Interview: Georgia’s Will Moseley was OK finishing second on ‘American Idol’

Singer is quickly pivoting to capitalize on the exposure, planning to do as many concerts as possible
Ryan Seacrest with the top 2 on "American Idol": Abi Carter (middle), who defeated runner-up Will Moseley. (Disney/Eric McCandless)

Credit: Disney

Credit: Disney

Ryan Seacrest with the top 2 on "American Idol": Abi Carter (middle), who defeated runner-up Will Moseley. (Disney/Eric McCandless)

Georgian Will Moseley had no deep expectations on “American Idol” finale night this past Sunday. One of the final three contestants, he felt like he had already won, having made it far further than he had initially expected.

So coming in second behind Abi Carter won’t cause him to lose any sleep, Moseley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I don’t see second place as a loss for me,” Moseley said. “I’ve become such good friends with everyone. The cool thing is getting to do something you want to do. There’s contentment in that.”

Ryan Seacrest and Will Moseley react after Abi Carter is named the winner of season 22 of "American Idol" on May 19. ABC

Credit: Disney

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Credit: Disney

Moseley said after a short break in his hometown of Hazlehurst, he plans to hire a manager and book some concerts as soon as possible, then work on new music.

“This show has provided me a platform,” Moseley said. “It’s provided me an audience. I want to hit the ground running and play as many shows as I can. It’s been a whirlwind, and everything is up in the air. But I know it will all work itself out in due time.”

The country singer, whose style evokes that of superstars Chris Stapleton and Luke Combs, became Georgia’s sixth runner-up over 22 seasons of the long-running show.

Diana DeGarmo (season 3) has had a successful theater career over the past two decades. Lauren Alaina (season 10) has released multiple albums, landing four No. 1 hits on the Billboard country airplay chart. Caleb Lee Hutchinson (season 16) continues to pursue a country career. Sadly, Will Spence (season 19) died in a car crash in 2022. Megan Danielle (season 21) last month released a Christian single “If I Got Jesus.”

The only Georgia winner Phillip Phillips (season 11) has landed hits on the adult pop charts including “Home,” “Gone, Gone, Gone,” “Raging Fire” and his current single “Love Like That.”

Moseley, at age 23, seemed unflappable on the show, never betraying nerves on stage.

“It’s not as much nerves,” he said. “It’s stress. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, a lot to take care of on show days.”

He tried his best to be a sponge, learning how a TV production works and preparing himself mentally for each performance.

“Idol,” he said, “helped me expand upon something that was already there. I have a decent knowledge of performing and playing shows. ‘Idol’ helped me try new things. I performed the last half of the shows without a guitar. I worked on stage presence with just a microphone.”

He also worked hard to stay in the present.

“There were days we had no idea what the schedule was,” he said. “We just knew what time we had to be there. Just showing up was 80% of the battle.”

His favorite performance? “Born to Be Wild” on Disney night May 12. He had messed up lyrics to “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” earlier in the night but decided to “let my hair down and have fun” with the Steppenwolf classic. He said he wanted to “really just leave it all out there. That was a cool performance for me. I didn’t feel pressure even messing up.”

He also enjoyed gleaning advice from mentor Jon Bon Jovi on finale night, then performing the band’s 2000 song “It’s My Life.”

“I had heard the song so many times but never understood what he was singing about,” Moseley said. “I got to work with him and he broke it down for me. It’s a song about fighting for everything you can and not giving up. That made the song special to me.”

Moseley began his “Idol” journey singing one of his original songs, “Gone for Good,” and closed the season finale with another original, “Good Book Bad.” “It really felt full circle,” he said.

Finishing in the final three also meant “Idol” set up a hometown visit on May 14 where he visited his childhood home, had a parade through downtown, visited his elementary school.

“The kids singing back to me one of my songs was such a special moment,” he said.

He then got to perform a concert for thousands of highly excited friends, family and supporters on the same field where he led his 2017 high school football team to the state playoffs.

“It was so sweet and rewarding for me,” he said, “to see that much love and support.”