LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Georgia’s own Willie Spence may not be the next ‘American Idol,’ but he came very close.
Spence, a 21-year-old from Coffee County, Ga., was named the runner-up on Sunday night’s Season 19 Grand Finale. Chayce Beckham was named the winner.
On the final episode, Spence and his two fellow finalists, Beckham and Grace Kinstler, competed in three rounds. They first sang songs chosen by the judges, then a song dedicated to their hometown and ended the competition by reprising one of their past performances.
After the second round of competition, it was revealed that Spence and Beckham made up the Final 2, eliminating Kinstler.
Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie fittingly selected the Ray Charles classic “Georgia On My Mind” for Spence. He then dedicated a performance of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” to his hometown of Douglas, Ga. and rounded out the night by reprising Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up,” which he performed when the Top 12 contestants took on Oscar nominated songs.
The Georgia native also had the opportunity to sing a duet with Leona Lewis of her song “You Are the Reason.”
Earlier this weekend, Channel 2 anchor Justin Wilfon got the chance to speak with Spence who said no matter what, this is not the end for him.
“I’ll still love to continue doing my music, creating albums. Hopefully winning a Grammy one day, that is still one of my main goals, and most of all provide for my family, be able to do that,” Spence said.
Did you miss Spence’s performances? Watch them below.