Chayce Beckham Talks ‘American Idol’ Win & More – Hollywood Life

Chayce Beckham Reveals The Best Advice He Got On ‘Idol’ & Admits He Was ‘Surprised’ To Win

After his big win on 'American Idol,' Chayce Beckham reveals which celeb gave him the best advice this season. Plus, his plans for what's next and more!

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Chayce Beckham is officially the champion of American Idol season 19. “I never in a million years thought I’d be sitting here as the winner,” Chayce admitted to HollywoodLife and other media outlets after the May 23 finale. “Especially with the people competing this year. This is my family — it’s not a competition. There was so much love the whole way. I’m at a loss for words.”

All season long, Chayce has gotten to hear from the show’s celebrity judges — Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie — who have been able to offer invaluable advice to him and his fellow contestants. However, it was actually Chayce’s celebrity duet partner from the top 24, Brandon Boyd (from Incubus), who gave him the advice that has stuck with him the most. “He told met he best super power you can develop is to be able to block out all the cameras and all these lights and just realize you are here to sing and do what God brought you here to do,” Chayce dished. “Don’t worry about all this other stuff that is around — like the lights and confetti and judges. Forget about that. He said to just sing and enjoy yourself, and I really didn’t understand what he was talking about until tonight when I really got up there and enjoyed myself.”

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Chayce Beckham on the finale of ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Before coming to Idol, Chayce was in a pretty dark place. He moved back in with his mom and stepfather after a scary car accident, which he said was the “worst night” of his life. “He was on a dark path for a little while with drinking and his self worth and whether or not he was good enough,” Chayce’s mom admitted during his audition. “He went through some really hard times.”

“To me, [winning] is my redemption,” Chayce admitted. “There’s a bigger plan with all of this. I like to think that I am in charge of this ship, but I am not. God is guiding me through and putting me all the places I need to be. So, for me, it means the world that I have been able to turn it all around from where I was and do all of this. You never know who might be having a hard time with addiction and substance abuse and things like that. I know a lot of people reached out to me and said I give them hope. I hope I can show all these people, as well, that they can turn their lives around and do something good with it.”

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Chayce Beckham during the finale of ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

On what’s next: I have a lot of stuff that I want to knock out. For me ,this is just the beginning for what I want to do. This was a great start to my second chance at life. I really did a good job at messing everything up and God gave e a second chance to come back and do all this. I got a lot of work I still got to put in. I gotta get my feet in the ground in Nashville and go out there and try to make hit records for the rest of my life. That’s my only goal — to make music for people for the rest of my life.

On how he grew throughout the competition: I used to freak out about everything and thought everything was wrong because I had to be in control. I think this really has shown me that that is not the way to process my life. You got to roll with the punches and make the best [of it].

On going up against Willie Spence & Grace Kinstler in the finale: They are incredible vocalists. I can’t speak for everybody, but if you are in the house when Willie [Spence] sings, the whole house shakes and rumbles. You can’t convey it on a television screen. [Going into the finale] I was happy if it’s Grace [Kinstler], I’m happy if it’s Willie. I don’t know anyone more deserving. From the top 10 on, everyone deserved it. My psychiatrist told me recently, ‘If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans!’ That is the biggest truth because if you think you are going to do something, you do the best that you can and hope for the best, and that is what I was doing the whole time. I was very, very surprised that it wasn’t Willie [who won].

On singing an original song in the finale: You notice I didn’t sing an original for the whole season. I waited until the right time to do it and I think that made a big difference. I played my cards just right. Katy Perry told me something. She said, ‘Don’t forget to pull the ace that you have up your sleeve.’ She told me that because I didn’t do enough for my Showstopper performance in Hollywood. She said, ‘You were supposed to pull the ace and you didn’t. Don’t do that again.’ They gave me another chance, so I waited and waited and waited for the right time to pull my ace and I did. I think that definitely affected the outcome.