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Laine Hardy, the 'American Idol' Winner Who Didn't Intend Auditioning at All

Bettina Dizon
May 20, 2019
01:00 P.M.
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“American Idol’s” latest winner, Laine Hardy had a complicated past with the show, including a painful reject last season, but made the greatest comeback of all.


Laine Hardy made a great comeback in “American Idol” after last year’s painful experience on the singing television contest. However, the ‘idol’ accidentally auditioned for the second time around and made his way to the top.


During the last season of “American Idol,” then 17-year-old Hardy, a high school senior from Louisiana, gathered the courage to perform an audition for the first time on the hit show.


The teen performed a rendition of “Hurricane,” by Band of Heathens, in front of judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, all of whom he was able to impress, but lacked confidence which kicked him out of the show before the announcement of the Top 50.

Last year, Hardy revealed to the Advocate that Elvis Presley had the most significant musical influence on him and that his mom encouraged him to audition for the singing contest.


“I grew up around old country, classic rock and swamp pop,” he said. “I play country, blues, and classic rock and swamp pop now.”


When the auditions came for the next season, Hardy walked up on stage once again, but this time as a guitar player for his auditioning friend, Ashton Gill. Despite his complete makeover, the judges still recognized him and asked him to sing a few lines.


Hardy belted out to “Jambalaya,” by Hank Williams, and “Home,” by Marc Broussard, which won him the title after the three-hour long season finale.

Hardy’s improvised audition of “The Weight” by The Band impressed the judges including Perry who asked where he got the confidence that was lacking during his first audition. Moments after, he was offered a Golden Ticket to Hollywood which he gratefully accepted.


On Sunday, Hardy competed against two other finalists, Alejandro Aranda, and Madison VanDenburg, both of which he defeated, taking home the trophy as “American Idol’s” season 17 grand winner.


Aranda sang “Millennial Love” and “Tonight,” two original songs, while VanDenburg sang “Shallow” form “A Star Is Born,” and “Breakaway,” by Kelly Clarkson. VanDenburg was first eliminated after being voted out during a vote check-in.

Hardy belted out to “Jambalaya,” by Hank Williams, and “Home,” by Marc Broussard, which won him the title after the three-hour long season finale.

Hardy was the third to bring home a championship after being eliminated during the season prior. The first two are Candice Glover, season 12 winner, and Caleb Johnson, season 13 winner.