Grace Kinstler came in third during the “American Idol” season finale on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
The powerhouse singer was eliminated during the first hour of the three-hour live finale, leaving Willie Pence and Chayce Beckham to fight for the coveted title.
While Kinstler made it to the Top 3, some fans thought that wasn’t far enough. Here’s what fans had to say following her elimination:
Fans Shocked about Kinstler’s Third Place Win
— • Kammie • (@Kammie_Kristine) May 24, 2021
Fans quickly took to social media following Kinstler’s elimination during the season finale.
Several fans thought Kinstler would be in the Top 2 with fellow finalist Spence.
Grace Kinstler’s ‘American Idol’ journey
Grace Kinstler made it to the Top 3 on “American Idol,” but not without the support of her family.
Since the beginning of her 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. Later on “Idol,” during a March episode, she’d dedicate her Showstopper round performance to her dad with the song “Father” by Demi Lovato.
Kinstler’s father, Mitch, died in February 2020 at the age of 64, according to his obituary.
In an interview with the Boston Globe published on April 30, 2021, the “American Idol” finalist said she learned her father had died while she was attending school in Boston.
“I was at Berklee. It was like 7 a.m. and college kids, we usually sleep in. But something told me to pick up the phone. My brother was like, ‘Hey, you should start looking for flights home today. They just took dad to the hospital and he’s not breathing,’” Kinstler told the outlet.
Before her audition on “American Idol,” Kinstler told the judges that her father, who was her “biggest cheerleader,” died “unexpectedly.” However, he had been sick throughout her childhood, battling cancer twice, according to her interview with the Boston Globe. She told the outlet that music, especially singing and playing the piano, helped her get through her father’s illness when she was younger.
Music was an integral part of Kinstler’s childhood.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Kinstler said karaoke was a favorite pastime for her family. Her dad’s go-to song was Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” When she was just 8, her dad filmed her singing her own rendition of Aretha Franklin’s hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” the song that would later earn her a golden ticket on “American Idol.”
ABC’s “American Idol” was also a family favorite. The Kinstlers would watch the show together when Kinstler was younger.
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