‘American Idol': Noah Thompson Makes a Last-Minute Decision, Lands on ‘Stand by Me’ [Watch]
Noah Thompson will compete in the Top 11 on Season 20 of American Idol after his latest performance on the program, which aired on Sunday night (April 24).
Thompson, 20, initially auditioned for the popular reality TV series because he “wants a better life for his son, Walker.” After revealing Chris Stapleton’s “Nobody to Blame” as his song choice, the former construction worker from Kentucky was given the task of selecting a different tune.
Gabby Barrett — who was brought on as a mentor for the episode — told him to “go back to the drawing board” because she didn’t believe he connected with the Stapleton hit.
“We’ve got to figure out a different song. I’m hoping that he pulls out something that you can tell that he’s feeling and connects with,” Barrett told viewers before the camera panned to the stage, where Thompson’s performance would be taking place.
Once the studio audience saw a flash of blue lights, Thompson appeared. He ultimately put his vocals on Ben E. King’s soulful classic, “Stand by Me.”
With one hand on the microphone, Thompson poured all of his emotion into the song lyrics while showcasing his signature growl that folks have grabbed onto all season.
“You know, Noah. Gabby gave you a gift by changing that song, because you actually felt that song,” Lionel Richie told Thompson afterward. “You were in it. I know you were trying to figure out your navigation, but your voice fit that song perfectly.”
“No matter if you’re singing a Rihanna song, or ‘Stand by Me,’ it’s always that Kentucky, country kid, authentic sound to your voice,” Katy Perry added. “So, I can always tell that it’s you, which is fantastic! You are staying true to yourself, but you are also branching out a little bit.”
“Let me relieve you of a little anxiety for the rest of your life,” Luke Bryan said. “The deal is, man, your voice is so real and unique to you. No matter what you go with as a song, for the rest of your life, your delivery is going to be real. It’s going to be authentic. It’s going to be all of the stuff that you were born and raised with coming through you, and you’re going to be sounding that way. And get up there and sing because it’s always going to work out for you.”
Clearly, it has worked out for Thompson so far. But only time will tell if that will be the case moving forward. Fans can be sure to keep up with Thompson’s journey on American Idol every Sunday and Monday night on ABC through the season finale.
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