'American Idol' winner Chayce Beckham says it 'broke' his heart to beat Willie Spence

Chayce Beckham's American Idol win Sunday night was, of course, thrilling and happy. But it was also complicated, because it meant his friend, fellow contestant Willie Spence, had lost.

So the moment Beckham was named the winner was "bittersweet," he told Access.

Chayce Beckham and Willie Spence became friends on this season of
Chayce Beckham and Willie Spence became friends on this season of "American Idol." (Photo: Instagram)

“Because Willie, that’s my man, dude. That’s my boy right there," Beckham said. "Like, I love Willie. We hang out outside of the competition, you know, we’re tight."

Beckham explained that he had shared an exchange with Spence as they made their way to the Idol stage for the last time together.

"So when we was walking up there, I told him, I said, ‘Man, I hope you win. I just really, from the bottom of my heart, I just hope you take this home, dude, and … it broke my heart a little bit that it wasn’t him, because, I mean, you see these people work so hard and put in so much hard work, and they deserve it, man. They all deserve it."

The two faced one other competitor, Grace Kinstler, in the final round. After Kinstler was eliminated early in the show, just Beckham and Spence remained. Before host Ryan Seacrest announced the results, the men exchanged "I love yous." And Beckham added, "The bond that we have, it's gonna last forever, I already know. Either way, we're good." When Beckham's name was called, Spence gave a him a big hug.

Beckham said watching clips of Spence's journey on the show before he left — an Idol tradition — was tough.

"Seeing him sit there on the soundstage and watching his momma cry while she’s hugging him," Beckham said, "I had to stop watching it, because I get emotional."

Beckham said he would have been in tears except for the fact that he knew he had to hold it together enough for one last performance.

"I had to stop watching it, because it was so pulling on me," he said.

Both men's families were instrumental to their time on the reality competition.

Beckham reiterated that he tried out for American Idol for his family, which he is more grateful for than ever, after they helped him through struggles with alcohol and drugs, which led to a nearly fatal car wreck, before the show.

"It wasn't my decision to do this. It was my family's. They believed in me enough to think that I could do this, let alone win it.You know, I think we're all caught off guard a little bit! My family, they thought I would do good. I don't think they thought I would come here and win the damn thing."

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