We love a good comeback story! According to American Idol insiders, Laine Hardy — the Louisiana teen who won fans over last season with his rendition of Band of Heathen’s "Hurricane" — is auditioning again for the singing competition in an effort to make it further than he did in 2018.
After successfully securing a ticket to Hollywood during Season 16, the then high school senior lasted three weeks before he was eliminated during the "Final Judgment" episode.
"This whole American Idol journey has given me opportunities to be a different person, because I’m a shy person," Laine said following his elimination. "It’s helped me kind of get out of that shyness a little bit."
Keep reading to learn more about the adorable 18-year-old, including spoilers from this season of American Idol!
How far did Laine get on American Idol in 2018?
Despite a rocky performance of Justin Bieber’s "Love Yourself" during Hollywood Week, Laine stood out among the rest of his group and advanced to the Top 50 in Season 16. His shock and humility delighted viewers.
"When I was standing on stage, I was like, 'I know I’m going home, I know I’m going home.' But I didn’t go home," he said at the time.
Though his performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" during the final showcase ultimately sent him home, his explanation for the song choice — "It reminded me of home and driving down a dirt road in my truck, and having a good time" — left fans swooning.
He may not have made it to the Top 24, but Laine is heading into Season 17 with a very impressive social media following. He currently has 88,000 followers on Instagram and over 104,000 fans on Facebook.
He’s released three singles in the last year.
On the same day he graduated high school, Laine announced the release of his first three singles: two original songs, "Louisiana Lady" and "In the Bayou," and a cover of his American Idol audition song, "Hurricane."
"When I started my senior year, I just played locally and sang to have fun," the teen previously shared. "I didn’t have plans to go to college. I was just gonna work my butt off in the sun with a normal job. Then I got on American Idol, and my whole life changed."
Following his graduation, Laine performed at CMA Fest 2018 and NOLA’s Country Smooth Fest. We can’t wait to see what type of venues he plays after his second stint on AI.
How far does Laine get on American Idol Season 17? (SPOILERS)
According to mjsbigblog.com, Laine makes it to the Top 20, during which contestants must perform a solo as well as a celebrity all-star duet. Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan then decide which of those singers advance to the Top 14 and perform live for viewers’ votes.
Laine’s fans will be thrilled to hear that the songwriter does make the Top 14 cut and could very well be the next American Idol. Just remember to vote like crazy when the live shows begin!
Watch American Idol every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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