Eastern Ky. community celebrates Noah Thompson’s American Idol win
LOUISA, Ky. (WSAZ) - Lawrence County, Kentucky, native Noah Thompson is the talk of the town Monday after he won the 20th season of American Idol Sunday night.
“We all just cried tears of joy because we know this is truly his God-given destiny and just the beginning of what he’s going to be doing in his career,” said Mitch Castle, a friend of Noah’s.
The 20-year-old’s life was changed when one of his friends signed him up for the show, knowing he had a gift.
“When Arthur got him to audition, and he got that golden ticket we knew that was just the beginning of his journey,” Castle said.
Castle was one of about 15 people that flew out to Hollywood to have a front-row seat of Noah’s big moment.
“We got to see him for about 10 seconds last night to hug him and tell him we loved him and were so proud of him,” he said. “He was really in shock, I think. Everything was moving 100 miles an hour.”
Each week, Noah’s hometown of Louisa helped push him through the competition.
“It was completely surreal. It didn’t even feel real because I know him personally. I watched him grow the four years throughout high school,” said Larisa Skaggs, one of his former teachers.
Skaggs says it’s an emotional moment, as she thinks back to when he was in her class saying his dream was to sing for a living.
“Being able to watch all of his dreams and what he wanted to do in life come true, it’s one of those moments that just makes you cry, because you are so proud of what he’s pushed through, because this hasn’t been easy. It’s been a long journey,” Skaggs said.
Both Skaggs and Castle said the nation was able to see the eastern Kentucky region in a new light, highlighting the talent that comes from the hills and hollers.
“It was great for the world to see that side of eastern Kentucky because it’s not the bad image they always like to put on it. We have wonderful people here,” Skaggs said.
Noah’s journey on American Idol also showed kids from Louisa and other small towns that their dreams aren’t out of reach.
“It doesn’t matter that you’re literally from a holler in Blaine, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to,” Skaggs said. “We had a lot of great discussions about the hard work that goes in behind it. It’s not just all the pretty fancy stuff that you see on TV.”
While the American Idol journey is over, it’s just the start of Noah’s career.
“Seeing him be able to walk in that destiny and really just believe in himself. So many times people in our area grow up and they truly don’t believe they can do things and he has not only changed generations for himself but he’s changed generations of dreamers,” Castle said. “People are dreaming again because of Noah Thompson.”
Noah won a cash prize and a record deal.
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