In one of his first interviews since winning “American Idol” Season 17, country singer Laine Hardy just told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that he can’t wait to “get started working on music.” Laine took the red eye from Los Angeles to New York City in order to appear on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” in the wee hours of Monday morning. “I slept like three hours on the way here,” the 18-year-old mumbled to the morning hosts while donning his flowered suit jacket. Watch the interview above, which also includes Laine’s performance of his original song “Flame.”
When Kelly asked Laine what’s next for him, he responded, “I’m gonna go see my family at home” in Livingston, Louisiana. As for whether his victory over musician Alejandro Aranda and pop singer Madison VanDenburg has sunk in yet, Laine admits, “I’m still processing it. I could barely sing just now because I’m thinking like, ‘Wow, I’m here right now. It’s crazy.'”
Ryan, who over the past two seasons of “American Idol” has seen Laine grow from a shy kid to a young man right before his eyes, shook his hand and said, “You did it and you deserve it and you fought hard every week. Congratulations.”
If you missed any moment of the three-hour “American Idol” season finale, we have you covered with our minute-by-minute live blog. Laine performed three solo songs on Sunday night: “Home,” “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” and “Bring It on Home to Me.” He also sang a medley of “Dirt On My Boots” & “Night Shift” with country superstar Jon Pardi. Get it? “Pardi” with the Hardy?
After Laine was named the winner of Season 17, he performed “Flame” live on stage as confetti fell from the ceiling. The other Top 10 finalists — Alejandro, Madison, Laci Kaye Booth, Wade Cota, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Walker Burroughs, Alyssa Raghu, Dimitrius Graham and Uche — joined Laine for the final verses, as did judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.