It was down to the final three contestants on Sunday’s episode of American Idol – Grace Kinstler, Willie Spence, and Chayce Beckham.
host Ryan Seacrest made it clear how close it was between those three during the first hour of the Season 19 finale, adding that “you can’t assume your favourite is safe”.
After Grace Kinstler “sang her heart out” with her cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’, it looked like she would win…
She got a standing ovation and was a clear favourite of Katy Perry, who was one of the three judges.
One of the other judges, Luke Bryan, said of the performance, “I wanted to stand on the desk because just a normal standing ovation was not proper. I wanted more!”
Lionel Richie, the third judge, also praised her vocal powers:
“I’m just sitting here trying to figure out how you just took a Whitney Houston song and took it up two, three more octaves? Young lady, you have outdone yourself.”
But despite what the judges said, the winner was decided by American voters.
And the winner was Beckham (pictured above), who took to the stage to celebrate his win:
It must have been his autobiographical single about his battle with alcoholism, titled ’23’, that won the heart of the country.
On Sunday, Beckham spoke about the song, which topped Apple Music’s country chart last week:
“When you’re sober for the first time, performing for a long time, going in, I was a broken person. I came out the other side just a little bit more healed.”
The California native first auditioned for American Idol in February, singing ‘What Brings Life Also Kills’ by Kolton Moore and The Clever Few, and received three “yes” votes from the judges.
Naturally, before you hear him sing, there’s a segment on where he comes from, and what he’s managed to overcome:
From a heavy machine operator to the new American Idol, Beckham probably never imagined he would get this far.
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