Noah Thompson earned a spot in the Top 3 on American Idol after bringing Carrie Underwood to tears with his relatable story.
Ahead of his Sunday evening (May 15) performance on Idol, Thompson sat down for a virtual discussion with Idol alum and eight-time GRAMMY Award winner, Carrie Underwood. During the episode, Underwood served a mentor, offering advice to the Top 5 Idol contestants and the Idol hopefuls each performed two songs. One song from Underwood’s discography and another of their choice.
Ahead of Thompson’s performance, Underwood, who appeared on stage at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas, chatted with Thompson, who appeared on a TV screen beside her on stage.
“I would love to be there with everybody else and get to meet you, but I can’t do that, so I’m just going with the flow,” Thompson, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, told Underwood.
Thompson then revealed he would be singing Underwood’s “So Small,” the lead single from the award-winning superstar’s second studio album, Carnival Ride. He went on to tell her that he was performing the tune as a tribute to his family back home in his small hometown of Louisa, Kentucky.
“It’s a special one just because it’s got a lot of heart,” Underwood said of Thompson song choice.
“I’ve been away from my family for so long, so it’s a lot of stress, it’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day, the reason I want to be here is for Walker,” Thompson admitted.
The Season 4 winner and “Ghost Story” singer then recalled how her dreams came true and her time on the popular singing competition show.
“One of the things I love about your story is that I feel like there’s a lot that I can relate to because I grew up in a tiny town,” Underwood shared.
Their conversation brought Underwood to tears as she admitted she had a lot in common with the Kentucky native due to their similar upbringings.
Underwood went on to tearfully explain, “I do feel like this show was created for people like me, for people like Noah who didn’t know to dream that big but knew that they wanted to do something.”
“So, it’s a beautiful thing,” Underwood continued as she wiped tears from her eyes. “I mean I think back and that’s a decision that changed my entire life — I have no idea where I’d be and to see contestants get every opportunity they’ve ever wanted is just magical.”
Noah Thompson’s Performance Of “So Small” Earned Praise & A Standing Ovation From Idol Judges
The 20-year-old former construction worker confidently performed Underwood’s “So Small” and showcased his newfound stage presence.
Following his performance, Thompson earned a standing ovation and compliments from the judges.
“You know what Noah that fascinates me? What makes you so appealing is that you’re real. You’re actually a real person,” Lionel Richie said, praising Thompson. “On top of that, 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 life, it happens to all of us, where we sit there and go, ‘wow, is this really happening to me?’ Noah, this is really happening to you.”
Katy Perry joked that his time in his hotel room worked in his favor, telling him: “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.”
She encouraged him to connect with the fans. “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. Noah, reach out and touch ‘em.”
Luke then gave him a lesson on how to reach out and touch the fans in the audience as he left the judges’ panel and walked over to the stage. He then took Thompson’s hand and reached out to adoring fans who were watching from the front row.
“Dang, that felt pretty good,” Thompson laughed.
“Luke is breaking protocol all over the place,” host Ryan Seacrest joked.
Later in the show, Thompson returned to the stage for a performance of Larry Fleet’s “Working Man.”
Noah Thompson ultimately earned enough votes to secure a spot in the Top 3 alongside HunterGirl and Leah Marlene. The trio will advance to the finale, which will air on Sunday, May 22.
After earning a spot in the Top 3 from America’s vote, Thompson sat down with members of various media outlets to discuss the emotional moment he shared with Underwood.
During the interview, he revealed he “couldn’t believe” Underwood’s reaction to their mentor session.
“We just kind of relate in that way… from a small town and want to make something of yourself and it’s hard. So for her to say that, to know she felt something for me, that was really amazing,” Thompson said. “I thought that if somebody like Carrie Underwood can relate to me in that way, that was amazing.”
Listen to “One Day Tonight,” Noah Thompson’s debut single, HERE.