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Colin Stough finishes third place on ‘American Idol’ season 21

Photo from Colin Stough/Instagram

The American Idol journey for Colin Stough came to an early end Sunday night when the Gattman native was the first to be eliminated in the season finale.

Stough, from the 79-person town in Monroe County, found out his fate after he covered Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy” during the first half of the show.

Elimination aside, it was a successful run for this year’s second runner-up with the judges touting the 18-year-old for his seemingly overnight transformation as a musician.

“It’s been a pleasure just seeing how you’ve navigated this competition and how you’ve grown. You’ve developed into your artistic look and your style,” judge Luke Bryan said. “You got moments where you look gritty, and you’ve got moments where you tender it up and sing softer and sing louder. So, man, you’ve just come so far from the kid that walked in at auditions and kudos to you buddy, kudos.”

Bryan’s fellow judges – Lionel Richie and Katy Perry – also praised the progress Stough has made from singing “Simple Man” in auditions to becoming one of this season’s biggest stars.

“I remember when you first came in and you went through the first half of the competition, you said, ‘who me?’ and I’m saying, ‘yes, you!’” Richie recounted as Perry asserted that Stough will never have to go back to working as an HVAC technician: “When you hit 100% out in the real world, watch out buddy it’s gonna be hot and you’re going to need your own air conditioning.”

Stough finished behind runner-up Megan Danielle and competition winner Iam Tongi. American Idol will return for its 22nd season in 2024.

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