The singer-songwriter served up two very different performances during the episode, which aired on Sunday, May 15, 2022. First, he performed the song “I Wanna Remember” by NEEDTOBREATHE and Carrie Underwood. Then, he performed 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Youngblood,” focusing on his stage presence and connecting with the crowd.
Ultimately, Hager was not chosen by viewers to move on to the finale of the show.
Hager Called the Elimination ‘Tough’
After the episode aired, Hager took to Instagram to let his fans know he wanted them to vote for Leah Marlene.
“I’ll be honest, ending it here is tough, but I am so incredibly grateful,” he wrote. “For the friends. For the memories. For the music. This is not the end, it’s just page 1.”
He also posted a video of himself playing on his guitar and singing.
“It feels like it’s too soon, but I can come on home,” he sings.
He also took to his Instagram Stories to share the moment he realized he was eliminated and hugged his friend who made it through, Leah Marlene after she fell to the ground.
“still could not quite get over how beautiful this friendship moment was,” the story Hager shared reads. “You guys @leahmarlenemusic @fritzhagermusic are just genuinely amazing. Saw fritz say ‘im so proud of you’ right there and then. HUGS.”
Fritz commented on the post.
“This, @leahmarlenemusic you’re a star, and I’m so excited for the music that we’re gonna make whenever this ends,” he wrote. “But for now, go win this.”
Fans Say Hager’s Career Is Just Starting
In the comments on his Instagram posts, fans told Hager that his career is just getting started and that they’ll follow him as he continues writing and making music.
“I’m so proud of all you have done in this competition, and remember you don’t need to win in order to have a career, plenty of people who didn’t win American Idol are huge stars,, we’ll all be here to support you!!,” one comment reads.
Another person wrote, “Fritz. Dude. You are SO. GOOD. AT. WHAT. YOU. DO. Your songs will be the soundtrack of many lives, many breakups, many lonely tearful breakdown and just as many beautiful joyful tributes. NOBODY brings the real stuff of life to their performances like you do. And I am so glad you choose to do it. And goddamn it look at ya you just did it again. What an unreal gift you gave us! Stay in touch, promise????”
Others said they think he will go on to win many awards including Grammys, and many pointed out that popular household names from “American Idol” didn’t actually go on to win the show.
“I sure hope you get signed to a major label,” one fan wrote. “I think of those who have had major careers after not winning A.I. Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Constantine Maroulis, Tori Kelly, Kellie Picker, Clay Aiken, Katharine McPhee, Diana DeGarmo, Haley Reinhart, Lauren Alaina.”
“American Idol” airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern time live coast-to-coast on ABC. The season finale airs on Sunday, May 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern time.