“I can tell you, it’s very close at the moment. You can’t assume your favorite is safe,” host Ryan Seacrest announced during the first hour of the Season 19 finale.
Ultimately, Beckham won; he had topped Apple Music’s country chart last week with his single “23,” an autobiographical song about his battle with alcoholism. On Sunday, Beckham said of the song, “When you’re sober for the first time, performing for a long time, going in, I was a broken person. I came out the other side just a little bit more healed.”
Before Seacrest revealed Beckham had won, past contestants took the stage with Fallout Boy and Chaka Khan.
Among judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, Perry was openly pulling for Kintsler, who recieved a standing ovation when she covered Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Byran said of the performance, “I wanted to stand on the desk, because just a normal standing ovation was not proper. I wanted more!”
Richie said, “I’m just sitting here trying to figure out how you just took a Whitney Houston sing and took it up two, three more octaves? Young lady, you have outdone yourself.”
But it was left to voters, who crowned Beckham the winner.