‘People are dreaming again because of Noah Thompson’: American Idol winner celebrated in hometown

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Published: May. 23, 2022 at 9:19 PM EDT
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LOUISA, Ky. (WYMT) - Noah Thompson turned his golden ticket into a record deal, taking America by storm as the Lawrence County carpenter built his career in front of their eyes.

Thompson, who was convinced by friend Arthur Johnson to take his country roots to American Idol’s 20th Season, fought through weeks of voices and voting to come out as the 2022 American Idol.

“Coming from a small town, coming from a humble beginning, to now the world knows him,” said friend and co-worker Mitch Castle. “Seeing him actually believe that he can do it- and do it- has been the best part for me.”

That humility and attitude was a theme of discussion on Idol and in the community, as his neighbors, loved ones, and a host of strangers became his biggest fans, saying he has shown them what it means to be a true star.

“I don’t think he realized what it could be. ‘Cause even like a month ago, he asked my husband, ‘Will I still have my job when I come back?’ And he’s like, ‘you’re not coming back,’” laughed Willard.

Early in the season, coach and country star Luke Bryan told Noah, “You’re gonna ‘aw, shucksyour way to the top.” On Sunday, he did just that.

”So many times, people in our area grow up and they truly don’t believe that they can do things,” said Castle. “And he is not only changing generations for himself, but he’s changed generations of dreamers. People are dreaming again because of Noah Thompson.”

With celebrations and watch parties all around Eastern Kentucky, and more than 15 people- including Castle- making the trip to Hollywood, the moment Ryan Seacrest said Noah’s name was like a breath of fresh air for those watching. Including Thompson himself, who said, “My heart is beating out of my chest.”

“The whole room was such an explosion of joy and pride,” said Kim Willard, friend and fan. “For one of our own to achieve the dream? It was like we all were there, even though we weren’t.”

With the show over, Noah is getting to work on his debut album, and his community continues to celebrate the moments and music that brought him to this new stage in life.

“We all just cried tears of joy, because we knew that this is truly his God-given destiny,” Castle said.

Governor Andy Beshear and Lt. Governor Jaqueline Coleman also shared words of congratulations for Thompson’s journey as he became the first Kentuckian to bring home the title of American Idol.

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