American Idol Winner Noah Thompson Is First Person from Kentucky to Take Title
There's a new American Idol in town! The long-running reality TV show crowned a new winner during its three-hour finale on Sunday. Noah Thompson not only took home the title as the winner of the show's 20th season but has the additional honor of being the first winner to call the state of Kentucky home.
The 20-year-old country singer from the small town of Louisa was stunned by the win. "Oh, my God," Thompson said after host Ryan Seacrest told him he won, "My heart is beating out of my chest. This is crazy."
Thompson took the crown, besting fellow finalists HunterGirl, a.k.a. Hunter Wolkonowski, who finished in second place, while Leah Marlene, a singer from Illinois, finished in third place.
All three finalists sang covers of a Bruce Springsteen tune. Marlene sang "Cover Me," HunterGirl took on the classic "Dancing In The Dark", but it was Thompson's take on the Boss's heart-wrenching "I'm On Fire" that won over the crowd.
Each finalist also performed an original song, including Thompson's hit track "One Day Tonight" which has already landed on iTunes Top 10 country music songs. During the finale, Thompson also sang a powerful duet with music legend Melissa Etheridge.
Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan were clearly all impressed by the young singer who appeared on the show after his friend signed him up for auditions. Over the course of the competition, fans fell in love with Thompson's voice and his story. Those fan votes helped push him on to victory.
There's no doubt that many of those votes came from Thompson's hometown. As The Courier-Journal reported, the week before the finale, Thompson returned to Louisa and the town threw a parade for their hometown hero. They even hung up a sign along U.S. Route 23 announcing Louisa as the home of Noah Thompson. Undoubtedly his hometown is celebrating even more now that Thompson has been crowned the new winner of American Idol.