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This Kentucky singer had never been on a plane. Now, he’s won ‘American Idol’

Noah Thompson said he had somewhat of a ‘simple life’ prior to ‘American Idol,’ working in construction and raising his 1-year-old son

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Noah Thompson performs on the “American Idol” Season 20 finale.

Noah Thompson is the winner of “American Idol” Season 20.

ABC

On Sunday night, “American Idol” crowned country singer Noah Thompson the Season 20 winner.

Who is ‘American Idol’ winner Noah Thompson?

It was a big moment for a singer who had never been on a plane prior to his audition, which has more than 2.5 million views on YouTube.

Thompson, a 20-year-old singer from Louisa, Kentucky, has said he had somewhat of a “simple life” prior to the reality competition show, working construction and raising his 1-year-old son, Walker, USA Today reported. Thompson didn’t even have his sights on “American Idol,” and only tried out because his friend, Arthur, signed him up without letting him know.

“I just got shoved into this competition basically by my buddy, but I’m grateful for it,” he told USA Today. ”I just didn’t expect this outcome at all.”

Throughout this season, Thompson continued to rise through the ranks of the competition — even as he battled COVID-19, the Deseret News reported. He got mentored by artists like Carrie Underwood and traveled to California, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

“It was actually my first flight, because of ‘Idol,’” he told Music Mayhem Magazine. “First time ever meeting famous people, first time going to Hawaii, ... that’s why I’m so grateful for the show because there are a lot of things I would’ve never gotten to do in my lifetime if it wasn’t for the show.”

Thompson said his future post-“Idol” is uncertain, although he does plan to play shows and make music, per USA Today. He does know that he now has more confidence in his ability to succeed on this path — something his friend who signed him up for “Idol” seemed to already know.

“I’ve just never believed in myself,” he said during his audition. “I would have never signed myself up for nothing like this. I’ve never had that confidence. It’s pretty cool to know that somebody believes in you more than you believe in yourself.”

More on Noah Thompson’s ‘American Idol’ victory

Thompson’s “American Idol” victory isn’t all that surprising, according to The Washington Post reporter Emily Yahr.

In recent seasons, the competition show has seemed to favor male country singers, with Trent Harmon, Laine Hardy and Chayce Beckham being some of the more recent winners.

The only female country singer to win “Idol” has been Underwood in 2005, according to The Washington Post. Huntergirl, a female country singer who was a major contender on “Idol” all season long, seemed to have a good chance of ending that drought. She ended up placing second.

“I am proud to be a woman in country music,” she recently told Parade. “I want little girls to say, ‘Hey, I could do this one day.’ I want them to chase their dreams. I looked up to Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire. And whenever I was little, I was like, ‘I want to be like them.’

“It’s crazy to think being on this show and getting to sing these songs, some little girl might say, ‘Maybe I could do that, too,’” she continued. “And that means everything.”