Five things you need to know about 'American Idol' season 17 winner Laine Hardy

Five things you need to know about 'American Idol' season 17 winner Laine Hardy

(Spoiler alert)

It's time to party with Hardy, as 'American Idol' season 17 reveals it title winner. 

During the season finale on Sunday night, the series crowned Louisiana bayou boy Laine Hardy as the winner of 'American Idol' season 17. 

Hardy came back a year after he was sent home during season 16. He was up against Alejandro Aranda and Madison Vandenburg in the finale. Halfway through the grand finale, host Ryan Seacrest revealed that Vandenburg was eliminated due to the lowest votes. She came in third and Aranda ranked second after the series announced that Hardy had received the most votes and won the title. 

Performing for one last time this season, Hardy closed out the show by singing his debut single, 'Flames.' The entire crowd went wild as Hardy performed and confetti fell from the sky. While we can't wait for Hardy to drop his new album but till then here's something you need to know about season 17's winner.

The finale of 'American Idol' season 17 ended with Hardy singing his debut single Flames - (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Hardy didn't plan on auditioning for season 17

Hardy showed up during the season 17 auditions only to play the guitar for his friend Ashton Gill who was auditioning. However, the judges remembered Hardy from season 16 where he made it till the Hollywood Week before he was eliminated. The judges were left impressed after hearing him sing during the auditions and gave him a golden ticket to Hollywood. “What’s your problem? Why don’t you want to come back? Take this ticket. You found your confidence!” Katy Perry urged Hardy to take the ticket. And after giving it a thought he accepted it and continued in the competition. Impressing the judges and viewers with his performance, Hardy was a frontrunner throughout the season. 

Laine Hardy is the winner of 'American Idol' season 17 - (ABC/Eric McCandless)

He has already released an EP and has a band: 

In 2018, Hardy released his EP titled 'In The Bayou.' The album features three songs, “Hurricane,” “Louisiana Lady” and “In The Bayou.” Ahead of Christmas in 2018,  he also released a song called 'Blue Christmas.' Hardy also has a band called The Band Hardy with other musicians from Louisiana. 


He started playing the guitar since he was six and cites Elvis as his influence 

Hardy revealed he started playing guitar since he was 6 after his mother got him a toy guitar from Walmart for Christmas. He stated that both his parents shaped his musical taste. In an interview with Billboard, Hardy also revealed that he played his first professional gig with his family when he was 14-years-old. He also revealed that his biggest musical influence is Elvis Presley and he credits Presley for his decision to become a professional singer.

Laine Hardy and host Ryan Seacrest at the finale of 'American Idol' season 17 - (ABC/Eric McCandless)

He has a line of merchandise

Though Hardy has just won 'American Idol' season 17 and has a bit more time before his career takes off, he already has a website with a whole line of merchandise with his name on it. His website features T-shirts, hats and more. 


He underwent a huge makeover in Season 17

When Hardy first appeared on American Idol, he was mostly seen with a baseball cap, jeans, t-shirt. But in season 17, during the Showcase Round performance, Hardy made his appearance with an all-new look that left everyone stunned. He was wearing on a suit with his hair slicked back and it continued as his new look throughout the season. 

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 american idol season 17 winner laine hardy finale alejandro aranda madison vandenburg debut flames