19-Year-Old Burger Flipper’s Fate Revealed After Epic Queen Cover On ‘American Idol’

Smith’s confident cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” earned him a spot in the Top 24 on American Idol.


Melinda Lorge


Posted on April 10, 2023

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Zachariah Smith; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Zachariah Smith has made it into the Top 24 on Season 21 of American Idol. The 19-year-old burger flipper from Armory, Mississippi, buzzed through the Showstoppers Round with a song that to people everywhere would be considered a tall order.

Smith took the stage with an energetic and impressionable delivery on Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” from their 1978 album, Jazz.

Zachariah Smith; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Zachariah Smith; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Watch Zachariah Smith’s Epic Queen Cover Below

Wearing what appeared to be a silk shirt with bedazzled elements on the top portion, white pants, and a velvet blazer, Smith wowed the audience. A ball of energy, he worked the stage, incorporating some unique dance moves – including spins, shakes, and shimmies – into the performance.

I’m having such a good time / I’m having a ball / (Don’t stop me now) / If you wanna have a good time / Just give me a call / (Don’t stop me now) / ‘Cause I’m having a good time / (Don’t stop me now) / Yes, I’m havin’ a good time / I don’t want to stop at all, yeah,” Smith sang throughout the chorus of the highly recognizable tune.

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Zachariah Exuded Confidence

Smith showed confidence throughout his display while backed by a full band and made the classic rock song his own. He got all three judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, on their feet as they carefully listened for any errors. Although Smith kept moving about on stage and lost breath near the end, he didn’t lose the crowd or the panel’s interest. 

Afterward, it was up to the judges to decide whether or not Smith was worthy of continuing forward in the competition.

“Your face looks like you’ve gotten it all out,” Perry told Smith to which he replied. “I don’t know what that means, but I can tell you I’m nervous.”

“The Talent Is The Best It’s Ever Been”

“We have enjoyed you so much, but the talent is the best it’s ever been,” Perry said. “When you came to us in the very beginning, you felt a little bit like a gimmick. A guy that just sings in his spare time while flipping burgers. Yeah, but I think we saw something really grow. We do have to wonder though if that dream is inside of you, you are okay with just going back to how things work.” 

“Zachariah. You may not go home to flip burgers, but you will be going home to pack a new bag to come back to the top 24,” she revealed.  

Smith has not had an easy journey so far in the singing competition. During Hollywood Week Duets, he and duet partner Isaac Brown couldn’t memorize their lyrics, so they brought their phones onstage with them to sing Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.” 

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“I Want Every Performance… To Be Better Than The Last”

After Perry called them out for not knowing the lyrics, the two hopefuls were faced with ad-libbing the tune without their cellular devices. However, at the moment, they proved they still had enough talent to go on through to the next round despite being unfamiliar with the song.

“I definitely learned if I stick with it and just believe in myself and have the faith as much as a mustard seed, I mean it’s, it’s very, very small, mustard seeds are very small. I can not only be a top 24, but maybe I could be a top 10 if I do well enough,” Smith said.

“My family all believes in me. Coming into Idol, I think it’s definitely pulled out somebody inside of me that I’ve been looking for,” he added. “I want every performance that I do to be better than the last.”

American Idol airs Sunday and Monday nights on ABC. 

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