American Idol's Clark Beckham Talks 'Sunday Morning' Chords, Police Lyrics, His Big Battle With Scott Borchetta

Remember when American Idol‘s Clark Beckham told mentor Scott Borchetta that if his polarizing arrangement of Josh Turner’s “Your Man” lost him the competition, he didn’t want to win?

Turns out, he was so committed to that stance, he actually repeated it (at a producer’s request) when his initial (completely spontaneous) declaration got ruined by a blown lightbulb.

And that was just one of the many juicy behind-the-scenes tidbits the Season 14 runner-up shared when TVLine chatted with him at Fox HQ on Tuesday afternoon.

Also on the docket? The mentor and producer advice he rejected regarding his cover of “Superstition,” the trouble with his Top 11 rendition of “Takin’ It to the Streets,” the method he used to find a meaningful connection to “Every Breath You Take,” and his reaction to Harry Connick Jr. telling him he was the only musician left in the Top 7. Oh, and if you like hearing about chord structure, you’ll dig Clark’s deep dive into his rearrangement of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.”

Press PLAY above for the full interview, then hit the comments with your thoughts on Clark’s Idol run and post-show future!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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84 Comments
  1. Jess says:

    Great thanks. He should have won. I hated that he was thrown under the bus. I hope he gets a record deal, though not with Scott Borchetta.

    • S. says:

      He threw himself under the bus. It wasn’t like they made him look that way. They showed his true feelings which he believed enough to repeat apparently. He had a chance to take it back before we even saw it and didn’t.

      • idolwatch says:

        Actually that is just what they did. If you listen to the interview Clark said they had this all settled before the mentor session. At least he thought they did but then Scott brought it up again during the mentor session. And this time he wanted it taped . I think at this point it was no wonder Clark stood his ground.

        • Stefani says:

          Clark had a nerve opening his mouth and he should have listened to Scott because Clark sang off key after speaking to Scott. Bottom line, Clark can’t sing

          • karenb says:

            You’re definitely entitled to your opinion but just remember that it’s not a fact. Many people’s opinion is that he can sing and actually does it quite quite well too. Like me.

          • Stefani says:

            It is a fact that Clark CANNOT sing. He sounded horrible and sang off pitch, off tune, particularly after Scott gave him advice. He was worse than before. I truly hope his arrogance keeps him from getting a recording contract.

      • m says:

        “Mariah Carey isn’t the kind of person who worries about burning bridges, clearly.

        On Thursday, the singer told us all how she really feels about “American Idol”….. …..and she didn’t hold back. …..she made it clear she has no intention of returning to the show for its final season.

        ….singer also took issue with the show dubbing it “[ ] so fake.”

        “You have to make up things to say about people,” she said.

        “It was like going to work every day in he.ll. with Sat.an.”

        “It’s all fake and manufactured!”

        .
        And some people still try to claim they don’t bus certain contestants, try to push scripts, make various contestants seem what they are not or don’t manufacture contestant and judge feuds.
        .
        Reality TV is in it’s own way as scripted and manufactured as scripted TV.

  2. Ed says:

    Would love to hear a conversation between Michael and Melinda now that AI has finished. A wrap up of what they liked, didn’t like, and their thoughts on who should or could what. Maybe advise on a path for some of the folks.

    Plus did you see the interview with Caleeb from last season? Jimmy Iovine basically threw him under the bus. So much for winning AI and getting support.

  3. Cheyne says:

    Clark was treated very badly by Scott Borchetta. He was a terrible mentor and I hope he does not return next season.

    • Cobra says:

      Scott Borchetta is the anti-Christ. I don’t even watch American Idol anymore, but honestly, I’ll take sides with anyone against Scott Borchetta. He is the devil.

      • Stefani says:

        Clark is the anti Christ because he sang of key most of the competition. He voice was not strong. Close to 70 percent voted for Nick who was without a doubt the best singer. Clark won’t get help or a contract with his arrogance.

        • jj says:

          Because you think he sang off key that makes him the anti-christ? You must believe in an extremely G rated version of hell lol

        • Shay says:

          How do you know Nick got 70 percent of the vote? I never saw any of the vote totals on any website. If you don’t like Clark why are you even on this website watching this interview?

        • Cheyne says:

          Where are you getting the 70%??? Both Ryan Seacrest and Keith Urban have said in separate interviews after the show that the vote was one of the closest.

          • Donna says:

            I just watched the interview with Jax. It was a good interview. Although there were others, Jax was one if the main ones that I thought was treated in a very disrespectful way when she was eliminated. She should have been given an opportunity to thank the ones she wanted to and have some closure. Surely after this many years on the air, AI could have a better way to handle the departure of a contestant; especially, when it is almost at the end of the season. Surely there is someone in the decision making group that could come up with a better way for a contestant’s departure. I wish Jax the best for her future!!! 🎵

    • S. says:

      He tells your guy something he doesn’t wanna hear, your guy doesn’t listen and bombs on stage with it as was predicted, and that’s Scott’s fault? Sure sounds like Scott’s a good mentor because he tried to talk Clark out of it. I swear Idol’s missing a chance to put out contestant themed Kool-Aid.

      • idolwatch says:

        Blatant manipulation is what it was. Scott is not a good mentor when he lets his personal feelings get in the way. I think his ego was bruised big time.

      • Stefani says:

        I agree. Clark sang off key right after speaking to Scott. Clark is arrogant and stupid. Truth is Scott probably would have offered him help if he didn’t win but now Scott should tell Clark to go tell his story walking.

    • Turtle says:

      I agree

    • HTGR says:

      His advice actually wasn’t necessarily bad with the aim to produce a packaged pop idol though. OTOH Nigel and Randy’s advice was flat out bad most of the time and they bussed people for pure sport because things didn’t fit “the script”. At least Borchetta had his reasons from his particular marketing needs and knowledge about vote getting, even if you don’t like it.

      • Donna says:

        Yes, much of AI is scripted in a way that they try to present it as if it was not scripted. That is what they do on many of the reality shows. Clark may have come across as being arrogant, but I think that he mostly did not want to compromise what he believes in. It may cost him in the music field, but I do understand why he didn’t want to compromise. Yes, he did do bad on that song and most of that was probably because of what all took place. Clark did state that he thought that it had been resolved but Scott being Scott, brought it up again. I know that Scott is in the business and knows what it takes, but I also think that he is very arrogant and is full of himself. I do hope that Clark gets signed with someone else that will be willing to work with him and he will be willing to work with them. There are other recording companies. He just needs to find the right one. AI has turned out to be no different than many other reality shows. The producers push for the people to have fake feuding to help the ratings. I have quit watching many of the reality shows because of that; plus, they are boring!!!

  4. kcostell says:

    They couldn’t clear “When a Man Loves a Woman?” Really?

  5. Sara says:

    Clark is so smart! He’s a great artist and I really hope he does go far!

  6. kim says:

    Clark is perfect. Even when they piped in applause for Nick, gave Clark bad songs, showed image of Nick winning 9 times during last night to vote aired, and we’re unfair with remarks by judges and the devil Scott, Clark killed every performance.

  7. Gary says:

    Loved the interview. I agree with Jess about being thrown under the bus, and I could say so much more about that. Clark WAS the reason I watched Idol this year when I heard him early on. I wish him all the best and will be following his career.

  8. Diana Duran says:

    Great interview,will follow Clarks career eagerly … love his sound. Had never voted or watched AI till I heard his music. So dislike SB as a mentor

  9. marie says:

    Yes he definitely should have won, Nick isn’t that good, Clark could and does sing anything. Nick is just like most of the rockers on each season only not as good. He should have won AGT when he was on there and shouldn’t have had anything to do with idol. Clark was screwed over

  10. thelma says:

    Great interview,cant wait for his album.

  11. Kay says:

    Loved the interview! I think most people knew that conversation w Scott was edited & fixed! You’re a Great Person Clark and a great singer with an amazing talent! Just sing and be yourself and keep God first! You’ll go very far!!!! Best vocals, performance I’ve heard & seen!

  12. Kim Moores says:

    CLARK YOU LOOKIN SO SEXY HAAAAAAY BOOO <3<3

    • Jill M says:

      KIM,

      Why don’t you write a long love letter to Clark and get it over with! You’re like a teenager gawking over a boy! GROW UP!

  13. Kim Moores says:

    CLARK YOU LOOKIN SO SEXAAAAAY HAYYYY BOO <3<3
    Anyways, I enjoyed this interview and how he was keen to give proper explanations and clear the air on whether or not he's some musical jesus snob.
    Very thoughtful and inciteful words from him and he's probably the one contestant that ever paid this much attention to musical detail.
    Whether or not it translated doesn't matter, this guy did all he can to make each song very thoughtful and true to him which I love.
    He needs to work on facially expressing it though.

  14. Nice interview. Yes, I realized too that when he was going first every time after the Scott upset and Nick was going last every time, that he was being thrown under the bus. Then when there was no coin toss like there had been for the 13 years before, it was painfully obvious that “someone” did not want Clark to win. Maybe a blessing in disguise? Who knows….he’ll do fine, though. And I agree with Gary…Clark was the only reason I tuned in also.

  15. Stefani says:

    Didn’t like Clark at all. Didn’t like his singing. Never thought he was good at all. What really turned me off was rejecting the mentor advice because he really needed it. He then goes on to sing and he sounded horrible. Wondering how he made it as far. Most of the idol contestants were not good. Not the saving grace was Nick. As a matter of fact, he was the only one who could sing. Was hoping Clark did not win.

    • LNan says:

      Please. Nick can’t sing worth beans. Clark can sing circles around him. Yes and Clark was thrown under the bus. Disliked every moment with that s.o.b. SB.

      • Stefani says:

        Wrong. Nick has a strong voice and Clark does not. After getting advice or mentoring, he rejected it and sounded horrible. Thrown under a bus? Clark sounded like he was hit by a bus 20 times. He cannot sing and his arrogance made him lose. Sorry he made it that far with his screeching sound

        • Benjamin says:

          Excuse me?.. what show did you saw?.. I like Nick, but he play safe and was a complete ghost for almost the entire season!. Just at the end we were able to see some sparks and they were not good enought to call him a star. Come’on!.. he always do the same kinda flat songs.. barely using his avergae voice (for this season)… nobody remember a single of his performances previous top 4… it’s a fact!… just search and look in youtube b.e. and you will see beyond your fan eyes which idols were the most interesting and memorable around the world.

          • karenb says:

            @benjamin-every week that Nick would go thru my daughter and I looked at each other and said 1) he’s still on?? And 2) what did he sing last week? I kid you not. Nick seems likes a fine person and has his cover band thing going on. Good on him. I just need more talent from my Idols.

      • Stefani says:

        Clark thru himself under the bus with his no talent singing off key. Scott gave him advice that he refused then sings off key.
        Clark has a weak voice and he is not a good singer. I have no idea what you heard but Clark was mediocre and he was arrogant. I bet he never gets a recording contract. You gotta listen and accept advice from professionals. He has no experience and will never make it with that attitude. He is not a seasoned singer and had no respect for Idol coming off as if he knows better. Needed to eat humble pie. I hope nobody offers him a contract.

    • Katie Killjoy says:

      Nick was your contestant above the rest?
      You must have the musical tastes comparable to cardboard if you honestly thought the rest weren’t good.
      Also, watch the interview and gain some insight.
      Then again, you didn’t think Clark was remotely good so I suppose your tastes lean more on the pop drivel polluting the radio nowadays, aka Nick Fradiani and his pop rock vanilla sound.

      • Nick is the best and the most talented singer/songwriter. Clark proved in this interview what a bore he is. And I could not stand the SCREAMING he did. That is NOT singing. It’s screaming. He could be a nice piano teacher but no stage presence.

        • Katie Killjoy says:

          He proved what a bore he was? I actually found this interview to be equally compelling, if not more than Nicks.
          Nick wasn’t the most talented singer and we definitely never saw any indications of his song writing skills on the show so that’s thoroughly irrelevant.
          Also, yes, screaming is a technique incorporated in singing, go to a church or listen to a lot of jazz, blues, or rock singers.
          All in all you don’t sound remotely interested in finding a redeeming quality about Clark so I’ll just leave you and your vanilla King to be.

      • Stefani says:

        So you thought Clark was the best? Gotta be kidding. He was off key most of the time and had definite pitch issues. He can’t sing and his voice was weak. The only reason for his arrogance was 30 percent voted for him. Not surprised if he doesn’t get a recording contract.

        • Katie Killjoy says:

          Clark can sing. Basic chorus classes in high school taught me that much, I don’t know what you constitute ‘off-key’ to mean but that had 0 pertinence with Clark, the guy has perfect pitch.

          • LOL…basic chorus classes? You either have the ear for music or you don’t. I happen to possess practically absolute pitch not to mention 10 years of classical piano training as a kid. I completely agree with Stefani. Clark cannot stay on key to save his life. Most live performances of today’s “pop stars” are very painful to listen to. Only truly gifted and classically trained vocalists are capable of delivering flawless performances. You can actually listen to the nuances and expressions of their voices without cringing in pain from botched notes.

        • Jill M says:

          Scott was the reason many contestants got eliminated because of that idiots son choices! He is a moron and a weirdo!

          • Jill M says:

            *SONG*

          • Stefani says:

            Scott was the reason most contestants were eliminated? Most of them were horrible like last year. Don’t blame Scott, blame the no talent singers. Most of them were weird. This year they looked like a motely crew. The outfit and the get ups with the colored hair. That was to pay attention to my outfit and not my singing. The judges picked bad talent last year and this year. The show has low ratings because of judges picks

    • Alan Dvorkis says:

      You already made it clear that you do not like Clark. Now go learn how to write better and try again. Either way, you are annoying.

    • Louie says:

      We get it! You don’t like Clark and you looooove Nick. You can stop replying to every single comment stating that.
      This doesn’t change the fact that Clark is a better singer and that Nick will never be your boyfriend

    • JBP says:

      ^^ TROLL

  16. lorie says:

    It was neat to go back and see the top 24 video and see that it was Clark who started the song.

  17. Kathy Cochran says:

    I am so happy that Clark knew what was coming down, that Nick was being given the golden ticket…Never before on Idol, no coin toss…Nick being given the last performance 4 weeks in a row, making it so audaciously transparent Nick was AI’s guy. I would be screaming to the top of my lungs except for one thing. Clark is so gracious about it, I have to admire that. He will go far. With all those advantages, I wonder if Nick feels just a little guilty about his false win.

    • Clark did scream during every boring old song he sang. I’m glad Nick won. He’s current and a very talented singer/songwriter. Clark should teach music. He’s smart but he’s so boring

    • Mary says:

      It wasn’t a false win, America voted for him over Clark no matter which way you look at it. At that stage in the competition it really doesn’t matter the order, it is the performance. Unfortunately Clark performances were sliding down where as Nick was gaining. I for one didn’t care who one but I will say Clark was old school for me and if I had to choose it would of been Nick, and No I didn’t vote for either one. Wish them both good luck.

      • Reasonable says:

        yes, good luck — the combination of Borchetta’s influence on the show, the 2 finalists, and another dose of the current Judges celebrity appeal — accounted for a 38% drop in ratings over the finale night — which resulted in the resignation of the Exec. Producer so he could flee the scene ——–seems a lot of folks didn’t care who won anyway——–and the 2 finalists getting beat-out in itunes sales by almost every one of the top 4 on the Voice in their respective final week. .

  18. dhudson says:

    Fantastic interview! I, for one, love the music he produces and will continue to support him.

  19. Rachael says:

    Clark’s an incredible artist and will go far. Such class. He deserved to win and didn’t but that’s on Scott. Wish some his fans would handle themselves with the same class and quit dissing other contestants considering it’s so obviously not what he wants done to his friends.

    • Kathy Cochran says:

      This reminds me of the year Clay Aiken lost to Ruben Studdard. Clay’s fans hated Ruben. They said dreadful things about Ruben. I am a singer and musician as well so I think I know talent when I hear it. I believed that Clay should have won too and his album sales reflected it as well but the only thing I said about Ruben is the same thing I say about Nick now. He is a dime-a-dozen singer and the best singer didn’t win. I have more to say about the conduct of AI producers, mentors et al. The fix was clearly in and more clearly obvious than any past season. They are a bunch of shysters who manipulate human beings and I hate that. I will not be watching the final season.

  20. Clarkbeckham has the ability to be Americas version of Canada’s Michael Buble. I think he is a better 2015 version of Harry Connikk Jr. If you lined up all of Clarks American Idol performances, and watched them back to back, it leaves you so hungry for more. Their are so many songs that he could just flat out own and totally draw people in. His success will be based on his desire. As for me, I just can’t get enough, each time I watch a performance I am simply star struck. I am looking forward to hearing more from Clark Beckhom. I have one wish, I feel the need for Clark to do a version of Frank Sanotra I Did It My Way, after AI tour of course.

    • Alan Dvorkis says:

      Mostly agree. He had a few clinkers but Clark at is best is amazing, someone you could go back for repeat listens. That is a sign of a star. I too look forward to hearing his music and to attending his show.

  21. arlene field's says:

    They were rude to jax to .Besides Clark. Not nice ethics

  22. Yo says:

    Good interview. He is a talented guy.

  23. Ann says:

    They tell the singers make the song your own which Clark did. Nick sang songs the exact same way. Compared him to Daughtry and Rob Thomas. We don’t need another Thomas or Daughtry sounding singer we have them already and they aren’t on the radio right now

  24. Alan Dvorkis says:

    I though Clark was terrific throughout the year. It is interesting to hear that he asked if there were other options for his winners song. He knew they were screwing him over, but the kid is classy enough to not say a word. Nick got a perfect song for his voice and range. Clark got the opposite, but Clark slaughtered Nick in the first two. Clark is super talented and I think he is correct when he says there is a market for him. His voice is likable. He is too. It seems as if girls like him too. That does not hurt. I wish him the best. He seems like a total class act.

  25. dby says:

    Thanks for the interview. It is refreshing to hear Clark himself and not the edited distortions AI is so fond off. Clark should have won. Nick should not; I would never buy or get Nick’s music if he was the last singer left on earth. I could never understand how Nick even made it on AI since first hearing him. Sounding like a copy (and not a very good one at that) of every singer whose song he performed, no creativity, no distinction, but obviously malleable so the producer’s of AI can turn him into a money making machine for their record labels. This is why AI blatantly did all they can to push Nick forward and throw Clark under the bus–they could not do it with Clark. And people are tired of the obvious manipulations of the AI producers which is why most of them stop watching it and why this show is being cancelled.

    I am glad though that Clark made it on because I was able to discover him and hear him singing. He is a true talent and I am looking forward to his work.

  26. He should do fine if a good music producer and some good song writers can get him. Too bad he doesn’t have his own TV show every week for 30 min to an hour. Those kind of shows are never on anymore. Maybe he will be on a 4th of July special or a Christmas special.

  27. lorie says:

    I hope Clark someday sings Unchained Melody. Thanks for the interview!

  28. Donna says:

    Just watched the interview with Clark and thought it was a great interview. I really do wish him much success in his career and life. I will buy his albums when he gets to start producing them. Have already bought his songs on Itune. It is true that some of the contestants that didn’t win, are the ones that have been successful. God’s blessings on you, Clark!!!🎹🎶🎤🎸

  29. Cheryl says:

    Clark Beckham is such an orginal .. He’s got that amazing big voice , but does know when to reel it in … I’ve never gotten into watching American Idol .. Except for the year that Carrie Underwood won , but Bo Bice was runner up.. If anyone looks back to that season you will see another runner up who really had the chops , and stage presence .. He was amazing .. But I found Clark Beckham more talented .. I even voted this year by every mean possible .. I really hope that the powers that be snatch this young man up because he gifted and very unique .. If AI had more seasons with artists like Clark Beckham .. I honestly think it could have gone on at least five more seasons ..

  30. silentmajority says:

    Speaking as a fan of both Nick and Clark, here’s how I saw it. Early on I thought Clark was all but a lock to win. I barely noticed Nick, thought he was ok but headed for about 8th place. By late March/early April Clark was the breakaway front runner and Nick was still trailing behind Jax, Quentin, Tyanna, and Rayvon. Then two things happened, right there on screen. Nick took the judges’ and mentor’s advice and began working hard on his stage craft, and Clark started having serious doubts about wanting to work for Scott Borchetta. From that point on Clark’s performances grew weaker and Nick’s grew stronger until by the end of the season it was an equal draw between two very different kinds of musicians. I would have been satisfied with either of them winning. I saw no conspiracy, just one guy who peaked early and another who peaked late, at just the right time. I think most viewers over-estimate the power of the judges and producers to influence the outcome once the public voting begins. Remember Sanjaya? Remember how openly they tried to torpedo Haley Reinhart? And yet she hung in all the way to third place. When the public likes someone, they do well regardless of the backstage politics. I think this was a legitimate win. At the end it looked to me like Nick was going for it with the pedal to the metal and Clark was driving with one foot on the brake.

  31. Tammy says:

    I wish you guys could do an interview like this with Sawyer from The Voice. I would love to hear 30 minutes of him talking about his choices, working with his mentor, the process etc. (Actually would love to hear from any of The Voice contestants like we get to hear from the AI contestants.)

    • Donna says:

      I have thought overnight about the interview with Clark. I think that it is appalling that they don’t have a piano, etc to practice with before the day of the performance. What is even more appalling is that it is not made clear to the contestants what the “theme” is for that week. They find out at the last minute. No wonder some of the performances aren’t so good and the viewers have lost interest in AI. Don’t understand AI for doing it that way. Also, didn’t like the elimination process in the last 6 or 7 programs. I think AI is being unfair to the contestant after they have worked so hard on their song(s)for that week, but won’t matter after next year!!!!

  32. karenb says:

    Great interview. I was impressed with how honest Clark was about those evil producers and Scott B. He’s well-spoken, talented and focused. I know he’ll do well no matter what happens with Scott B.

  33. David says:

    They should have never put his comments on the air, American Idol cost him the win. He stated the truth about his feelings, which is a good thing, but American Idol screwed him in this and his career. He is a far superior singer and musician than Nick. Nicks first album will be a flop, he is too plain,. Billboard even said Clark had the only chance of a successful career.

    • Stefani says:

      Clark should have accepted Scotts advice like an adult not reject it because he is not a seasoned singer and Clark has no experience. His arrogance will cost him I hope. After rejecting Scotts advice, Clark sings off tune and sounded weak. It made Scott right and Clark wrong. Thing is, Clark can’t sing and that moment proved it. Some people can sing anything and some can’t. Nick has a voice that can sing anything. Scott was trying to help Clark not look bad but Clark wouldn’t listen so he sang with definite pitch issues proving Scott right. Good for him, serves Clark right. Can’t say maybe next time he will listen because I don’t think he will have a next time. He blew it

      • We get it, you hate Clark. Go away. It’s a TV show about music. Music is art. Art is subjective. Which means some people like him. So stop commenting on every post to shove your opinion in other people’s faces. Let us enjoy Clark and his music in peace.

  34. I love Clark’s mix of confidence and humility. He knows music and he knows who he is and he isn’t afraid of that and that, I think, makes him one to watch. I think he’s right about there being room for his soulful style on the charts right now. Sam Smith is a prime example. I look forward to his album and I hope someone who respects his sound and his artistic ability signs him.

  35. lorie says:

    Might have done “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” for arena anthems week.

  36. ara says:

    Love Clark and love all the musical geekery in this interview. Another great one, Slezak.