‘American Idol': Country Singers Ryleigh Madison + Noah Thompson Slay During Hollywood Week [Watch]
Born and raised in small towns, Ryleigh Madison, 16, and Noah Thompson, 19, couldn’t believe how far they had come when they were standing on the stage at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles during the Season 20 competition on Monday night (March 28).
“I’m a singer, and it's very rare back home to have such ambitious dreams. But, you come here, and there are just so many talented people. So, you’re like, ‘What?' It’s not home anymore," Madison, who grew up in Whiteville, N.C., told viewers before her performance as part of the competition’s Genre Challenge.
In a separate clip, Thompson, a construction worker who recently became a father, said, “Just a few months ago, I could’ve never imagined pursuing something like this…. It blows my mind that I’m even here. This could give me the opportunity to give my son an entire new life — a better life.”
Madison and Thompson received guidance from country star Lauren Alaina ahead of their respective performances. The Season 10 Idol runner-up, along with a handful of other celebrity guests, appeared on the reality sing-off show to offer professional advice to contestants who were hoping to give their best vocal performances yet.
“There should be zero doubt. You are here because you deserve to be here,” Alaina told Madison before telling Thompson to “think about what you’re doing for [your son] and for y’alls' future and what could come of it."
Hitting the stage first was Madison. She belted out a powerful rendition of “Crazy” by the late Patsy Cline. After performing the country classic, she received praise from all three judges, and confidently walked off stage to thunderous applause.
Afterward, it was Thompson’s turn to prove to judges that he still belonged in the competition. For his performance, he chose to sing Cam’s “Burning House.” Oddly enough, the Louisa, Ky., native wasn’t the only one to cover the tune. Earlier in the program, fellow country hopeful Mike Parker performed the song. Regardless of the repetition, Thompson’s performance on guitar was impressive enough to move him forward another week.
Both singers will now advance to the next round of the competition, which will have them duetting with another Season 20 hopeful. American Idol returns on Sunday, April 3, on ABC.
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