On Sunday night, Chayce Beckham was crowned the winner of American Idol 2021. (May 23.) The winner was revealed at the conclusion of a three-hour finale programme in which the Top 3 contestants — Beckham, Willie Spence, and Grace Kinstler — were cut down to one ultimate Season 19 champion.
Beckham approached the stage after his triumph was declared to play “23,” his original track. During his stay on the show, he published the single, which immediately rose to the top of the iTunes country charts. Meanwhile, his family cheered him on from the sidelines with tears in their eyes.
Beckham’s unusual raspy voice, country-rock stylings, and poignant personal history began to turn judges’ minds during his time on the competition. The 24-year-old California native revealed early on that he auditioned for American Idol after a trying year that culminated in a dangerous relationship with alcohol and a near-fatal vehicle accident.
Every time he got onstage, the singer’s harrowing personal experience translated into fascinating performances, and he brought sincerity to world-weary songs by Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band, and Chris Stapleton. During his time on the show, Beckham duetted with Incubus rocker Brandon Boyd and performed a song by Bob Marley & the Wailers, demonstrating that his voice could readily fit into a variety of genres.
Beckham also performed with guest artist Luke Combs earlier in the finale show, singing a duet version of the latter’s smash tune “Forever After All.” Beckham’s softer side was revealed to both the judges and the audience during the performance, which also demonstrated his potential as a mainstream country radio hitmaker.
Beckham defeated Grace Kinstler, a powerhouse pop vocalist, and Willie Spence, a soulful singer, to win American Idol. Kinstler came in third place on the show, with Spence coming in second. The finals programme featured live fan voting, and each of the Top 3 contestants performed three times on Sunday night.