Chayce Beckham Shares His ‘Hard Times’ on the ‘Idol’ Stage

Chayce Beckham is moving on to the next round of judging on American Idol after delivering a haunting performance of Tyler Childers‘ “Hard Times” during the Genre Challenge portion of Hollywood Week on Sunday night (March 21.)

Beckham comes honestly by his gritty take on the hard-hitting Americana tune: As he shared during Sunday night’s episode, he’s looking back at a year full of “Hard Times” that ultimately lead him to a precipitous relationship with alcohol and a near-fatal car crash.

“Recently, you know, a lot of crazy things started happening in my life. I’ve lost loved ones. I made a lot of bad mistakes. I’ve hurt people that were close to me,” the Idol hopeful admits. “It’s just been a rough, rocky road the last year or two, trying to pull myself out of a place that I didn’t wanna be in.”

Beckham goes on to describe the incident that finally served as a turning point during this difficult period.

“I thought I was at rock bottom, but one day, I had a few drinks too many and thought it was a good idea to try to, you know, drive home,” he continues. “I got into a bad wreck, ended up on the side of the highway upside down. I finally woke up and came to, and I remember looking up and there was nobody there to pull me up, there was nobody there to be like, ‘Come on, dude.’ That was the worst night of my life.”

It turned out to be the moment that changed his perspective, and helped him turn a corner to a new path in his life. “This is all or nothing for me. I feel like everything has literally led up this point, right here,” he says of his audition.

Fortunately, his gripping performance — and the backstory behind it — paid off: Beckham is advancing to the next round of Idol performances.

Meanwhile, another country Idol hopeful, Christian McGuckian, was eliminated after she continued to have issues keeping time as she sang. McGuckian had an extra-nervous audition earlier this month, and judge Luke Bryan even had to coach her through some quick breathing exercises before she sang. She made it to Hollywood Week when she charmed the judges with her authentic country delivery, but ultimately wasn’t ready for the big stage just yet, and was sent home.

American Idol airs on Sunday nights at 8PM ET on ABC. Sunday night’s episode showed this season’s first Hollywood Week installment, featuring Genre Challenge performances.

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