‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Says He Got ‘Screwed’ by the Show, Was Setup to Lose

by Samantha Whidden

More than 15 years after Jordin Sparks won season 6 of “American Idol,” runner-up Blake Lewis is finally sharing his thoughts about coming in at second place. 

Prior to the 20th Anniversary celebration for “American Idol,” Lewis recalled feeling like he was screwed as soon as he heard the final song he had to sing for the show’s season 6. He told Insider that both he and Sparks had to sing the same song on the finale that was chosen as part of the show’s first national songwriting contest. Upon hearing “This Is My Now” for the first time, Lewis admitted he felt like it was written for Sparks. 

Lewis also said that “American Idol” producers told him that he couldn’t arrange it this time. This is because he would stay up all night arranging his own music before each round of the show. However, this wasn’t an option for the finale. “I gave them all the fingers,” he told the media outlet. “I said, ‘F— you all,’ and I walked out of the room. It immediately turned the whole entire experience that I had sour.”

While he says Sparks deserved to win “American Idol,” Lewis also said it was “agony” going into the finale week. This is because he felt like he was set up to fail. “This should like the dopest week of my life,” he explained. “But I know I’m getting second place. I had the greatest time of my life and then it became bitter.”

Fellow Season 6 ‘American Idol’ Contestant Agrees that the Finale Track Was Written for Jordin Sparks 

Meanwhile, season 6 “American Idol” contestant, Sanjaya Malakar revealed to Insider that it felt “very obvious” to him that the finale song was written specifically for Jordin Sparks. 

“This Is My Now” songwriter, Jeff Peabody also spoke to the media outlet about how he and co-writer Scott Krippayne had mixed feelings about their song being used for that season’s finale. “It made it a little awkward for us to feel like the song was so clearly a better fit for her.”

Peabody was happy to win the songwriting contest and attend the finale in person. However, he said he had nothing to do with being protective around the song or saying Blake couldn’t arrange it. He also confirmed that he and Krippayne apologized to Lewis in person. 

“We can tell it was awkward,” Peabody explained. “So we felt bad. I mean, we really mostly just wanted him to know we just wrote the best song we could. It wasn’t like we knew what they would do with it.”

Jordin Sparks notably won “American Idol” when she was 17 years old. She remains the youngest winner in the show’s history.