‘American Idol': Laine Hardy Channels Elvis for America’s Votes
On Sunday night (Apr. 14) the Top 14 contestants on American Idol 2019 were performing for an extra special (and stressful) evening: Namely, America's votes! Viewers are allowed to vote overnight for the first time, and the singers chosen by the fans will advance to the Top 10 after a big reveal on Monday (Apr. 15).
Opening up the night was a fan favorite, Laine Hardy, who's been charming with his down-to-earth approach as well as his competent handling of classics ranging from Sam Cooke to the Beatles. "I'm still not used to Hollywood. I wear a wrinkled shirt, my boots. These are my favorite boots. Or sometimes I go bare-footed," he shrugs. "I have a new look on the show. I feel more confident in my style. I decided maybe if I put on a suit and perform, maybe I'll feel great. And I guess I do.
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"My brother likes to call me Mr. Hollywood, but I'm not," he adds. "I'm the same guy from Louisiana, the bayou. Always going to be the bayou boy at heart."
That said, for this evening, he chose no less than THE King to emulate, and he was basically about as much of "only a bayou boy" as Elvis Presley was just some guy from Mississippi. His version of the rollicking "That's All Right" had the judges in a tizzy.
Judge Katy Perry raved, "You know your strengths and you're playing them well," adding coyly, "It's good to see a good-looking man step into his shining personality."
Judge Luke Bryan was a bit more practical. "Continue to shake out. Get a little looser, let go like Elvis does," he suggested. "I don't want to critique you too bad, but your voice has come so far from last year. Good job!"
As for judge Lionel Richie? He kept it short and simple: "Just do it some more."
Hardy was a part of the last season of American Idol and hadn't intended to audition this season — he attended a friend's audition as support, to play guitar, but couldn't say no when judges thrusted a Hollywood golden ticket at him after an impromptu performance.
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