‘American Idol’: Noah Thompson Returns to Perform at the Place ‘Where It All Began’ Following Season 20 Win

by Leanne Stahulak

It’s safe to say that “American Idol” Season 20 winner Noah Thompson has come a long way from singing in bars in Ashland, Kentucky.

But without those first few gigs, he might not have gotten to where he is today. After several months of competing against some of the best “American Idol” contestants we’ve ever seen, Noah Thompson decided to return to his roots. He posted a few photos from Ashland earlier this weekend, where he sang at some sort of local venue.

In the photos, we see Thompson and his friend, Arthur Johnson, who actually signed the 19-year-old construction worker up for the show. Without Johnson, Thompson never would’ve stepped up in front of Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie, and Luke Bryan. Now, the two are back to singing and playing the guitar near their hometown of Louisa, Kentucky.

“Fun going back and playing some shows where it all began #winchester #americanidol,” Noah Thompson captioned the photos of him and Arthur Johnson.

Before he goes on any crazy tours across the country, the “American Idol” winner actually has another Kencutky gig coming up. Per another recent Instagram post, Thompson will perform at Rush & Rowdy. This “three-day off-road extravaganza” takes place on Saturday, June 18, in Road Rush, Kentucky.

In addition to Noah Thompson, fans can see a variety of other acts as well. Jelly roll headlines the event. Plus, you can see Wes Shipp, Struggle Jennings, Big Po, Hillbilly Vegas, Cody Clark Band, Josh Michael Bogard, Jesse Keith Whitley, and Cledus T. Judd.

‘American Idol’ Winner Noah Thompson Explains Why He Almost Quit the Show

While to fans, it seems like a no-brainer that Noah Thompson won “American Idol,” he hasn’t always shared that confidence. In fact, it was his friend Arthur Johnson’s confidence that got him to audition in the first place. And it was Thompson’s support system that kept him in the competition when he thought about quitting.

In a recent interview with The Logan Banner, Thompson opened up about how the show wasn’t easy on him, especially being away from his family.

“I had got started in this competition by Arthur — everyone knows that story. Basically, I got thrown into this competition and it wasn’t my choice,” Thompson explained. “Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful for it now. But throughout it, I hated leaving my family behind.” 

The “American Idol” winner had a one-year-old son, Walker, and a girlfriend back home in Kentucky. And when he entered the Top 24, Thompson considered giving up before he lost too much time away from them.

“Part of me just wanted to leave the show, but I’m very glad I didn’t,” Thompson told the outlet. “I had a lot of family and friends who uplifted me and made sure I didn’t make the wrong decision. I’m grateful for everyone around me, really.”