American Idol Top 7: Fritz Hager Takes big risk with original songs amid positive COVID 19 test
Top 7 was a dramatic week for the American Idol contestants. For the first time this season, the vocalists sang two songs in a night. At the end of the episode, voters sent home two more contestants. Mother’s Day dedications and Tik Tok songs were the themes (Read our Recap).
Fritz Hager and Noah Thompson tested positive for COVID 19, keeping them off the live American Idol stage
Drama started almost immediately when host Ryan Seacrest announced at the top of the show that Fritz Hager and Noah Thompson tested positive for COVID-19 and could not perform live. Fritz didn’t test positive until Sunday morning, which meant he taped a dress rehearsal performance the show could use. Noah had been positive for a few days. His performance was zoomed in from his hotel room.
A contestant coming down with COVID at some point in the season was inevitable, and production handled the situation seamlessly. Fritz’s dress rehearsal from only the day before still felt fairly accurate.
Fritz Hager takes a big risk: Performs two original songs
Fritz is truly capitalizing off of his Idol experience, win or not. The singer-songwriter performed two songs off his self-titled EP, which he announced on last week’s show had hit No. 1 on iTunes.
For his Tik Tok song, Fritz performed his original “All My Friends,” which he had previously posted to Tik Tok. Mentor will.i.Am loved the opening line. He said, “I liked Fritz. He’s a vulnerable one. He’s got a high IQ and emotional intelligence. It takes a very unique mind to craft something like that.”
The song has a strong pop/rock instrument line that is elevated by electric guitar accompaniment. As always , Fritz delivers a passionate vocal that’s not perfect. But he is so invested in the performance, it works. The song has a strong, catchy chorus. After the rehearsal performance aired, Fritz beamed in from his hotel room saying that he wants to get back on stage. Luke Bryan liked the “rockstar moment” and believes Fritz has “got all the of the tools.”
For his Mother’s Day song, Fritz and his mom Sarina watched home movies featuring his grandmother and the family at their beach house. Grandma passed away five years ago. Fritz’s mom reflected on the good times they spent at the beach, and how much her mother loved it. Fritz shared that his grandmother always wanted him to write a song about the beach house. And he did. He called the track “The Ocean” and sang it, dedicating it to both his mother and his grandmother.
“The Ocean” is a work of art
“The Ocean” was my favorite of the two originals. It is a beautifully penned song. Fritz’ vocals and emotional delivery were perfection. The song may not be as catchy as “All My Friends,” but it is a work of art. On this song, Fritz’s tone gave shades of James Bay and young Ed Sheeran. There was something so authentic about this performance and Fritz as a whole as an artist, he might just be the frontrunner to win this whole competition.
Luke said everything about it was pro, and it “was another amazing performance. Lionel Richie said “his star has arrived.” Katy Perry called it a combination of “Bright Eyes and James Taylor” and one of the “most beautiful songs about grandma.” Ryan even commented on the emotional impact the song had on the studio. It was an impactful performance on an important day. It was a truly beautiful dedication, the performance of the night.
Next week: Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood mentors!
Each of the 7 contestants did well tonight, but the standouts were Fritz and Nicolina Bozzo. Each turned in two put-together finalist-worthy performances. I’m excited to see the Top 5 sing next week with Carrie Underwood as mentor at Resorts World in Las Vegas. The voters are doing a pretty good job this year with sending through the right people. The contestants sing two songs next week. Last year, we also got duets, so maybe fans will get a third performance out of it too.
Fritz thanks his fans for saving him.
He has a scratchy throat and cold-like symptoms. He’s taking medications to treat the virus, and he’s not sure what will happen regarding the Top 5 trip to be mentored by Carrie Underwood in Vegas. He has to recover first.
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