A construction worker participates in American Idol

LOUISA, Ky. — On Monday night, aspiring singers took to the stage in Hollywood for their first American Idol competitions of this season. Two of them came all the way from Kentucky.

One was Dakota Hayden, 17, of Fordsville. The other was 19-year-old Noah Thompson of Louisa.


What do you want to know

  • Noah Thompson is a Kentucky teenager and construction worker appearing on this season’s American Idol.
  • He and others took to the stage on Monday for their first competition
  • Thompson’s friend and colleague is the one who signed him up for the show

Thompson is a construction worker in his small town in eastern Kentucky. He has a 10 month old son whom he works to support.

“When I was a kid, man, all I thought about was playing music, being famous, you know what I mean? But where I’m from, you don’t really get a lot of opportunities,” said Thompson in an interview for the American Idol audition.

However, his friend and colleague, Arthur Johnson, did not want Thompson to settle for the ordinary.

“He wasn’t born to work with us man, hang drywall or anything like that,” Johnson said in an audition tape.

Johnson submitted Thompson for American Idol, “Because he wouldn’t have signed up,” he told the judges.

Thompson added during his audition with Luke Bryan, Katie Perry and Lionel Richie, “He thought I could do it, but I never had confidence in myself.”

“He’s got so much talent,” Johnson told the judges, standing next to Thompson. “The other contestants, they’ve had like vocal training. They’re doing these crazy warm-ups.

“It’s just raw here. It’s not training. We don’t warm up.”

Bryan joked, “Hey Arthur, all you say is kind of how you mess around and become a manager.”

Thompson said that since his audition, Johnson had achieved the title of “manager”.

“Arthur is really the one who took over and took care of all of this because he signed me up for the shows,” Thompson said.

Johnson will play guitar as he sings at bars and other venues that allow them to perform. Thompson said the support he’s received from his small town has been overwhelming.

“It’s crazy, like I can’t even walk through Walmart without people walking up to me and congratulating me,” Thompson said. “I think because we’re all such a small town, when someone does something like that, everyone’s incredibly proud.”

The young singer even added that his city put his face on a digital billboard.

“It blew my mind. I didn’t expect that,” he said.

Thompson hopes her story can inspire other Kentuckians with big dreams.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what small town you’re from, it’s possible,” Thompson said. “It’s not impossible. You can do whatever you want.


Alice F. Ponder