Entertainment industry gossip began to call Laine Hardy the underdog, and pit he and Alejandra against each other. With still 20 contestants left, the girls seem to dropping out of consideration, and those two men headed for the top. In my opinion it had become obvious Laine was going to take American Idol, but Facebook and other internet sites didn’t agree with me. Alejandra’s originality and unusual vocal sounds seemed to drawing much attention. He used more of his own material each week, ignoring popular tunes.
Laine who had playing gigs around the South, chose songs familiar to him and television viewers. He had the studio audience screaming for more with his duet with Elle King, The Weight, clearly one of his favorites. And next up the deciding factor to me had to be Sam Cooke’s Bring It on Home to Me. (A You-Tube version which now has had 2,934,304 views.)
Again Laine chose the black suit with satin lapel, black button down shirt with no details, no feather, no chains,no pins. He wore nothing to take away from the single vision of Laine. There was enough decoration already on the stage. It sparkled and shined with a silver and blue metallic fringe striped backdrop from floor to ceiling. Three backup singers accompanied the young contestant as he began smoothly crooning Sam Cooke’s Bring It on Home to Me, with his eyes closed, head lifted toward the stars.
But wow, then it happened – he upped the beat, ramped the rhythm up, began to strum that guitar, adding a knee twitch to his performance that drove the mostly female audience wild. The faster the beat, the more movement Laine had. This was a great change for the young man who claimed he could not, and would not, ever dance.
With each body twitch Katy clapped and jumped up and down in her puffy hot pink heart-shaped designer dress, heart earrings dangling. At the end of the song when Laine approached the judges table, she cried out, “Jesus Take the Wheel!” and plopped down in her chair.
Lionel, who had also stood throughout most of the performance warned, “We are in trouble now. Laine has discovered… a new thing,” and Lionel then demonstrated Laine’s twist and knee bend. “You can take that look all the way to bank, my friend…” He was so serious with his comments, he forgot to tease Laine about getting into his closet.
Katy, looking dazed, moaned, “I’m scared of you…and it’s a good thing. You are literally completely commanding the stage.” As always, Laine lowered his head and almost whispered, “Thank you,” taking this shy thing to a different level.
Luke leaning forward in his chair, clasped his hands together and said, “I’m really happy where your voice has come over this past year. Because everything you are doing looks like you are trying to win this competition.” Laine smiled meekly said, “Yes sir!” Every on stage comment Laine made always showed his southern up-bringing and good manners.
And Luke’s statement may have been the theme of this night’s show. Laine had recently been quoted in an interview as saying, “I gave up fishing (and they just started biting good at home) to be on American Idol, and I want to go all the way.” For a Bayou Boy from South Louisiana this may be the ultimate sacrifice for a greater reward. It was the right decision. The fish will come again; there are no third chances at American Idol.
Next – CHapter # 7 On to Top 14 – Laine let’s his Elvis side come out.