With the season 20 finale of American Idol airing on Sunday (May 22), now is the perfect time to re-live last season’s victory.
Country singer Chayce Beckham was crowned the season 19 winner on May 23, 2021. During the finale, Beckham performed a song chosen by judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, a hometown song, and a song he previously performed during the competition.
For his judges’ pick, Beckham performed The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” which prompted Richie to remark how proud of Beckham the judges were and that he had an “identifiable” sound with his raspy voice.
For his hometown song, Beckham selected Chris Stapleton’s “Fire Away” delivering a cover that earned praise from Bryan on his confidence and how much he’d grown throughout the competition. “I can’t imagine what you’re gonna look like in five years,” Bryan said.
For his previously performed song, Beckham sang Ed Sheeran’s “Afterglow,” which caused Perry to remark that there was “nothing left to say” about his talent. “You have this dream and you’re out here living it,” she said, calling Beckham a “rock star.”
Beckham also performed “Can’t Hold Us” alongside Grace Kinstler and Willie Spence, the other members of the top 3, and rapper Macklemore.
Beckham was ultimately crowned the winner, with Spence coming in second place and Kinstler coming in third. Following his Idol victory, Beckham debuted his single, “23.”
Beckham recently reflected on his Idol journey ahead of the show’s 20th season, offering words of encouragement to the new batch of contestants via social media.
“The iconic 20th season of @americanidol is airing tonight, so I thought [of] some of my favorite memories from the show!” Beckham said, sharing several photos from Idol journey. ”I also wanted to wish all the new contestants this year good luck, you guys have fun with it, spread your message through your music and make the best out of the opportunity no matter where you end up on the show,” he added, concluding, “It all starts here!”
In addition to encouraging the season 20 contestants, Beckham praised judges Richie, Perry, and Bryan, sharing that they “rock.”
Since his time on Idol ended, Beckham has released his EP, Doin’ It Right and has praised judge Bryan for his endless support.