After showing Idol viewers a glimpse of Thompson’s homecoming concert in Kentucky, the fan-favorite contestant took to the Idol stage to perform his debut single.
His performance of “One Day Tonight” earned a lengthy standing ovation from Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan as well as the live audience, which included his girlfriend Angel and Grandma Karen.
“I’m just going to keep my tissue in the palm of my hand, I think God has a real sense of humor, you came from working on the Arc, Noah, from a place where all of your heroes are from and you’re just about to do something really big,” Perry said. ”Do not stop dreaming there is a plan for you and your life.”
“What we strive for in this business, yes it’s a hit record, but what makes your career last forever is when people fall in love with you. I’m telling you my friend, you’re on to something fabulous,” Richie added.
Thompson released “One Day Tonight” earlier this month. Upon release, “One Day Tonight” raced up with iTunes charts and landed at No.2.
Co-written by Jared Griffin, Trannie Anderson, and Brett Sheroky and produced by Jimmy Robbins, the mid-tempo track showcases the Kentucky native’s signature raspy vocals alongside pop/country vocals.
“I fell in love with ‘One Day Tonight’ as soon as I heard it, just by the sound of the melody,” Thompson shared. “The lyrics are beautiful, the song has so much meaning and it is also so catchy! Can’t believe I get to sing it, to be honest, it blows my mind. I hope so many people love it just like I did when I first heard it!”
The song finds the former construction worker singing about his lover and how she dreams about their future together while sipping on wine.
“She wants a wedding in September/ Save up all winter/ Spend our summers in a fix ‘er upper in Denver/ She wants a girl and a boy/ And a old dog named Ole Roy Lord I hope this old boy can give her that life/ So go on girl/ Pour a glass of wine/ And dream aloud, talk about/ One day tonight,” he sings on the chorus.
During the American Idol finale, the 20-year-old Kentucky native also took the stage for a duet alongside Rock icon Melissa Etheridge later in the show.
Additionally, Thompson delivered a smoldering cover of the Bruce Springsteen classic, “I’m On Fire,” which you can watch below.
Following his performance of the Springsteen hit, Idol judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry gushed over his vocal abilities.
“Well we got the boy here doing Bruce Springsteen, we got him doing Disney songs, Rihanna, that’s a long way from that first audition buddy. So proud of how you handled this with such humility. You are the king of aw shucks man,” Bryan gushed. “Congrats on being here, relish the night, enjoy the night.”
“You have what’s now your stage persona, when you walk out on this stage now you look, you act, you now sound like yourself, and that is called an artist,” Richie said.
“You picked my favorite Springsteen song,” Perry added. “I think you just swooped in and grabbed every heart in America by singing that song and you really made it your own. You truly are so humble, and you’re just a good guy from Kentucky that might win American Idol.”
The three-hour Season 20 finale of American Idol also featured performances from the Idol judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as the Top 3 finalists Noah Thompson, HunterGirl, and Leah Marlene.
Additionally, superstars 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 also performed during the star-studded broadcast.
Several other contestants from Season 20 also returned to the Idol stage, including Mike Parker, Christian Guardino, Jay Copeland, Nicolina Bozzo, Fritz Hager, Emyrson Flora, and Lady K.
Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the American Idol finale aired live coast-to-coast on Sunday, May 22, at 8/7c on ABC. The finale also streamed live on ABC.com and the ABC app and will be available to watch via Hulu on Monday (May 23).