American Idol season 20: winner and everything you need to know about the singing competition

Noah Thompson singing on American Idol
(Image credit: ABC/Eric McCandless)

American Idol season 20 has crowned its next potential superstar. The long-running singing competition has produced many big name singers throughout its history, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Phillip Phillips and more, so we'll see where the new American Idol goes with their career. 

Find out just who won American Idol, as well as how to rewatch the entire season 20, by reading on below.

American Idol season 20 winner

The American Idol season 20 winner was Noah Thompson. Here is the moment when it was announced:

Thompson, who beat HunterGirl and Leah Marlene in the final three, joins the ranks of past American Idol winners.

Watch Thompson's finale performances right here:

How to watch American Idol season 20

American Idol season 20 may be over, but fans of the show can go back and rewatch any episode from this season online. Anyone with a traditional pay-TV cable subscription or a live TV streaming service subscription that carries ABC (FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV) can login with their information to to watch all episodes from American Idol season 20.

Another option is Hulu, which also has all episodes of the most recent season ready for anyone to stream.

Will there be an American Idol season 21?

American Idol is coming back for season 21, we just don't know exactly when yet. ABC has officially renewed the reality singing competition as part of its 2022-2023 TV lineup, but no premiere date of the new season has been set.

The last two seasons have premiered in the early months of the new year, so if that trend follows American Idol season 21 could be coming in January/February 2023.

Anyone interested in auditioning for the next American Idol season can do so but submitting a video until September 15. Get more information right here.

American Idol season 20 finale performances

The American Idol season 20 finale had a slew of performances and not just from the top 3 finalists. Check out some of the performances from the night right here:


Leah Marlene

Other performances

Here are all of the contestants that have been eliminated from the competition since the top 24:

Kenedi Anderson (left for personal reasons)
Danielle Finn
Sir Blayke
Cameron Whitecomb
Cadence Baker
Elli Rowe
Jacob Moran
Katyrah Love
Allegra Miles
Ava Maybee
Dan Marshall
Tristen Gressett
Emyrson Flora
Lady K
Mike Parker
Christian Guardino
Fritz Hager
Leah Marlene

Who is the American Idol host?

Ryan Seacrest has been the host of American Idol since the very beginning (he actually had a co-host for the first season, Brian Dunkleman, remember?) and he continues to serve as the guiding hand of the reality competition series for this latest season.

Who are the American Idol judges?

Also back for another go around are Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan as the American Idol judges. The trio have been together since season 16 debuted on ABC. As this will be the trio's fifth season on the show, it makes them the longest tenured judges since the original group of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

One recent American Idol mainstay not returning for season 20 is advisor Bobby Bones; he is working on another TV project on a different network.

One other bit of news from behind-the-scenes, Deadline has reported that American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane is stepping down after handling the job since season 15 (it’s last on Fox). Megan Michaels Wolflick, who has been with the show in various roles for 15 years, will take over as showrunner for season 20.

What is the American Idol platinum ticket?

As previewed in the American Idol season 20 trailer, there is a new wrinkle for this season, the platinum ticket. American Idol contestants have always been shooting for a golden ticket that signified they were moving on to the next round of the competition, Hollywood week; the platinum ticket is a step up, as it will give a select number of contestants an advantage during Hollywood week.

According to The Wrap, reporting from the winter Television Critics Association event, there are three platinum tickets that were available to contestants at each of the three auditions, so nine in total. Whoever earns one of those tickets gets to skip competing in the first day of Hollywood week, instead watching from the theater to rest their voice, strategize and check out the competition.

"They get a tiny advantage because they're the cream of the crop," said Katy Perry during the event.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.