“American Idol” finalist Leah Marlene came in third place in the competition, and though some fans thought she was robbed of the win or that the competition was rigged, she thanked them and told them that she still feels like a winner.
In an Instagram Live following the show, Marlene shared her thoughts about the season and how she was feeling overall.
“It’s been a big day, and it’s kind of the end of an era today and obviously, feeling all the things, have so many thoughts and all that jazz,” she said on the live stream. “I just want to say thank you from the bottom and the top, and all the sides, and my entire heart. This has been the most beautiful, incredible journey in my entire life.”
Marlene Still Feels Like a Winner
Marlene went on to talk about the people she was competing against, saying that they are people that she loves “with my whole heart.”
“I was so emotional tonight for a lot of reasons… anyways, I’m just so, so grateful for this entire journey, it’s really really hard to close this chapter,” she shared.
She added, “This is, like, only the beginning for every single one of us, and this is where the real work starts, and I hope you guys will stick with me because I’m ready to work my a** off and make this dream a reality in the real world.”
She then thanked her fans.
“I feel like the biggest winner, the luckiest person in the world to have experienced everything that I’ve experienced with this show, and I wouldn’t have wanted anything to go any other way,” she concluded.
As for what’s next for Marlene, there are no official plans in place for the singer-songwriter. It’s likely she’ll continue to work on music, but for now, she’s celebrating her win. She posted on Instagram when she made her first post-“American Idol” purchase, which was a pair of Dr. Martens boots.
“A lil celebratory gift to myself… bought my first big girl boots today,” she wrote alongside a photo of her walking with a bag from the store.
When Will ‘American Idol’ Return?
“American Idol” has been officially renewed by ABC for the upcoming season. The announcement was made as part of a batch of renewals, which included five unscripted shows.
Auditions for the next season of “American Idol” have been announced, meaning that the show will be returning to finding new contestants in the next few months.
There are multiple rounds of auditions with producers before the judges get involved in the show, which will likely air at the beginning of 2023, meaning that it will begin filming in November or December. Generally, the Showstopper Round and Top 24 reveal is filmed in December.
The three judges, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan are all expected to return for the upcoming season, as is long-time host Ryan Seacrest.