.
Where did Fritz Hager come from before American Idol?
Fritz Hager is not like anyone else in this competition.
He said in one of the video packages that he was dedicating this to his little sister, who was the only other person in his family who cared about music other than him.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Tyler Morning Telegraph, based in his home city of Tyler, Texas, his mother Sarina Hager said that when he was three, she asked him if he wanted to sing in the choir at church and she said he told her he wanted to sing on his own.
He had to beg his parents for years to let him learn guitar. They finally relented when he was in middle school and she said he learned four chords in his first lesson. He came home and wrote a song. By 12, his instructor said he couldn’t teach him anymore and he had surpassed him.
He learned to play the piano and started to win singing competitions. He even wrote his own musical and won the National PTA Reflections Award. Hager then got a scholarship to Oklahoma City University in musical theater and vocal performance but left after a semester.
He wanted something more.
Fritz Hager’s long American Idol dream
His parents wouldn’t even let him try for American Idol when he asked, saying he could when he was an adult and out on his own. They weren’t even sure about supporting his musical dreams.
“He must have been about 15 when he started to become really interested in American Idol,” Sarina told the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “He told me that he wanted to audition for the show and I probably laughed at him at the time, but I told him, ‘Absolutely not. You are not going to do anything like that until you’re an adult. When you leave this house, you can do what you want.’”
Fritz is now 22 and he is in the Top 7 on American Idol.
“He didn’t get this from us; he wasn’t born with a guitar in his lap like some of the other contestants were,” Sarina said. “He was literally cut out of a different mold.”
His dad, Fritz Hager Jr., told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that the setbacks helped mold his son into what he is now that he has made it into the American Idol Top 7.
“His dealing with setbacks has developed mental toughness in him the hard way that has allowed him to withstand the pressure of this competition,” his dad said. “It takes tremendous courage to chase your dreams, but it takes even more to do it with a television camera on you and five million people watching.”
American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.