As the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Country star Laine Hardy, who was eliminated in the early rounds of “American Idol” last year, has returned in Season 17 for a second shot at the trophy. Should Laine end up earning the confetti shower, he’d be the third “American Idol” winner to claim victory after being eliminated in a prior season. The other two were Season 12 champ Candice Glover and Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson. Watch Laine’s 2019 audition video above of The Band‘s “The Weight.”
Candice previously auditioned in the ninth and 11th seasons of “American Idol,” but failed to advance to the live shows both time. In Season 11 she made it to the Las Vegas round where she was grouped with two soon-to-be finalists: DeAndre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez. For her third (and final) audition, Candice performed “Syrup & Honey” and earned praises from then-judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. She joined the “American Idol” winners list on May 16, 2013 when she beat runner-up Kree Harrison.
Caleb previously tried out in the 10th and 11th seasons of Fox’s reality TV show, never once making it into the Top 25. Thankfully, the timing worked out for this North Carolina resident on his third at-bat when he auditioned with his original song “Into the Void” for then-judges Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. Caleb ultimately prevailed on May 21, 2014, with his runner-up being rocker chick Jena Irene.
Even though Laine advanced to Hollywood in this current 17th season, his goal ironically was just to play guitar as his childhood friend Ashton Gill auditioned. But judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie had a different idea in mind, as they made the 18-year-old perform for them on the spot. “Come on, take this ticket,” Katy ordered him following his raspy performance of “The Weight.”
At first Laine seemed hesitant, but then Lionel told him, “You found everything we said. It’s sitting right here. All we’re asking you to do is just reach out and touch it. You can go to Hollywood and have a great time. More important this time: You’ve got a shot.” Laine bit his lip and responded, “It sure is shiny.” After a brief pause, Laine finally said “Okay” and grabbed his golden ticket. Do YOU think Laine has what it takes to win “American Idol” 2019?