It was an emotional night for Carrie Underwood on American Idol, after she reminisced on how she got her big start. During yesterday's episode of Idol, Underwood appeared as a mentor to Noah Thompson, who is recovering from COVID-19. That didn't stop him from having a stellar performance, making it into the Top 3 for Season 20.
The Kentucky native, who has repeatedly said he's competing to help his son, advanced after singing two songs during the Top 5 performance episode. The contestant first sang his own rendition of Underwood's "So Small," which was dedicated to his girlfriend Angel Nicole and his son.
He received guidance from Underwood virtually, since he was unable to fly out to Las Vegas with the other contestants. Underwood, who won Season 4 of American Idol, was overcome with emotions during her virtual meeting with Thompson, saying she related to his backstory — especially since she also grew up in a rural town.
"I feel like this show was created for people like me and for people like Noah, who didn't know how to dream that big but knew that they wanted to do something," Underwood stated. "So, it's a beautiful thing. I look back and think that's the decision that changed my entire life. I have no idea where I would be, and to see contestants get every opportunity they have ever wanted is just magical."
Thompson's performance was praised by judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
"You know what Noah? It fascinates me," Richie said. "What makes you so appealing is that you're real. You're actually a real person."
He continued, "You have the ability to tell stories. You can tell stories. You're believable. But more importantly, I want you to understand something. There's a point in your life, and it happens to all of us, we sit there and we go, 'Wow. Is this really happening to me? Noah, this is really happening to you."
Perry added, "I don't know what you found between those two ferns for a whole week, but it was good. I have never seen you move from that stage to this stage. Listen. You've got another opportunity to do that tonight. Keep doing it. It's working in your favor. People are obsessed with you. They want to touch you. Reach out and touch them."
Thomspon also performed "Working Man" by Larry Fleet, performing with an acoustic guitar. The performance once again captivated the judges.
"You on a guitar with a stool, it was enough to hold any room in any world that you're in," Bryan told him.
American Idol will return for its grand finale on Sunday, May 22 on ABC, with the top three finalists: HunterGirl, Thompson and Leah Marlene.
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