Noah Thompson took the stage on American Idol Season 20 to perform in front of a live audience as part of the Top 24. On the two-hour episode on Monday night (April 11), he covered “Blue Side of the Mountain” by the SteelDrivers.
For his rendition of the tune, the 19-year-old construction worker from Kentucky showed off his raucous country vocals while strumming on his guitar. He had the crowd dancing from the ground floor outside Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, later erupting in cheers.
After his gritty performance, each judge delivered their remarks, with Katy Perry taking the lead.
“Well, I think that was more of a ‘Howdy’ instead of an ‘Aloha.’ I think you were bringing some of the country to the island, staying true to your roots,” she told Thompson. “That’s who you are. You’re doing great and tonight I think it was like, it was solid country efforts with that song.”
“I know you’ve got a couple of unique ways to attack it that I didn’t get enough of this evening,” Perry added, digging into the singer’s performance with her evaluation. “I was missing those moments where I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! Noah!’”
“Chris Stapleton and the SteelDrivers is never easy, but this stuff is all new to you,” Luke Bryan added. “I mean, we pulled you out of an environment that you didn’t see coming a hundred miles away. Keep going forward, and keep taking our advice, keep following your heart and keep being the country boy that’s standing right there.”
“You’ve got a storyteller voice, all right?” Lionel Richie added. “So the thing you have to understand is, don’t let the shyness shut you down. Every time you walk on the stage, walk out there with some big boots. It’s just confidence and the more they scream, the better you’ll be.”
Going into his Top 24 performance, Thompson received some guidance from pop star Bebe Rexha. She enjoyed his rendition of the tune, but told him to make sure to connect with the crowd because they gravitate toward eye contact.
The hopeful will find out if he connected with the crowd enough to continue to the next round of the Season 20 Idol competition next weekend during the results show, which will send two artists home. American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays on ABC.
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