Noah in top 3

Noah Thompson interacts with fans during a performance on Sunday’s episode of “American Idol.”

Lawrence County’s Noah Thompson is in the top three singers on “American Idol.”

The Louisa resident performed Carrie Underwood’s ballad “So Small” on Sunday, bringing the former “Idol” winner to tears and earning a standing ovation from judges.

“I feel like there’s a lot of things I can relate to with that because I grew up in a tiny town,” Underwood said, who coached all the contestants for the episode. “I do feel like this show was created for people like me and for people like Noah who didn’t know how to dream that big but knew they wanted to do something. It’s a beautiful thing. I think back … that’s the decision that changed my entire life. I have no idea where I’d be and to see contestants get every opportunity they’ve ever wanted is just magical.”

Thompson’s performance was from the stage on Sunday; previously, he had performed from his hotel room, as he was diagnosed with COVID-19. However, he performed Larry Fleet’s “Working Man” from a studio rather than in person.

Judge Lionel Richie complimented his style.

“You know what Noah that fascinates me? What makes you so appealing is that you’re real. You’re actually a real person. On top of that, you have the ability to tell stories. You can tell stories, you’re believable. But more importantly, I want you to understand something. There’s a point in life, it happens to all us, where we sit there and go, ‘wow, is this really happening to me?’ Noah, this is really happening to you.”

Later, Thompson tweeted to his fans and supporters: “Came into this competition scared out of my mind, it’s all so surreal. I have no words man. You guys mean the absolute world to me, thank you for everything!! Cannot believe this right now.”

The other two winners are Hunter Wolkonowski, who goes by Huntergirl, of Tennessee, and Leah Marlene, of Illinois.

The winner will be named on May 22 during the show’s finale.

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