During a new episode of the show, which aired on Sunday, May 15, Fritz Hager, HunterGirl, Leah Marlene, Nicolina Bozzo and Noah Thompson were the remaining singers attempting to score a spot in the finale. The top five traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Underwood, 39, who was a guest mentor following her season 4 win.
The country artist reflected on her own journey with American Idol after being moved by her conversation with Thompson, 19.
“I do feel like this show was created for people like me, for people like Noah who didn’t know to dream that big but knew that they wanted to do something,” the Oklahoma native told cameras. “So it’s a beautiful thing. I mean I think back and that’s a 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, for his part, noted that he “couldn’t believe” that Underwood had such an emotional reaction. “We just kind of relate in that way — from a small town and want to make something of yourself and it’s hard,” he said. “So for her to say that, to know she felt something for me — that was really amazing. I thought that if somebody like Carrie Underwood can relate to me in that way — that was amazing.”
Ahead of the show’s final elimination, judge Katy Perry weighed in on the impact that American Idol can have on all the contestants. “We live in a much different world in the music industry than we did when this thing started,” the California native, 37, told Billboard in April. “So I think, really, this show is about mentorship and momentum. It’s the two M’s. You get the mentorship, you take the advice – because we’re not just talking to hear ourselves speak.”
Perry continued: “We’re literally trying to give you very specific, real advice for the real world out there that you can take and apply in real time and then use this whole launch as momentum to whatever you want to do. Because it’s really not always about winning, but if you can place high just hustle your way and launch off of this.”
According to the “Part of Me” singer, taking part in American Idol offers a glimpse at how the music industry works. “It’s not ever going to be as intense, as concentrated and sometimes not even as kind or constructive in the real music industry,” she added. “We’re kind of like the Montessori style. We’re a Montessori mom. We let them figure it out.”
American Idol‘s season 20 finale airs Sunday, May 22, on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
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