American Idol fans are letting the franchise know they are tired of Black singers getting overlooked in the wake of Sunday’s finale.
According to PopCulture, the three finalists, Willie Spence, Grace Kinstler and Chayce Beckham, were all vying for the winning spot, but voters chose Beckham, leading fans to charge the series with racial and gender favoritism. Even though the series has had powerhouse winners and contestants such as Fantasia, who eventually starred in Broadway’s The Color Purple, Ruben Studdard, and Respect actress Jennifer Hudson, the series has started being center stage for white men to win over more diverse and interesting contestants. After Beckham’s win, fans voiced their frustration over another “white guy with a guitar” winning.
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Many viewers felt Spence, who is Black, was robbed of his chance to win because of the series favoring white male contestants.
They just robbed Willie Spence blind right in front of the whole world. pic.twitter.com/KkGW45iN1t
— Black Girl Anime Otaku (@BlackAnimeGirl7) May 24, 2021
Willie Spence was ROBBED !! #AmericanIdol
— Jackie ???????? (@j_lopez320) May 24, 2021
I voted for Willie from every phone using every email address I could. I soo wanted him to win and I’m soo sad he lost. He most certainly was robbed.
— Janice Roman (@Jizzy1) May 24, 2021
Yep. I knew @AmericanIdol was going to get it wrong again. But that’s fine, Willie Spence is going to thrive.
— Kharla (@khaotican) May 24, 2021
— BitchBettaHaveMyMoney (@Paymiwa_Chuomi) May 24, 2021
Never watch, but let me guess. The white guy with guitar. It never changes. Why even bother when everyone knows the outcome has diddly to do with actual talent.
— BarTGila ♏ (@BarTGila) May 24, 2021
Fans have been on edge about Spence’s chances to win regarding American Idol‘s track record for days, if not weeks, before the finale. As Shadow And Act reported at the end of April, Spence was poised to be the second Black man to win after Studdard, who won in 2003. From GoldDerby’s calculations, he was highly favored by fan reaction to be crowned and potentially break the supposed “curse” of Black men not winning the series.
However, fans became worried when a contestant from Season 18, Arthur Gunn, was allowed to compete in the current season. While Gunn didn’t make it to the top three, the twist still alarmed Spence’s fans, who became worried the twist would undercut Spence’s chances to win.