Episode 10 of ABC’s American Idol season 17 was a Top 20 All Star Celebrity Duet Round, which began with Louisiana’s Bayou Boy teaming with Ellie King of Ex’s and Oh’s fame, on a song with which he was very familiar. Laine had covered and recorded The Weight on his CD in 2018 and had made the song one of his most popular performance numbers at local clubs, as well as his surprise American Idol audition choice. He definitely had a lucky history with this number. If you call hard work luck.
When he took the stage this night he wore another suit, not as formal as that first black suit, but still a burgundy blazer with a white print shirt, and that gorgeous black hair was again brushed into place. It appears he is cultivating that Elvis look a little more each week.
I thought maybe the cap and the tee had become a thing of the past, but I’d have to wait and see. After all this was Hollywood, not home. The smile on his face showed he knew and loved these lyrics, and that comfort gave him the opportunity to combine the down-home Louisiana freedom with the Hollywood slick he had learned over the past ten weeks. Nothing shy about this performance. It was truly the Laine I had begun to love.
Laine certainly showed how to create a perfect duet by pausing, turning and stepping back and forth to Ellie King, showcasing her vocal ability blending with his. His talented fingers rippled across the white guitar during the choruses, but during most verses he let go and shredded, using his hands to emphasize his feelings, such as when he questioned, “Luke, my friend, what about young Anna-Lee?” Lionel who had already stood up half-way through the segment said “Love it!” as the song continued, then mouthing the word, “Beautiful!”
During the song, Ellie and Laine slightly danced around the stage and she pointed to him singing, “…it’s about time,” and he finished off the song with an emotional guitar swing. As they harmonized their voices on the “and, and, “ pausing with the last “and ….take the load right off of me,” Laine’s hands went up and his left arm came down in a definite swift finish that reminded me of Tiger Woods on the 18th hole of his Master’s final round. At that moment, he had the assured look of a champion. I scored: Game over, we have a winner!
The Hardy family, standing the entire time were clapping and yelling and supporting their Laine, wearing tee-shirts that read “No Party without a Hardy.” I can only imagine how crazy their website went for tee sales at that moment, because it was definitely a party, and there was more surprise Hardy to come.
Katy went first with a “Ho-weeee! Laine, who are you? You look like a rock star, you sound like a rock star, you act like a rock star. You’re beginning to like this, aren’t ya?” This time there was no usual “yes ‘mam,” from Laine, he quickly replied, “I love it!” He then added, “Not gonna let this go.”
When Ryan came back in to talk to Laine he asked about him already knowing the song and playing it before. He then asked, “Did you play that at the treehouse on the river,” to which Laine wondered, and shook his head yes. Ryan continued, “Know who told me about that? Your brother, Kyle.”
Then suddenly, unexpected, Laine’s older brother, Kyle came out on the stage and Laine turned with such delight right into his brotherly bear hug which ended with a forehead kiss and tears. Kyle said, “I had to make my way here for you, baby,” and the audience went berserk. Kyle added he was so proud of his baby brother for chasing his dreams.
This particular 4 minute segment of American Idol has been broken down in versions several different ways with The Weight being viewed 1,238,237 times on You-Tube, one part watched 557,077 times, and just the verse segment (no video) with Laine singing is 40,236 times. I promise, though I also watched it live, I am only responsible for about 1/3 of those other views.
( Next – Laine Advances to Top 10 with “Bring It Home to Me.”)