American Idol Crowns Season 20 Winner

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American Idol crowned another winner Sunday, and it was a country music showdown for the ages.

ABC went live coast-to-coast to allow the final three (Leah Marlene, Huntergirl, and Noah Thompson) the opportunity to make a plea for America's vote.

Thanks to the excessive three-hour runtime, the episode was overstuffed, but hey, at least we got some great musical performances along the way.

Huntergirl and Noah Thompson on the Idol Finale - American Idol

Even after all these years, the former FOX reality series still knows how to deliver show-stopping performances, thanks to the wide array of talent the producers reel in to take part.

Leah Marlene kicked off the show in thrilling fashion with a rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA," a performance that garnered the 20-year-old much praise from the judges.

Leah Marlene - American Idol

"What big boots you have stepped into," Lionel Richie said, clearly impressed by the immense talent on the show this year.

Katy Perry declared Marlene to be "the whole package," which is a major positive in the music industry.

"You've won, period, end of story, to me," Perry added.

Marlene also got to perform "Flowers," an orignal song she recently released.

Leah Marlene on the Finale - American Idol

It was a raw and emotional performance that culminated in the crowd chanting "Leah."

That's a big seal of approval, right?

"The crowd will not lie to you," Richie shared. "Props to your songwriter side.”

"I’m so blessed to be here, a part of this show that is truly making a difference and changing lives," Perry said of the performance and the song.

Katy Perry Poses in American Idol Promo Shoot

"That song is so beautiful and is going to change other people’s lives."

Luke Bryan agreed with his fellow judges that the song was great.

"What a ride you must be on," he said.

"I’m so happy for you, and you have every right to have these emotions right now."

Huntergirl on the Finale - American Idol

As for Huntergirl, she kicked things off with "Dancing in the Dark," and as expected, it was another powerhouse performance.

"You’re comfortable. This is your stage," Perry said.

"You did that and more. I don’t think you’re a star. I think you’re a supernova."

"You now own the stage," Richie said.

Huntergirl With a Guitar - American Idol

"You now are responsible for your own career, and my dear, you have a career."

"Music is a lot of people’s therapy," Katy added. "And sometimes it’s our own therapy."

Noah, the third of the three finalists, kicked things off with "I'm on Fire."

Noah was solid during his first audition, but he's blossomed into a star throughout his time on the show.

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"It’s a long way from that first audition, buddy," Luke said.

"You have what is now your stage persona," he said.

"That is called an artist. You have now graduated to that wonderful stage of your life."

Thompson followed that performance up with "One Day Tonight," his original song.

Noah Thompson Winning Performance - American Idol

"I’m just gonna keep my tissue in the palm of my hand," Perry said following the performance.

"Do not stop dreaming. There is a plan for you and your life."

Just before the halfway mark of the show, Ryan Seacrest revealed that Marlene had finished in third place, leaving Huntergirl and Thompson to perform one last time for the America's Vote.

Thompson went with Rihanna's "Stay," while Huntergirl went with Rascal Flatts' "Riot," the song she sang in her first audition.

Noah Thompson Wins! - American Idol

At the end of the episode, we learned that 16 million votes had been cast and that Thompson won the show.

"My heart is beating out of my chest," said the understated singer. "This is crazy."

The series featured A+ talent this season, and we're sure all of the finalists will go on to have great careers.

What are your thoughts on Thompson's win?

Hit the comments.

ABC recently renewed American idol for Season 21, but it's unclear which judges will return.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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