Congratulations are in order for Noah Thompson!
On Sunday's season 20 finale of American Idol, the top three contestants hit the stage for the last time in hopes of taking home the first-place prize. Once America's results were in, Thompson was named the champion over his fellow finalists, HunterGirl and Leah Marlene.
Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images Noah Thompson
The 20-year-old winner performed three songs for the finale: "I'm on Fire" for the Bruce Springsteen round, his original song "One Day Tonight," and Rihanna's "Stay" as his favorite song of the season.
"Oh my God ... my heart is beating out of my chest, this is crazy," Thompson said after learning the news of his win live onstage.
Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images Ryan Seacrest and Noah Thompson
HunterGirl, 23, placed second with "Dancing in the Dark," her original song "Red Bird," and her reprise of "Riot," while Marlene, 20, came in third after performing "Cover Me" and her original, "Flowers."
The 3-hour finale, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, also featured performances by Flo Rida, Melissa Etheridge, Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Ben Platt, James Arthur, Thomas Rhett, Deana Carter, Tai Verdes, season 16 finalist Gabby Barrett, and Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as the rest of the top 10 contestants and the judges.
Eric McCandless/ABC Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson and Huntergirl
"As a kid, all I thought about was playing music and being famous. But where I'm from, you don't really get much opportunities. My family, they believe in me, the guys I work with believe in me, but I've just never believed in myself," he said at the time.
Thompson later added, "I would've never signed myself up for something like this, I never had that confidence." It turns out, his best friend went behind his back and signed him up for the show.
Richie then said, "You've got a real life storytelling, bada— voice." Since then, Thompson has delivered soulful performances with his focus primarily on country music.
Prior to finale night, Thompson tested positive for COVID-19 (with fellow contestant Fritz Hager) and performed from his hotel room. Even then, Thompson persevered and made it to the finish line.
During a group interview after the quarantined episode, Thompson revealed he was in a great deal of pain.
"This morning, I woke up with probably ... I've never had such a sore throat my entire life. It was killing me," he said. "I was just trying to push through it. I honestly can't believe I made it through because it was hurting that bad. I was having such problems with it. I'm just glad it worked out."
Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images Ryan Seacrest, Katy Perry, Noah Thompson, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie