Laine Hardy Says Competing on ‘American Idol’ Was ‘Like Bootcamp’

Samantha Agate
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Laine HardyPhillip Faraone/WireImage

Laine Hardy reflected on his American Idol experience after winning the show in 2019. The country singer did a Twitch live stream with American Songwriter where he answered fan questions and teased his new album. Laine said his time on the show was “like bootcamp.”


‘American Idol’ Winner Laine Hardy Looks Back At His Time on the Show

Laine is “super excited” for his debut album release on Friday. Growing up in Louisiana, Laine was always surrounded by music. He had only started singing for real about five years ago. Laine initially began performing in a family band featuring his brother as the lead singer. His spur-of-the-moment push from his mother to audition for American Idol has since led to a promising solo career.

For Laine, being on American Idol was “like bootcamp” because of how much goes into the experience. His Season 16 audition alone was a “full-day” process of filling out paperwork and filming. He returned again in Season 17, after practicing a lot at home.

“You don’t know what you’re doing, nobody really does,” he said about auditioning for American Idol.


The soft-spoken singer is very grateful for the experience that led him to decide to pursue music full time. He went to Nashville in June 2019 to begin writing original music. Laine admitted that he was “scared” to be alone but met a bunch of great songwriters along the way. He also hung out with fellow American Idol contestants while he was there.

“The first day I had to song write I was calling my people in Los Angeles like ‘what do I do, I’ve never written before,'” he said.

Laine learned so much from the experience including what kind of style he wanted his album to be. When the pandemic hit, he went home and built his own studio. In his downtime, he did watch some of his past American Idol performances when they popped up on YouTube.


“Sometimes I click on them and watch them because I’m curious,” he said. “I don’t like watching myself too much.”

Laine Performed ‘Authentic’ Live

Laine performed the song “Authentic” for the live stream crowd. It was a very simple acoustic version. You could really hear all of the country and classic rock influences in his voice. Here’s To Anyone is going to be full of country hits. He also shared how much his recent experience performing at the Grand Ole Opry meant to him.

“That was crazy,” he said. “That was like Idol. It was better than that. It was a goal of mine that I’ve had since I was a kid.”

Viewers also got to know a few more fun things about Laine like his hidden talent of running “pretty fast ” and being able to hold his breath for a long time. His favorite food is crawfish and he believes all Lousiana foods are “made with love.” Even after winning American Idol, Laine is still very humble and a pleasure to watch. Be on the lookout for Laine’s debut album, Here’s To Anyone, dropping on Sept. 17.

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