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Comebacks On ‘American Idol’: Laine Hardy, Alyssa Raghu, and Payton Taylor Are Back. Is It Fair?

Matt Beck

Matt Beck

laine-hardy-american-idolABC/Josh Vertucci
ABC

Three former American Idol contestants Laine Hardy, Alyssa Raghu, and Payton Taylor are back for a second shot. Is it fair to the newcomers?


Laine Hardy

ABC

Laine Hardy is back with a renewed confidence and shiny set of new teeth. He stepped on the scene last year quickly gaining favor with the judges and becoming a American Idol fan favorite.

Laine returned this season to play guitar for his friend Ashton Gill’s audition. After Gill earned herself a golden ticket for performing Chris Stapleton’s “Broken Halos” the judged convinced Laine to play a little tune.

Laine replied by playing a short rendition of “The Weight” by The Band, which had Lionel immediately saying, “You’ve found everything we said”. The judges waived a golden ticket in front of his face, and after a slight hesitation, Laine accepted. He received another golden ticket, and will be moving through to the next stage on American Idol.


Alyssa Raghu

ABC

Another familiar face from season 16, Alyssa Raghu came back with a little more season in her sauce. Alyssa, aka “The Sauce”, was cut at top 24 on the previous season, and she’s back saying, “I didn’t come this far, to only come this far”. In season 16 Katy Perry told Alyssa that her voice was amazing, but her presence was a little “forgettable”.

Alyssa took the feedback to heart, and since then she has amped up the vocal lessons, dance lessons, and has played around 200 shows. As a result, she has come back with a vengeance, tailor made for the American Idol judges.

Payton Taylor

ABC

Yet another former American Idol contestant hitting the stage this season is South New Jersey country singer, Payton Taylor. Much like Laine did this year, Payton originally appeared on the show playing guitar for her sister’s audition.


After they played last year, the judges had an inkling that the girl behind the guitar had pipes as well. So, the judges asked her to perform solo, and were blown away.

The judges awarded both sisters a golden ticket, but after some thought they decided not to advance for the sake of their relationship. But, now Payton will be returning for a second chance.

Fair?

ABC

Laine and Alyssa were able to rectify the criticisms they received, and return with major improvements. Payton has had an extra year to prepare and hone in her skills for the American Idol stage. This begs the question of whether it’s fair for them to be back in the competition, or do they have an unfair advantage?

Laine and Alyssa have received training from major figures in the entertainment industry and were given invaluable feedback from the judges. This undoubtedly gives them an upper hand in the competition.

ABC/Josh Vertucci

To some it may seem unfair, but you can’t deny the unbelievable talent that continues to bless the American Idol stage. Therefore, you are up against the best in the world, so a previous run may not be enough to win.

For the most part, fans seem pleased to see returning favorites hit the American Idol stage for another shot at the top spot.

Two former American Idol champions Candice Glover and Caleb Johnson earned their title after being eliminated in prior seasons. Will this year’s winner be the third Champion returning from a previous season?

To find out tune into American Idol Wednesday at 8pm pst.

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