‘American Idol’ recap: Noah Thompson wins season 20

ABC/Eric McCandless

The winner of American Idol season 20 is Noah Thompson!

The reveal came Sunday night during the three-hour finale, but not before some final challenges and star-studded performances. 

The show opened with Flo Rida performing his hit “Good Feeling” with an assist from both current and past contestants. Then, it was time to get down to business with the first round challenging the Top 3 — HunterGirl, Noah Thompson, and Leah Marlene — to take on a song from the prolific catalog of Bruce Springsteen. Leah expertly executed “Born in the U.S.A.”, HungterGirl smashed “Dancing in the Dark,” and Noah hit a home run with the classic “I’m on Fire.”

Round two was the singles round, where the final three performed their own songs. Leah’s track was titled “Flowers,” Noah’s “One Day Tonight,” and HunterGirl’s was “Red Bird.”

After their performances, it was time to eliminate the person with the least votes, which ended up being Leah. 

The celebrations continued as the moment to crown the season’s winner drew near, with acts from the Top 10 and talented legends like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Deana Carter, Ben PlattIdol alum Gabby Barrett, Sara Bareilles, Thomas Rhett, Michael Bublé, judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, and more. 

For the last round of competition, the final two contestants delivered an encore of a song they’d previously performed on the show. Noah showed growth with Rihanna‘s “Stay” and HunterGirl did the same with Rascal Flatts “Riot.”

Afterward, Noah was crowned the winner, and took a victory lap by again performing his single, “One Day Tonight.”  

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