On Sunday, May 23, 2021, the winner of “American Idol” will be revealed during the three-hour-long season finale.
Only three contestants remain in the competition:
In an article published on May 17, 2021, Gold Derby predicted Beckham is the potential frontrunner based on a poll following the May 16 episode, but it’s still anyone’s game.
Let’s take a closer look at who’s in the running to win season 19’s “American Idol”:
Beckham, 24, was just a small-town guy from Apple Valley, California before auditioning for “American Idol.”
During his audition, he wowed the judges with his rendition of “What Brings Life Also Kills” by Kolton Moore & The Clever Few, which earned him a golden ticket. During Hollywood Week, before his performance, Beckham opened up about his “rocky” journey leading up to “Idol.”
“I’ve lost, you know, loved ones, I’ve made a lot of bad mistakes, I’ve hurt people that were close to me,” he said in the “Idol” episode, adding, “A lot of ups and downs, and a lot of hard times.”
Beckham said he thought he’d “hit rock bottom” before auditioning for the show.
“One day, I had a few drinks too many and thought it was a good idea to try to, you know, drive home,” he said, adding, “I got into a bad wreck, ended up on the side of the highway upside down. I finally woke up and came to, and I remember looking up and there was nobody there to pull me up, there was nobody there to be like, ‘Come on, dude.’ That was the worst night of my life.”
After he survived the wreck, Beckham knew he had to make a positive change, and sees “Idol” as an “all or nothing” experience and “everything has literally led up to this point right here.”
Since the beginning of Kinstler’s journey on the 19th season of the ABC show, the 20-year-old Lakewood, Illinois native has grappled with the loss of one of her biggest supporters, her father.
During her “American Idol” audition, which aired in February of 2021, the Berklee College of Music student revealed that her father had died the year before in 2020.
Following her performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, which earned her a golden ticket from the judges, Kinstler told the cameras that she felt her father’s presence in the audition room, and that comforted her.
“I felt him when I was in there, and it really helped me feel like he was here, and like I could do it, and I did it,” she said.
Following her audition, “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan confessed that Kinstler was the first contestant to make him cry during a performance.
What’s the highlight of Kinstler’s “Idol” journey?
In an interview with Billboard published on May 5, 2021, Kinstler said her performance with Joss Stone.
“…That was a really special full-circle moment for me because I had a show right after my dad passed and I was supposed to sing one of her songs, ‘Spoiled.’ That show was canceled because of COVID. I remember rehearsing that last year and then a year later to be where I am now – I’m in such a better place mentally and to sing with Joss was absolutely incredible.”
Spence, 21, never thought he’d be on “American Idol.”
In an interview with Billboard published on May 2, 2021, Spence told the mag he’s not much of a competitive guy. “I would’ve never imagined this because I always taught myself. I didn’t like competition – I’m not the type of person who competes. But since I’ve done it, it has really been one of the best experiences of my life. It’s been a great journey so far and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be on this type of platform.”
According to the mag, Spence grew up listening to his parents singing at home and at church. At first, he thought he wanted to be a drummer. “[My parents] couldn’t get me off the drum set but then I started leaning more toward singing,” he added.
Spence started performing at his grandfather’s Florida church before moving to Georgia with his family at age six. There, he joined a statewide choir that had him traveling all across the country.
Spence began his “Idol” journey with a performance of Rihanna’s hit “Diamonds” for his audition.
Though he’s always confident while performing on stage, Spence confessed on an “Idol” episode that he wasn’t sure he’d get the opportunity to do so.
He was hospitalized back in March 2020 due to his weight.
“I weighed 600 pounds,” he said in the episode, adding, “And when they told me that, I knew I had to focus more on my health.”
Since then, he’s lost more than 180 pounds after starting an exercise regiment and “doing what I had to do for my health.”
“I know that God has given me a second chance and I’m here for a purpose,” Spence said, referring to “Idol.”
Looking to the future, Spence has big dreams.
He told Billboard: “I want to share my voice with the world and do what I love. And like I said in my audition, maybe hopefully win a few Grammys one day and be on the Billboard charts and the Billboard Music Awards. I want my music to be able to reach the world.”
Follow the Heavy on American Idol Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
The “American Idol” season 19 finale airs on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 8 p.m. coast-to-coast on ABC.