Southern California's Chayce Beckham reacts to winning 'American Idol' as 'boy next door'

Sunday marked a big night for Southern California's "American Idol" finalist Chayce Beckham who was named this season's winner

Beckham is heading from Apple Valley, California, to Nashville, Tennessee, where he'll continue his career in music.

The 24-year-old was the last contestant standing from thousands of hopefuls who wanted to win the coveted title. In a tight race, America picked the Inland Empire native.

"I'm just like your buddy down the street, I'm your co-worker, I'm your nephew, I'm your grandson," Chayce Beckham told George Pennacchio, Eyewitness News' entertainment guru. "Singing the songs that I got to sing and sharing my story, I feel like a lot of people know somebody like that. I think it's a little bit easier to connect with the song when you can bring it home."

And the new 'American Idol' is....
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A new winner was crowned on American Idol Sunday night.



Beckham said being a "better vocalist" than the other two finalists, Willie Spence and Grace Kinstler.

"Good lord can they sing. But I think that the only thing that I brought to the table was just connectivity, and being able to share my heart with people," Beckham said. "I told everybody the truth when I was singing, and thank God they believed me."

Judge Lionel Richie agreed.

"Where he was going with his country sound, with his raspy voice, with his aw-shucks attitude and personality. He's the boy next door. He's got it," Richie said.

Spence, the 21-year-old from Georgia, was this season's runner-up.

Kinstler, the 20-year-old from the Chicago area, came in third.

Grace Kinstler revered as 'hometown hero' despite 'American Idol' finale
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Fans in Crystal Lake were glued to the TV screen Sunday night, cheering on their hometown sweetheart, Grace Kinstler.



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