With all the talent the high-powered television show American Idol has attracted this season, it will be nearly impossible to select just one deserving winner. But 17-year-old high school student Laine Hardy just made his case as a frontrunner to win it all.
The Louisiana native stood before the panel of judges, clad in blue jeans, a T-shirt, and some good ol’ country boots. His southern accent immediately had the panel captivated, as they realized a tried-and-true American southern boy was standing before their eyes.
Judge Luke Bryan couldn’t help but ask the teenager about Louisiana life. The bayou-boy explained he liked driving his truck around town, “burnin’ gas.”
Bryan apparently needed the scoop on just how experienced Laine Hardy was in handling alligators, hunting alligators — all things alligator — to properly vet the kid’s “country cred.”
“Please be able to sing,” Bryan hoped, clearly enjoying the young artist’s personality. With that, Laine announced he’d be singing “Hurricane,” by Band of Heathens.
Laine strummed his guitar, confident and natural, and then hit the judges’ in the face with a mature, enticing voice.
Lionel Richie, who loves himself some country music, knew within seconds that Laine’s voice had something special.
Luke Bryan was equally as pleased, as he looked at his colleagues as if to say, “yep, this kid’s got it.” With a voice that managed to be pleasingly rough around the edges, Laine’s musical phrases smoldered with country goodness.
I think we all want to see more of Laine Hardy. Which we will, because the judges had no problem unanimously sending the teen on to the next round of competition.
“I think if you ain’t careful, you might win American Idol,” an impressed Bryan told the teen. “Don’t let a gator tail hit you in the throat!”
Lionel Richie showered the teen with compliments as well, telling him he had “fire in those vocal chords.” With a humble, happy smile, Laine Hardly walked out the door, firmly in an exciting new chapter of his young life.
While it’s been a couple years since America has seen a fresh season of “Idol,” the show still feels as natural as ever. It’s good to have it back, and we thoroughly look forward to watching Laine Hardy bring a little glory to his Louisiana hometown.
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