We have a winner! Noah Thompson is officially the winner of American Idol season 20! Thompson is the fourth consecutive male to win the competition, all who happen to be country singers. He follows Chayce Beckham (Season 19), Laine Hardy (Season 17), and Trent Harmon (Season 15).
Before the show ended, the three contestants, Thompson, Huntergirl and Leah Marlene each sang their way to the top making a plea for Americans to vote (16 million votes in total) during the three-hour-long broadcast. They all sang songs from icon Bruce Springsteen before they each sang an original they recorded during their time on the show. Marlene sang Springsteen's "Cover Me," HunterGirls sang "Dancing In The Dark," and the 20-year-old winner sang "I'm On Fire."
After his performance, Lionel Richie congratulated him, saying, "When you walk out on that stage now, you look, you act, you sound like yourself. And that is called an artist, my friend. You have now graduated to that wonderful stage of your life. Enjoy it."
Perry also chimed in, saying, " "I think you just swooped in and grabbed every heart in America by singing that song," she noted. "You're just a good guy from Kentucky that might win American Idol."
After the public voted for the winner, host Ryan Seacrest belted out Thompson's name, saying "Buddy, you just won American Idol." HunterGirl, who rushed to hug the winner, went on to get second place and Wolkonowiski third. "Oh my God," Noah excitedly stated, "My heart is beating out of my chest. This is crazy."
Thomson will receive $250,000 down the line and will be offered a record deal with Hollywood Records. After announcing the winner, Thompson went on to perform his original song, "One Day Today" before being joined by the rest of the contestants on stage.
The finale featured several performances including from Judges Luke Bryan, Richie, Perry, Gabby Barrett, Sara Bareilles, Thomas Rhett, Ben Platt, and more.
Idol Live Performances:
Flo Rida + Top 10 Contestants - "Good Feeling"
Earth, Wind & Fire + Jay Copeland - "Shining Star," "Let's Groove," "September" Medley
Deana Carter + Mike Parker - "Strawberry Wine"
Ben Platt + Lady K - "Take Me To The Pilot"
Gabby Barrett + Emyrson Flora - "Pick Me Up," "The Good Ones" Medley
Tai Verdes + Mike Parker, Emyrson Flora, Jay Copeland, Lady K, Christian - "A-O-K"
Sara Bareilles + Nicolina Bozzo - "She Used To Be Mine"
Katy Perry + Thomas Rhett - "Where We Started"
James Arthur + Fritz Hager - "Can I Be Him"
Michael Bublé + Christian Guardino - "Smile"
Melissa Etheridge + Noah Thompson - "I'm Not The Only One"
Ben Platt, Sara Bareilles + Fritz Hager, Leah Marlene, Nicolina Bozzo, Jay Copeland - "Grow As We Go"
Luke Bryan + HunterGirl - "I Told You So"
Katy Perry + Leah Marlene - "Firework"
Lionel Richie + Top 10 Contestants - "You Are"
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