Noah Thompson has been crowned the Season 20 winner of American Idol.
The Kentucky native placed first in the popular singing competition and closed out the season finale with a performance of his debut single, “One Day Tonight,” while members of his family, including his girlfriend and son, watched on.
Ahead of being crowned the next American Idol, he shared what he will take from the experience.
“Just the experience man, everything I’ve gained from doing all this, just growing and learning everything I can take in from the experience,” Thompson said.
After host Ryan Seacrest announced Thompson as the winner, Thompson was left speechless.
“My heart is beating out of my chest, this is crazy!” Thompson admitted in shock.
Ahead of the finale, Thompson told Parade about his time of the show and shared what it would mean to him if he was named the next American Idol.
“I feel like there’s just no words for it. The way I feel about it, I would be in complete shock, to be honest, because I did not expect to make it this far,” the “One Day Tonight” singer said. “Never in a million years, so I would be so grateful. But at the same time , truthfully I would love to see either one of them [Leah or Huntergirl] win the show. Honestly, I would have loved to see anybody win the show. I’m just really happy to be here.”
Noah Thompson became an instant fan-favorite following his memorable Idol audition.
The now 20-year-old Kentucky native and former construction worker auditioned for the show with Kameron Marlowe’s “Giving You Up,” which earned recognition from Marlowe and praise from Lionel Richie.
“You got a real-life, story-telling, badass voice,” Richie told him at the time. “It’s believable. I don’t know what you were expecting… I know you weren’t expecting that. That’s why I said it.”
Katy Perry once called Thompson “the American Dream,” while Luke Bryan later declared Thompson “might win the whole competition” after he praised the “magic quality” he has “going on in [his] voice.”
Later in the season, Thompson revealed that his father influenced him to play guitar and pursue a career in music.
“As a child, I was just always around music, my dad gave me his guitar. Dad showed me the simplest of chords and I kind of just took off,” Thompson recalled. “My dad really wanted to be in music, that was his dream also. Kind of the whole point of me being here, for my dad. I wanted to do it almost for the both of us.”
He hopes his success on Idol will create a special bond with his 9-month-son, Walker, who he shares with his longtime girlfriend Angel Dixon.
“[My dad] believes me in obviously, but I never believed in myself, so for me to have made it this far it’s definitely a confidence booster. I want this to be something that me and [my son] Walker could do together too,” he added. “I think he’s going to have a voice on him probably, he’s got a hell of a yelling voice, that’s for sure.”
After his co-worker and friend, Arthur, signed him up to audition for Idol, Thompson admitted that he never thought he’d make it as far as he has in the competition and now strives for the title in hopes to offer his son “a completely different life.”
“Just a few months ago, I could never imagine pursuing something like this, If it weren’t for Arthur, I wouldn’t have ever signed up for this show. I would’ve never had the confidence. It’s pretty cool to know somebody believes in you more than you believe in yourself,” Thompson said.
“I have a little boy, he just turned 7 months. I recently became a Dad, my little boy, he’s my strive for all this,” Thompson added. “Blows my mind that I’m even here, this could give me the opportunity to give my son an entire new life, a better life.”
Thompson has also impressed the Idol judges and America with countrified renditions of pop hits such as Noah Cyrus’ “July,” Rihanna’s “Stay,” Harry Styles’ “Falling,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” and John Mayer’s “Heartbreak Warfare.”
He continued to earn America’s vote with performances of songs like “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from Disney’s Toy Story, Sundy Best’s “Painted Blue,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” Carrie Underwood’s “So Small,” and Larry Fleet’s “Workin’ Man.”
The standout Idol contestant credits Chris Stapleton, Kameron Marlowe, John Mayer and Neil Young as musical influences.