The Top 24 contestants of ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday evening with performances from the outdoor stage at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, competing for America’s vote for the first time ever.
19-year-old Noah Thompson met with guest mentor, Bebe Rexha, ahead of performing the Steeldrivers’ song “Blue Side of the Mountain.”
“I felt like this song was kind of representing me,” Thompson told Rexha about his song choice. “It reminds me of my hometown and I want this to be kind of, not just a proud moment for me, but for my family. Cause I got a little boy too.”
Thompson’s 9-month-old son, Walker, has been a constant source of motivation to keep going.
“I never wanted much for myself until we had Walker,” said Thompson. “I don’t want to ever feel like I’m struggling to support him.”
The “Meant to Be” singer shared her advice to help Thompson improve his stage presence. “Connecting with the crowd and giving them eye contact, even the camera, cause people wanna see your eyes,” said Rexha.
Thompson took that advice and added it to his powerful raspy voice and natural guitar playing for his performance.
Katy Perry quipped, “That was more of a howdy than a Aloha!”
Adding a bold prediction, Luke Bryan said, “There’s a sweet spot in your voice that when you start really, really recognizing it, you might win the whole competition.”
Lionel Richie offered some advice to help Thompson overcome his shyness, saying, “Every time you walk on the stage, walk out there with some big boots.”
To vote for Noah Thompson, visit AmericanIdol.com/Vote or Text 18 to 21523.
The results will be revealed next Sunday, April 17 at 8/7c EST on ABC during a special three-hour Top 20 show.