American Idol Top 3 finalist Noah Thompson returned to his hometown on Tuesday evening (May 17) for the first time in two months. The small town of Louisa, Kentucky welcomed him home in a big way with a parade and a massive free concert.
“I’ve been gone for two months and there’s just no place like home,” Thompson told WCHS News. “This is where my heart is, this is where my people are and I’m just excited for everybody because this is a big deal for everyone, not just myself.”
Dozens of homemade signs, banners and shirts were seen along the parade route as Thompson drove by in a convertible surrounded by police cars and fire trucks.
At 8:30 PM, following a parade that went throughout the city of Louisa, thousands of fans piled into the football stadium at Thompson’s alma mater, Lawrence County High School, to celebrate his homecoming with a free concert. The high school football stadium is the largest venue in Lawrence county.
The former construction worker was surprised during the show by one of his musical heroes Kameron Marlowe, who previously contacted him following his Idol audition where Thompson sang Marlowe’s debut single, “Giving You Up.”
Thompson and Marlowe then performed “Giving You Up” together as a duet, which was certainly a dream come true and full-circle moment for the Idol finalist.
The 20-year-old previously told Music Mayhem that Marlowe calling him after his audition “was and always will be one of the coolest things that’s ever happened” to him.
“I look at him and his songs… He’s an inspiration to me. So for him to reach out, because he didn’t have to do that at all, for him to reach out and say what he said, I just thought that was really one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me.”
Marlowe, who also recently spoke with Music Mayhem, said he wanted to offer Thompson the same full-circle moment he received from Luke Combs when he auditioned for season 15 of The Voice with Combs’ chart-topping hit, “One Number Away.”
“I wanted to offer Noah the same kind of [experience] that Luke offered me, and I just told him to keep pursuing music and to keep writing and keep journeying on in this crazy business that we’re in,” Marlowe said.
During the homecoming concert, Thompson also performed Sundy Best’s “Painted Blue” with the band’s singer, Nick Jamerson. Additionally, the 20-year-old delivered the first live performance of his debut single, “One Day Tonight.”
Also during the event, Thompson was surprised with the news that a road was being named in his honor and received a proclamation deeming April 2022 Noah Thompson Appreciation Month.
Last month, Lawrence County Judge-Executive Phillip L. Carter issued the proclamation after Thompson was voted into the Top 14 on Idol.
“During his time on American Idol Noah Thompson has not only just shown his ability as a singer, he has been a shining light on Lawrence County with his character,” Carter said at the time. “Noah Thompson represents Lawrence County with a sincere politeness and humbleness that speaks volumes to the rest of America. Congratulations on making it to the final Top 14. You make Lawrence County proud.”
Following the proclamation, Thompson told Music Mayhem that he was left speechless after receiving the high honor in his hometown.
“I didn’t even know what to say when I seen that. That’s kind of, that’s just hard to believe. I didn’t expect that, whatsoever. So, that’s crazy. I don’t know. It just… That shows you right there how supportive everybody truly is. How really, truly, supportive, everybody is.”
Throughout the milestone 20th season of American Idol, Thompson performed covers of songs such as Cam’s “Burning House,” The SteelDrivers’ “Blue Side Of The Mountain” Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up, Sundy Best’s “Painted Blue,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and Carrie Underwood’s “So Small.”
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.”
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 also performed a cover of “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from the popular Disney film, Toy Story.
Additionally, Thompson recently shared his debut single, ”One Day Tonight.”
Thompson’s homecoming was filmed by Idol producers for the hometown segment that will appear in this Sunday’s episode of Idol.
The three-hour season finale of American Idol airs on Sunday, May 22, at 8/7c on ABC.