WATCH: 19-Year-Old Construction Worker Shocks ‘American Idol’ Judges with Kameron Marlowe Cover

19-year-old Noah Thompson always wanted to play music and hoped to one day be a big star but never had…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

February 27, 2022


7:20 pm

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Noah Thompson; Photo by Eric McCandless ABC, American Idol

19-year-old Noah Thompson always wanted to play music and hoped to one day be a big star but never had the confidence to pursue his dreams…until now. 

The aspiring singer and construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky was forced to audition for American Idol by a co-worker named Arthur, who truly believed in him and his musical talents. 

“He’s not born to be working with us, he’s gifted…” Arthur said. 

“I would’ve never signed myself up for something like, 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.

Thompson entered the audition room and went on to perform a cover of Kameron Marlowe’s “Giving You Up.”

YouTube video

Standing in front of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, Thompson strummed his acoustic guitar as he sang the fan-favorite tune.

“You got a real-life, story-telling, badass voice,” Richie told him. “It’s believable. I don’t know what you were expecting… I know you weren’t expecting that. That’s why I said it.”

After Richie praised the contestant’s vocals, the Idol judges encouraged Thompson to bring in his friend, Arthur, who is the reason he auditioned for the show.

“He saw you, he saw your potential,” Perry shared, before Thompson replied, “He did, I never had confidence in myself.”

“You are the American Dream,” Perry added.

“You’re why this job is cool,” Bryan gushed. “We’re really, really excited you’re here.”

“He’s got so much talent. Other contestants, they’ve had vocal training, they do these crazy warm-ups and this is just straight raw right here. This ain’t no train, we don’t warm up,” Thompson’s friend Arthur said, prompting the judges to compliment his “managerial” abilities. 

After all three judges voted ‘yes,’ Noah Thompson earned a golden ticket to Hollywood.

American Idol airs every Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.