'American Idol' Runner-Up Clark Beckham: 'I'm Exactly Where I Need to Be'

Michael Becker/FOX
Clark Beckham performs on "American Idol XIV"  on April 8, 2015.  

It was a great run for Clark Beckham, who gave season 14 of American Idol his all and made it to the top two.

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Second place isn't too shabby, especially when it helps garner you 61,000 Twitter followers and a loyal army of fans. And losing doesn't seem to have Beckham down too low. Backstage after Wednesday's finale, the Tennessee native told reporters that he believes he is exactly where he needs to be at this point in his career. He also revealed that his post-Idol plans included grabbing some hometown fried chicken and sweet tea as soon as possible and that he promises to keep his Idol momentum going into his future music career.

How are you feeling?

You know, I haven't had time alone yet. But I really believe, I just believe with all my heart that I'm exactly where I need to be. I just believe it. Even if that doesn't make sense. I just believe it. I think I showed who I want to be on the show accurately and hopefully people like it. Still, I just believe with all my heart. So I'm excited. I'm excited to go home and eat some real fried chicken and have some sweet tea. So I'm OK.

What was the best part of the whole Idol experience for you?

The best part of the whole Idol journey is people, no doubt. That's what it's always been about, whether I'm singing for them or whether I'm taking in what they offer… and everybody on the show -- from the musical talent, all the way to the PAs and the producers and the cameramen and the directors, how hard and diligent they are. How hard they work showed me what hard work looks like. I know that's going to affect how I look at my career. I've been influenced by the greatest crew around.

How do you see your life five years from now?

Five years from now, I imagine just grooving -- just playing with some really cool people and just sinking down to the heart of music itself, not in these four-chord songs with three notes, just getting deep into it. I'm excited for that.

What was it like performing with Michael McDonald?

I will never forget that for the rest of my life. Playing with Michael McDonald is the greatest song I've ever had in my life as of right now. He's a legend and he is a musician as good as they come. And it was fun before when they were presetting us for commercial, it was fun just jamming with him then. He'd start playing and I'd play a lick and he'd listen and try to copy it and he'd play a lick and I'd listen and copy it back and forth. That's what I love most. I love Michael. I'll never forget it.

What were you doing this time last year?

This time last year, I graduated from college. What's today? May 13th? May 11th, I graduated from the Lee University.

What are you doing for your birthday Friday?

Yeah. Thank you. My birthday is Friday. I don't know. I guess I'll do whatever they tell me to do. It's crazy because this whole experience -- it's so quick and there are so many things. We have the best team in the world showing us where to go, what to do, to make this all happen. I don't know what life looks like after this. If I could pick anything to do for my birthday, I would have a jam session with my best friends, my band back home, and have fried chicken and sweet tea. Maybe watch some movies. I haven't seen a movie in forever.

What's the plan now? How are you going to keep the momentum going with your career?

I'm addicted to hard work. I really am. I think that's what has gotten me this far, where I am right now. And I'll never stop. I just won't. Can't. Ever. A lot of times in the past with girls and stuff, I don't deal with rejection very well. And a lot of times I pursue a girl and she's not feeling it and it doesn't work out. I'm just like, "OK. I'm not going to pursue it. I give up." Music is a whole different kind of lover. I just can't stop. I just can't help it. I'm going to just keep working as hard as I can. I'm just going to stay doing music and do all that I can to try to move forward.