“American Idol” finale: Finalists Noah Thompson, HunterGirl and Leah Marlene prepare for final performances


The 20th season of “American Idol” will conclude Sunday night with the three finalists singing the music of Bruce Springsteen in a bid to win the title.

Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan will all perform, as will season four winner Carrie Underwood, who served as the program’s mentor.

Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson, and HunterGirl were good enough to impress the judges throughout the season, and in fact, it’s fair to say the trio got them excited from the start.

HunterGirl, who Bryan called his “favorite female country voice I’ve heard” in five seasons on the show, is considered the favorite to win.

“I don’t feel like, I don’t know, I don’t know how I got here,” she said. “But I’m so glad it came to this.”

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If she wins, she’ll be the first country singer to win since Underwood launched her career on “Idol.”

The star has been Thompson’s mentor this season, and his place in the top three is all the more remarkable as he weathered COVID.

“It was expensive,” he said. “I almost felt like I couldn’t breathe, and my throat was killing me, so it almost broke my heart.”

As for the third runner-up, Perry said Marlene looks and sounds like an angel.

“I’m just celebrating,” she said. “It’s my mood that comes in. I’m in shock to still be here, and I’m just going there to celebrate and savor every last moment because we’ve all been together for so long.”

Win or lose, they all call their time on “American Idol” a life-changing experience.

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