The milestone season 20 finale of American Idol is upon us!
Tonight, Sunday, May 22, the Top 3 finalists Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson, and HunterGirl will deliver performances of their debut singles as well as cover of Bruce Springsteen hits, competing for America’s votes one final time with the hopes of being crowned the next American Idol and winning a record deal with Hollywood Records/19 Recordings.
Ahead of the finale, Marlene, Thompson and HunterGirl sat down to chat with Parade about what it would mean to them to win the title of the next American Idol.
Leah Marlene, a 20-year-old born in Toronto and raised in Normal, Illinois, reflected on her roots and said she tributes her Idol success to her longtime supporters, while also admitting that she is just “grateful” to have come this far in the popular singing competition.
“There have been countless people just rooting for me since I was a little girl playing the farmer’s market and sounding terrible, but they let me play! So many people since then have lifted me up and encouraged me,” the “Flowers” singer shared with Parade. “They are solely the reason I am here. Winning is not about any of us at this point. It’s about the people who got us here and giving back to that. We’ve all worked so hard at this for such a long time. What a better celebration to that, but as Noah said, I would be over the moon for any of our friends to win. We’re just all so grateful at this point and so happy to be here.”
If you want Leah Marlene to win, vote for her by texting 6 to 21523 or by using the American Idol app or visiting AmericanIdol.com/Vote.
20-year-old Noah Thompson, a construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, humbly admitted that he is in “complete shock” that he made it to the finale and Top 3 as he never thought he would.
“I feel like there’s just no words for it. The way I feel about it, I would be in complete shock, to be honest, because I did not expect to make it this far,” the “One Day Tonight” singer told Parade. “Never in a million years, so I would be so grateful. But at the same time , truthfully I would love to see either one of them [Leah or Huntergirl] win the show. Honestly, I would have loved to see anybody win the show. I’m just really happy to be here.”
If you want Noah Thompson to win, vote for him by texting 2 to 21523 or by using the American Idol app or visiting AmericanIdol.com/Vote.
HunterGirl, a 23-year-old Winchester, Tennessee native, shared that she has worked very hard to pursue a career in music and this could be the moment that will make it all worth it.
“It would mean everything to me if I got to win. It was so weird hearing my name. I have been wanting to be in music my entire life. I have worked so hard and done so many shows and had people believing in me back home. This has been the craziest year of my life. I worked my whole life just to have this moment.”
She continued to tell Parade that if she wins, she will dedicate the win to all the Veterans back home.
“This is for everyone believing in me, this is for the veterans back home,” the “Red Bird” singer added. “There are so many people along the way that have taken a chance on me. I will be happy for whoever wins the competition. Just knowing how much I put into it and how hard I worked, I am proud of myself right now. ”
If you want HunterGirl to win, vote for her by texting 4 to 21523 or by using the American Idol app or visiting AmericanIdol.com/Vote.
The Season 20 American Idol finale will also feature performances from Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, who will perform alongside current Idol finalists and alum.
Richie will join the Top 10, Perry will sing “Firework” with Marlene and Bryan will perform a cover of Randy Travis’ “I Told You So” with HunterGirl. Meanwhile, Thompson will perform “I’m The Only One” alongside Melissa Etheridge.
In addition to the Top 3, several other contestants from Season 20 will return to the Idol stage for star-studded duets, including Mike Parker, Christian Guardino, Jay Copeland, Nicolina Bozzo, Fritz Hager, Emyrson Flora, Lady K, and more.
The three-hour season finale will also feature performances from superstars Carrie Underwood, Gabby Barrett, James Arthur, Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Deana Carter, Earth, Wind & Fire, Melissa Etheridge, Flo Rida, Ben Platt, Thomas Rhett, Tai Verdes and more.
Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the three-hour Season 20 finale of American Idol will air on Sunday, May 22, at 8/7c on ABC.