It was a banner night for “American Idol” on Fox Wednesday as its penultimate season drew to a close. The show crowned Nick Fradiani the 14th winner of its singing competition after he narrowly edged out runner-up Clark Beckham.
Fradiani finally won after battling it out with some of the most stellar and talented competitors all season long. While the announcement of a new winner was undercut slightly by the recent revelation that “Idol” will mush on for only one more season, Fradiani may be one of the best talents to come out of the competition in recent memory. He joins the ranks of previous “American Idol” winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Phillip Phillips and Kris Allen.
Now that this incredible artist is on his way to the mainstream, here are four fast facts about Fradiani, the latest winner of “American Idol”:
1. Age Is Just A Number
At 29, Fradiani was the oldest person in the final rounds of a competition that is mostly heralded for its young talent, as noted by Yahoo Music. Despite his age disadvantage, the soft rocker managed to deliver week after week before finally solidifying his position in the top two with covers of Matchbox Twenty’s “Bright Lights” and Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up,” as well as his own single, “Beautiful Life.”
2. Not His First Competition
The Guilford, Connecticut, native who has been singing since the age of 3 with his musician father struggled a bit as a front man in the competition after having spent most of his musical career before “American Idol” as a member of a band. It appears he was always destined for greatness because he and and his buddies in the three-piece group Beach Avenue managed to catch the attention of “America’s Got Talent.” Despite getting four initial “Yes” votes by the judges during that series’ ninth season, Beach Avenue did not go all the way to the quarterfinals of the competition.
3. ‘Idol’ Winner’s Idol
In the early stages of the competition, “American Idol” asks its contestants to choose artists on which they hope to model their careers. It turns out the veteran musician hasn’t had a blind eye to the goings-on at the Fox competition over the years, dropping the sacred name of Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips.
“I really like the path that Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic has taken,” Fradiani wrote. “In terms of ‘Idol,’ I really like the path that Phillip Phillips has taken. I really like the songs he has released and how true to himself he has stayed.”
4. It’s In The Family
As previously mentioned, Fradiani’s father, Nick Fradiani Sr., was a professional musician himself. He spent a good chunk of his son’s youthful year playing club venues and cruise ships. Although he was on his way to success, Fradiani Sr. indicated the amount of work he’d need to put in to reach the place currently occupied by his son would have forced him to sacrifice a lot as a father. Speaking to Coastal Connecticut, he said:
“I came off the road when Nick was 10 or 11. He was excelling at sports, and there I was on a cruise ship in the middle of the Panama Canal, thinking, ‘I gotta get home. I can’t miss this.’ That’s when I stopped being a full-time musician on the road and went back into teaching. It enabled me to be a more full-time dad.”
You can check out a video of the father-and-son duo singing “If I Fell” by The Beatles here. And you can watch one of Fradiani’s final “Idol” performances below:
What did you think of the “American Idol” Season 14 finale? Do you think Nick deserved to win? Sound off in the comments section below.