“American Idol” has been on the air for 20 seasons, and that means 20 sets of finalists have been through the system and come out the other side. Now, some of those finalists have revealed behind-the-scenes details they hadn’t previously shared.
In an interview with Insider, Blake Lewis, runner-up of season 6 of the show, said he was “forced” to beatbox and was not happy with how the show portrayed him.
Lewis was a beatboxing champion before he auditioned for “American Idol,” according to Insider.
Lewis Says He Was ‘Forced’ to Beatbox During His Audition
During the interview, Lewis shared that he’d said he didn’t want to beatbox during his audition multiple times. The judges back in season six were Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell.
Before ever stepping in front of the “American Idol” judges, contestants go through auditions with producers where they showcase their talent.
In Lewis’s case, he said he felt like the judges were “making fun” of him during his audition.
“I had all these accolades and by the time I got to Paula, Simon, and Rany, they’re like, ‘Oh, Mr. Bigshot,'” he said, according to the outlet.
He added, “Randy was like, ‘Come on, man. It says you’re a beatbox champion. Just give us a little something.”
Lewis shared that he told the judges no “three times” but then felt as though he had to since they kept asking him.
“They forced me to,” he told the outlet. “And then the way they cut it, they made it seem like I was cocky.”
Cowell, according to the singer, then told him that he wasn’t as good as he thought he was.
According to Insider, Lewis was “pissed” when he watched the episodes when they aired.
“I was like, ‘Oh great, now I’m going to get hate from my beatbox community, this niche art form, because they’re turning me into a gimmick,” Lewis told Insider, adding, “It never goes down the way they show it.”
He went on to nearly win the show, losing only to Jordin Sparks.
Watch his audition in the video above.
‘American Idol’ Judges Say Finalists Need More Than The Platform
Current “American Idol” judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie appeared on “Live! With Kelly and Ryan” on June 22, 2022, to talk about all things “American Idol.”
The judges spoke about why they thought “American Idol” was the best place for emerging artists as well as how they’ve begun to earn the trust of emerging stars. That doesn’t mean that every artist who does well on the show does well in the music industry, however.
“We’re in our fifth season as judges… but I think that the world is changing, there’s new stars that are being born every day and there’s so much being put up on all social media that you have to set yourself even more far apart,” she said.
She added that the contestants have to utilize more than just the “American Idol” platform and that they need to concentrate on social media as well.
“American Idol” is expected to return in the spring of 2023 for season 21 of the show. Each of the three judges and host Ryan Seacrest are expected to return.