The party in Livingston Louisiana is probably still going strong as Laine Hardy won American Idol last night!

Before we get into Laine's incredible journey on Idol, here's the moment host Ryan Seacrest dropped the bomb on Laine that America voted him as the winner, plus his brand new single, "Flame"!

Last year in 2018, Laine auditioned in New Orleans for American Idol.  He got a golden ticket and seemed to be a front runner to win the show with his charming country boy looks and his amazing gravely voice.  However, he wasn't versed on popular pop songs and he quickly was eliminated from Idol.

Fast forward to this year.  Laine accompanied one of his friends, Ashton Gill, playing guitar for her audition.  The judges immediately recognized him and asked him to play a song for them.  With a new polished look and a new swagger, the judges pleaded with him to take a golden ticket and come back to the show...after a short hesitation he accepted.

My favorite performance of his this season was his singing of an Elton John tune:

I've been saying all season long that the new "Laine" reminded me of a young Elvis Presley.  I think it was a great idea for him to play on this with a performance of one of the King's songs.

In the Idol finale I loved how Laine kept to his Louisiana roots.  He was going to win the show by being himself.  He sung a song by Louisiana legend Marc Broussard and Jambalaya (On the Bayou).

Every year, the top 3 get to go back to their home towns and perform.  I was hoping Louisiana would rep well and Laine would have a good turnout.  However, that was not the case, Laine had a GREAT turnout.  There were tons of people in Livingston to welcome him home.

Congrats to Laine on his big win and I can't wait to see where his career goes.  Good luck brother!