American Idol crowns Chayce Beckham as season 19 winner while fans slam 'disappointing' live finale results as 'rigged'
AMERICAN Idol crowned Chayce Beckham as season 19’s winner on Sunday’s three-hour live finale special.
While judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan appeared ecstatic when host Ryan Seacrest read the Idol’s name, many fans slammed the “disappointing” results.
Tonight’s star-filled extravaganza saw finalists Grace Kinstler, 20, Willie Spence, 21, and Chayce Beckham, 24, competing for the number one spot.
Each contestant performed on stage multiple times as both the East Coast and West Coast tuned in simultaneously to vote for their favorite.
All three finalists kicked off the music-filled evening by joining rapper Macklemore on a Los Angeles rooftop singing his 2012 hit, Can’t Hold Us.
Grace was the first solo performer who got rave reviews from the judges – who picked the first round of songs for the contestants – for singing “higher than Celine Dion” on her hit All By Myself.
Willie was next and did not disappoint as he belted out a Ray Charles classic, Georgia On My Mind.
He was also praised by all three of the superstar panelists who said it was his best performance of the season.
California boy Chayce completed the first round as he stood on stage with his acoustic guitar – a move he’s done for each performance this season.
The Apple Valley native performed Blackbird by The Beatles – getting such high praise from Luke he even invited him to his home for bass fishing.
Many fans were outraged with the results and slammed the show – with some going as far as to say it’s “rigged."
Before longtime host Ryan, 46, read the results live on stage, the ABC series had a slew of A-list musicians perform.
New mom Katy, 36, swapped her judges chair for a microphone as she performed before her co-stars, Lionel, 71, and Luke, 44, also sang.
Luke rocked out with former contestant, Casey Bishop, and other familiar faces from the season also came back to perform for fans.
Other acts who gave exciting performances include Sheryl Crowe Fall Out Boy, Macklemore, Leona Lewis, Lindsey Buckingham along with country stars Luke Combs and Mickey Guyton.
This season of American Idol ended tumultuously following last week’s shakeup when Caleb Kennedy self-eliminated from the competition .
The 16-year-old dropped out after a video of him sitting beside someone wearing what appears to be a Klu Klux Klan hood surfaced on social media.
After backlash online continued for days, he wrote a lengthy apology on Instagram but has since remained quiet on social media.
The Georgia native said: "Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer gonna be on American Idol.
“There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way."
He continued: “I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down.
“I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me.
“I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”
More to follow…
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