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Why Fritz Lost


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Well, we're nearing the end of Season 20 of American Idol, and the end of my analyses of why most of the Top 24 lost.  Last Sunday, we had five contestants left, and at the end of the show, we were down to 3.  That means that two were eliminated.  One of them was Fritz Hager.  He was a very nice guy who was viewed as a front-runner in the mold of Phillip Phillips, but he wasn't as successful as Phillip, just missing out on the finale.  Why did he fall short?  A look at the rules that American Idol Season 20 contestants ideally should follow will explain what Fritz did right, what he did wrong, and why Fritz lost.


Show Singing And Performing Talent


I believe that Fritz showed his singing and performing talent early on, and continued showing it throughout most of his performances.  However, towards the end of his Idol run, he began having problems showing that talent, possibly beginning with Disney Night, at least according to the TooFab staff, who weren't too impressed with his "Go the Distance" performance.  Then, he had COVID-19 and his rehearsals of his songs had to be shown, and rehearsal footage naturally doesn't showcase a person's singing and performing talent to their fullest extent.  So he was already in a somewhat precarious position in the Top 5 round, and he needed to be great in order to get into the finale.


So how did he do?  Quite frankly, it was kind of a mixed bag.  Fritz's first performance, with a Carrie Underwood song, was good enough, being ranked second by the TooFab staff.  Crisis thought that Fritz avoided the country theme that Carrie represented, but at least the song featured Carrie and was recorded, whereas Leah Marlene chose a song that Carrie had covered on the show, but was actually recorded by a group called the Pretenders.  But the second round was a step back for Fritz.  While the TooFab staff still praised it, they put it in fourth place, ahead of only Leah (who I put ahead of Fritz, btw).  And Crisis wasn't too pleased with the performance, partly for reasons which I'll reveal later but also because he completely changed his performance style, and at this point in the competition, he should've stuck to doing what he did best, which wasn't being Michael Jackson.  Thus Fritz began well with this rule, but sputtered towards the end.


Song Choice Is Key


Fritz's second song is a perfect example of why this rule is a vital rule that contestants should follow.  Crisis put it best:  "Youngblood" is entertaining, but not really a song that fits a singing competition, especially when a spot in the finale is at stake.  Not only was the song choice bad, but the timing was bad as well.  Had Fritz done this song in the third or fourth week, he would have had no problems.  This close to the finale, however?  Bad decision.  Thus, Fritz flubbed this rule at the very end as well.


Be Consistently Great or Better Yet, Consistently Improve With Every Week


Fritz also began well with this rule, being consistently very good.  Unfortunately, around the time of Disney Night, he began stumbling.  While he wasn't entirely at fault, since one week he had COVID-19 and had to resort to using rehearsal footage, the other two weeks were his fault.  Once again, Fritz stumbled with this rule towards the very end.


Stand Out By Being Unique or By Being Memorable For Positive Reasons


Fritz wasn't exactly unique, as he was often compared to Phillip Phillips, but that did make him memorable for positive reasons early on, and that memorability helped him survive when his performances began to stumble.  But then his final performance was memorable for a negative reason, as Fritz is more like Ed Sheeran than Michael Jackson.  Still, this rule didn't play a huge factor in why he lost, so I'll move on.


Remember, You Are a Package


For a very long time, Fritz succeeded with this rule.  He had a package, one that I liked more than I did with Phillip Phillips, although part of the reason there was because I loved Jessica Sanchez so much.  However, his final performance destroyed that package and created a new one, more like Michael Jackson.  I don't think that this would encourage many casual fans of Fritz to vote for him, since he isn't Michael Jackson.  At least Noah Thompson, Leah and Huntergirl stuck with their packages.  Fritz didn't, and it cost him.


Never, Ever Argue With the Judges or Respond To Any Baiting From Ryan


At least Fritz had no problems with this rule, so I'll move on.


Gather a Fan Base -- And Sustain It


This is the final rule that Fritz did well with at first, but then had problems with later on.  Fritz managed to get a fan base that enabled him to make it far into the competition. But on Disney Night, he had his first stumble, and things began going downhill for him.  Moreover, Leah was quite a bit like him -- indie/folk -- and they probably shared a similar fan base.  While this didn't hurt them as badly as it would have in the earlier seasons, it still probably came into play in the Final 5.  Leah had a performance in the second round which probably enabled her to get more casual voters, while Fritz's second performance was confusing and probably drove some casual fans of his over towards Leah.  Thus Fritz began well with this rule, but fouled up at the end as well.


Fritz was a very good singer who began with an excellent chance of making the finale, especially after Kenedi Anderson chose to withdraw.  He had gathered a fan base and he was probably the most consistent male performer.  But as the competition progressed, Leah began doing better while Fritz gradually began stumbling.  By the Final 5 round, they were probably figiting it out for the third and final spot in the finale, and had to put in great performances in order to move on, or at least do what they had done well in the past.  Leah was able to do that, while Fritz made a bad song choice in his second performance and that spelled his doom.  That is why Fritz lost.

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I don’t think “destroying his package” was that much of a disadvantage. I think youngblood, even though it was a bad song choice, showed versatility and that he wasn’t just a one trick pony.

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10 hours ago, Kwamu said:

I don’t think “destroying his package” was that much of a disadvantage. I think youngblood, even though it was a bad song choice, showed versatility and that he wasn’t just a one trick pony.

it kinda shows that basically contestants can’t do anything “perfect.” if they stay in their lane, they’ll get comments like “one trick pony” “taking no risks” “playing it safe” “sounding the same each round” while if they change things up, they get comments like “they are destroying their package” “they should stick to their original sound.” Regardless, I like that Fritz did that, it just would’ve been better a couple rounds earlier

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35 minutes ago, CarmenSandiego said:

The main problem with doing "Youngblood" was the timing.  Fritz chose a bad time to do it, and it cost him.

This 100%. Had he done an uptempo performance without the guitar at Top 7 or Top 11, things could have went differently for him. Not good strategizing on his part

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