Singer Laine Hardy took to the American Idol stage to show off his talent just days after he was arrested so, despite his incredible performance alongside Laci Kaye Booth, fans have questions.
During Monday’s Great Idol Reunion special, he returned to the stage where he won the 17th season of American Idol in May 2019. But viewers weren’t sure whether producers would air the episode after hearing of Laine’s arrest.
The Louisiana-born guitar player and vocalist has remained in the public eye ever since his win. So when he was arrested for allegedly bugging an ex-girlfriend’s dorm room, American Idol fans instantly recognised his face in news reports.
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Laine’s American Idol return
Laine took part in a pre-recorded episode of The Great Idol Reunion, which aired on May 2nd 2022. He opened the special episode by performing a duet with 2019’s fifth-place finisher Laci Kaye Booth.
Their performance of Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers was filmed in April before Laine’s recent arrest by the Louisiana State University Police Department.
In aid of the show’s 20th anniversary, Laine and Laci’s performance got a positive response from Katy Perry. “I was slayed when you came on the stage, Laine,” she said. “I was like, ‘Who is this guy? Was he in A Star Is Born?”
Lionel Richie said the singers “both sound amazing”, while Luke Bryan thanked them for being “part of the American Idol family”.
Why was Laine Hardy arrested?
Laine is accused of bugging an ex-girlfriend’s dorm room by planting a recording device. He turned himself into authorities on the morning of April 29th 2022, WBRZ reports. He was released on a $5,000 bond shortly before 6pm the same day.
He has been charged with interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communication. The charge can result in a $10,000 fine and up to ten years in prison, as reported by Mass Live.
Huffington Post reported authorities filed an arrest warrant for the 21-year-old after his ex-girlfriend told police she found a recording device under her bed in her Louisiana State University dormitory after the couple broke up.
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His success on the ABC show
Laine Hardy went on to win 2019 American Idol (season 17) when he was 18. He first auditioned for the 2018 (season 16) competition but only made it to the top 50.
He didn’t intend to audition for season 17 but, accompanied by friend Ashton Gill to play guitar at her audition, he was encouraged by judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie to audition again.
The musician went up against Alejandro Aranda and Madison VanDenburg, and secured the win. Since then, he has performed on ABC’s The Bachelor series and launched debut album Here’s To Anyone.
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