We officially have a winner for season 17 of ‘American Idol’ — and it’s Laine Hardy, who came back this year after getting sent home during season 16! Here’s more to know about him.
Laine Hardy, 18, was sent home during the final judgment on season 16 of American Idol, but he returned for season 17 and had the ultimate comeback story — because he WON THE SHOW ON MAY 19! Laine was up against Madison VanDenburg and Alejandro Aranda in the finale. Madison was eliminated in third place, and Laine received the majority of viewer votes to beat out the talented Alejandro for the win. He closed out the show by performing his debut single, “Flame,” as confetti fell from the sky and the entire crowd went wild. Get to know more about Laine here:
1. He didn’t intentionally audition for season 17. Laine actually showed up to the season 17 auditions strictly to play guitar for his friend, Ashton Gill, who was auditioning for the show for the first time. However, the judges remembered him from the previous season, and asked him to sing a tune himself. They were impressed by his growth and gave him the Golden Ticket to Hollywood, which he accepted. Unfortunately, Ashton was eliminated during Hollywood Week, but Laine continued to impress the judges, and has continued on in the competition.
2. He released his first EP in 2018. Laine released his EP, In The Bayou, in 2018. The record features three songs: “Hurricane,” “Louisiana Lady” and “In The Bayou.” He also dropped a song called “Blue Christmas” ahead of the holidays in 2018.
3. He also has a hand. In 2016, Laine created the group The Band Hardy with other musicians from Louisiana, where he’s from.
4. He already has a line of merchandise. Laine is still waiting for his career to take off with help from Idol, but if you’re a fan, you can already buy plenty of merchandise that boasts his name! His website features t-shirts, hats and more!
5. He underwent a style makeover on season 17 of ‘Idol’. Laine shocked the judges when he showed up to his Showcase Round performance in a suit, with his hair slicked back. It was a much different look from the baseball cap, jeans and t-shirt we previously saw him wear throughout the show! Clearly, Laine is taking this very seriously, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make himself a well-rounded performer.