The adorable Riley Thompson is making a name for herself on season 17 of ‘American Idol,’ and even as the youngest in the competition, she’s given standout performances week after week.
Riley Thompson is the country cutie competing on season 17 of American Idol, and after her amazing Top 14 performance, she’s officially become a force to be reckoned with on the show. Riley is just 16 years old, making her the youngest in the competition, but she exudes confidence every time she hits the stage and her voice is NO joke. Whether it’s a classic country song or a newer hit, Riley can sing it, and she’s certainly one to watch for on the country music scene, regardless of what happens during her time on Idol. Here’s more to know about the adorable — and incredibly talented — teenager:
1. This is not her first reality singing competition. Before auditioning for American Idol, Riley was a contestant on the USA show, Real Country. The singing competition was strictly for stars hoping to make it in country music, and was judged by Shania Twain, Jake Owen and Travis Tritt. Unfortunately, Riley didn’t get past the first episode of that show, but that didn’t stop her from continuing to pursue her dream of having a career in music. Real Country aired at the end of 2018, but was filmed several months before that, while Idol auditions took place in October and November 2018.
2. She’s a typical high school student. Riley is currently a sophomore at Mabank High School in Texas and a member of the school’s cheerleading team. Before her Top 14 Idol performance, she opened up about how supportive her classmates, and particularly her cheer team, have been throughout the competition so far.
3. She’s super close with her family. Riley has a seven-year-old sister, who she’s said is her biggest fan. Her sister, parents and grandmother have accompanied her to all of her Idol performances, and Ryan Seacrest even let her sister onstage after Riley sang in the Top 14 on the April 14 episode!
4. She’s won a major songwriting competition. At just 15 years old, Riley was selected as a finalist in a Texas Singer/Songwriter competition. She made the top five out of 200 applicants and performed original songs that she wrote on her own.
5. She’s only been performing for audiences for less than two years. Before auditioning for Real Country in early 2018, Riley admitted that she had only just started performing music locally for about six months. That hasn’t stopped her from looking right at home onstage, though!