Zachariah Smith Stuns With ‘Ironic’ Cover On ‘American Idol’

“You’re a powerhouse,” Luke Bryan told the ‘Idol’ standout.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 7, 2023

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Zachariah Smith; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Zachariah Smith, who worked as a burger flipper in Amory, Mississippi prior to competing on American Idol, sang Alanis Morissette’s seminal hit, “Ironic,” on Sunday’s Top 8 episode. 

The singer is a big fan of guest judge Alanis Morissette, so naturally, he was thrilled over the opportunity to sing her biggest hit on Idol. For this performance, Smith decided to focus on his stage presence.

“Alanis Morissette is so freaking cool. I think I love her more now than I did before. With this performance I really want to work on letting loose,” he explained. “I’m starting my body movements at a two and a three and not giving it that full ten that I usually always give.” 

He Wanted To ‘Let Loose’

Zachariah Smith; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Zachariah Smith; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

During rehearsals, Smith had the chance to meet Morissette, who worked directly with him on various aspects of his performance.   

“I just kind of walkie-talkied God when he started singing the chorus and was like ‘cue the rain,’ perfect and poetic,” Morissette said, referring to the rain that fell during their mentoring session. 

She also praised the singer, telling him, “Your voice is beautiful, it’s like an angel.” 


Ahead of his performance, Smith shared his high hopes to do the song “justice.”  

“This is free, it’s like a little flowing river and you want to feel a part of that river. This is a big deal,” he said. 

Donning an all-white rhinestone ensemble, Zachariah Smith fulfilled his promise to let loose.    

“I just love it. We talked [about] opening the body and you were talking about going down the flow. I think you used the river metaphor and I just saw you being in flow enjoying yourself and just letting it move through your body,” Morissette told him. “There was this liquidity and I loved it.”

Judges Praised His Performance

Zachariah Smith; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Zachariah Smith; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Sheeran complimented Smith’s vocals. “I just, I love that song and I was just thinking you rocked it. I think your voice is super, super powerful and I was captivated through the whole thing. It was great.” 

Bryan praised the dynamics of Smith’s performance.  

“She said liquidity and Lionel [Richie] has never said that, but you know the main thing Zachariah about that was there was a lot of dynamic in that,” he said. “A lot of times you come out really full speed ahead… You’re a powerhouse and kind of energetic guy, which you really kind of had some tender moments in there and really used the mic. It was a really great performance, great job!” 

Memorable Audition

Zachariah Smith; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Zachariah Smith; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Zachariah Smith auditioned for Idol with John Mellencamp’s hit, “Hurts So Good,” where America immediately fell in love with his voice and story.

Following his audition, Perry told him, “Oh no!” Perry exclaimed. “You’re not flipping no burger!”

Smith couldn’t contain his excitement as he questioned, “I don’t have to flip burgers anymore?” He had a huge smile across his face as the judges laughed.

His audition earned a “yes” from all three judges and he ultimately advanced to Hollywood. 

Throughout the competition, he has also covered Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing,” Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Little Richard’s “Lucille,” Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice,” Isaac Brown’s “Body Roll Boys,” Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and more.


Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette are temporarily replacing Katy Perry and Lionel Richie while they are in England performing as part of the Coronation Celebration for King Charles III. 

“I can’t wait to guide you through this stage of the competition and career and yeah this is the first time I’ve done this on American Idol, I can’t wait to take the iconic American Idol stage,” Sheeran previously shared. “Mostly, I’m just looking forward to meeting all of you and talking through life and music and I hope you’re having a great time and I’ll see you very, very soon. Lots of love.”

“I am so excited to be mentoring and hearing your interpretations of my songs. I can’t wait to hear them and surprise I’m going to be guest judging with Luke as well. So I can’t wait to see you,” Morissette previously added.

Perry and Richie made a brief appearance during Idol with a video from Windsor Castle. 

American Idol airs every Sunday and Monday at 8/7c via ABC.

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