Laine Hardy is the new American Idol. Hardy closed the season finale with an amazing performance. But let’s go back to the beginning and see how it all went down.
Lionel Richie and his team of judges opened the finale with a rendition of Richie’s single Dancing on the Ceiling. As always, Ryan Seacrest was there to lay out the ground rules. Seacrest also said that this was the first time that fans would be able to vote for their favorite singer in real time!
The first one to perform was Laine. His first performance was a cover of Home, by Marc Broussard. The judges were amazed by his performance – Katy Perry even said that if he stays focused, he can become one of the biggest pop stars in the world!
Next up was Madison VanDenburg, who performed a cover of Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Once again, the judges were wowed. Luke especially praised Madison for getting better over the course of the season. Richie and Perry were also very happy with her performance and Perry even said that the greatness is finally starting to come out of her.
The third competitor was Alejandro Aranda who sang an original track called Millennial Love. Aranda was praised for his singing, but also, for his songwriting skills, while Bryan gushed about Alejandro’s star power. According to Aranda, the lyrics were inspired by his generation and how people his age need to focus on relationships and not their cell phones.
Ryan Seacrest then stepped away from the performers and asked the judges who they think was the best in the first round. Bryan chose Madison as his favorite, while Richie and Perry said that Alejandro was the best. However, it was too soon to make a final choice, given the talents of all performers.
After the first set of performances, the show aired a video about Laine and his family. Hardy admitted he missed his family, but they encouraged him to pursue his dream. Laine then performed for the second time, and he chose a throwback cover of Jambalaya. Once again, the judges loved his performance, especially Katy who asked him to take her fishing.
Ryan Seacrest then welcomed Maddie Poppe, the last year’s Idol winner. After discussing her debut album and her new single Little Things, Maddie joked about being bad on TV. She said that she didn’t know how she managed to win Idol in the first place! Poppe also explained how her Idol experience impacted her family.
It was time for Madison to shine again. She sang a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s hit Breakaway and won compliments from the judges. Perry urged her to continue to grow and nurture her talent.
Alejandro’s story was up next. In his video, Alejandro got emotional over the support his hometown has given him. He also admitted that he never had much support as a kid. Alejandro sang the rendition of the song Tonight. After his performance, Bryan said that he would buy a copy of Rolling Stone when Alejandro is on the cover.
Once again, Ryan Seacrest announced a guest star for the night. Former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood showed up to perform her latest single, Southbound. After Carrie’s performance, Seacrest unveiled who the first competitor to be eliminated was. It was Madison VanDenburg.
It was time for Ryan to welcome R&B singer Montell Jordan to the stage. Montell sang his hit single This Is How We Do It, which made Katy Perry very excited! Perry then took the stage with Daddy Yankee and performed Con Calma.
After the commercial break, Adam Lambert, another American Idol alumni, took the stage. Ryan Seacrest also mentioned Adam’s upcoming tour with Queen, before Lambert sang a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody with former Idol competitor Dimitrius Graham.
It was time for a video montage of Bryan’s various movie references and funny moments during the season. Luke took the stage to perform his single Knockin Boots and the Police classic Every Breath You Take with Lacy Kaye.
Perry then returned to sing another duet, this time it was Unconditionally, with Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, followed by Weezer’s performance of Africa with Wade Cota. Legendary funk group Kool & the Gang performed a medley of their greatest hits, including Hollywood Swinging and Ladies’ Night.
It was time for the final performances on American Idol. Laine chose a final song with an energetic turn. The judges loved his performance and Katy Perry noticed that he wasn’t ready the first time he auditioned, but this time he had what it takes to win.
Alejandro, on the other hand, delivered a sensational acoustic performance. All three judges praised him for his performance; Lionel Richie even called him a gift to all the viewers, whole Bryan said that Alejandro changed their lives.
But there is only one winner on American Idol, and this time it was Laine Hardy. Hardy narrowly defeated Alejandro and became the next American Idol. Laine said that he remembers watching American Idol as a kid, and was eager to prove that he one day, he will be a star too.
“I remember my mom turning it on whenever the season started. We’d all watch it as a family,” he said and added,“I’m missing fishing right now, because the fish are about to start biting. I was going to play a bunch of shows and there’s a big bash on the river where they bring a big barge out and put a band in the middle of the lake.”
Many were surprised that Alejandro Aranda finished this season as the runner-up. But that doesn’t mean that Aranda’s career has ended; The singer announced his first post-Idol tour on Instagram, and he already has the support of Katy Perry.
“Something unprecedented, four original songs from a contestant on our show,” Ryan Seacrest said as the audience chanted Homie. “I saw something magical, they were singing the song after you. That’s gotta be a cool feeling.”
Alejandro, who once was a dishwasher, made his tour debut with seven concerts across the nation. While it’s still not clear whether Aranda will perform with other musicians or Idol contestants, but the concerts appear to be free!
After his announcement on Instagram, Katy Perry showed her support by asking him to be his roadie. Perry was Aranda’s biggest fan, so her request isn’t such a big surprise.
Ryan Seacrest Returns with American Idol 2020
Ryan Seacrest closed the 2019 season of the musical show when he announced the winner, but the show has now been renewed! The next season will be season 18, while some refer to it as season 3 (because the show is technically a reboot). But one thing is for sure: the next season will start in January 2020.
Ryan Seacrest, who is veteran host, is in the middle of a long-term deal with ABC, while the show has reportedly made offers to all three judges. Judge Luke Bryan said that he’s optimistic all three judges, including himself, will return to Idol.
“Love that a third season is on the way. All things feel positive that me and Lionel and Katy will be back. We’re doing the business of the business. When Ryan Seacrest sends you a text message going, ‘Thank you for really making this brand, a great brand’ it’s something that we’re proud of. It’s something I enjoy doing. It’s something that I work hard at.”
Bryan also reportedly joked about his contract with Idol, “They have agreed to pay me $180 million. We like that number, it’s in the ballpark. But no, I’m obviously excited about the potential of a season three. We’re in the business portion of it where we’re working the contract out. I pray to God that me and Lionel and Katie are the ones that can come back,” he said. “I could not be prouder of what we have put on TV. I can tangibly hold my head high. It’s something that I enjoy doing. It’s something that I work hard at. My learning curve from last year to this year — I just got a lot better. Now I hop in a cab and a lot of people don’t know now my music, they just know me from American Idol.”
Lionel Richie said he wouldn’t do another show without his team. “What will it take? The same things we did this year,” Richie said about offers made to the trio to return for the new season. “I’ve got the greatest three personalities ever. Now, when I started out with this group, I was a bit worried. I kept telling America, ‘Pray for me.’ But now that I know who everybody is and their characters, oh my god, I would not do another show without ’em.”
“We’ve had an amazing two years,” Bryan added. “When you just look at the overall approach, we had a clearer vision, we developed our identities and roles, and we want to keep that going. We’re proud of what people are at home watching. I know Lionel is getting it, and Katy, when we’re walking down the street and somebody comes up and says, ‘We love the way y’all are treating these kids on American Idol,’ it feels really, really great.”
Katy Perry also believes that the three were definitely more on the same page with each other this season than their first together, “even with the American public as the votes were coming in, so it feels good that we’re really getting to know each other.”
Live with Kelly and Ryan choose American Idol… Again!
While Laine Hardy has been chosen as the 2019 Idol, the fans of the music competition had another chance to help one of their favorites make one more national TV appearance. This time, it was on Live with Kelly and Ryan!
There was a poll opened on Live’s American Idol Encore that allowed viewers to help choose one of the eliminated Top 10 singers to perform in Live’s New York studio. The online poll opened on May 20 and remained open until May 21.
Of course, American Idol winner Laine stopped by Live to perform, and with Alejandro Aranda who was named a runner-up, eight of the Top 10 finalists were eligible for Live’s American Idol Encore performance.
Hardy hopped on a red-eye flight to chat about his victory with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. Laine performed for the viewers dressed in a floral blazer, when everyone noticed his Elvis swagger during his performance of his original song Flame.
“I slept like three hours on the way here,” Laine admitted to Kelly and Ryan. Nevertheless, he expressed his excitement to get started working on music. Seacrest asked Laine, “Has it sunk in yet?” to which Hardy responded,”I’m still processing it. I could barely sing just now because I’m thinking like, ‘Wow, I’m here right now. It’s crazy.’”
After he won the contest, Seacrest asked Laine, “How do you feel now that you’ve won American Idol?” Hardy responded, “I don’t know how to feel right now, like I can’t feel anything.”
Laine also appeared on Good Morning America. “When Ryan called my name, my mind blacked out and I didn’t know what to do,” Hardy said and added, “I just forgot everything. When the rest of the top 10 came out, it helped me out a lot — made me happy.
The brand new American Idol winner also said that he is traveling back home to Louisiana to get some much needed family time. “I’m going to go home, see my mom — I miss my mom,” he concluded.
Madison VanDenburg placed third in this season of American Idol, but that doesn’t mean the fans love her any less. On the contrary, she was chosen as the Top 10 contestant viewers wanted to see perform an encore on Live with Kelly and Ryan!
This is the second year the famous talk show hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa asked fans to vote on which eliminated contestant they wanted to see perform again. Madison’s fans were happy to hear that it was Madison who won the most votes.
Madison appeared in the studio and sang Fallin by Alicia Keys. This was the song she sang previously in the Top 14 on American Idol. Madison was also backed up by a pianist and she sounded better than ever before.
Even Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa’s husband, was blown away by her performance. Nobody could believe that Madison is only 17 years old. She talked about her upcoming prom and admitted that American Idol fed her so well she was afraid to try on the dress she chose before the live shows. “They gave me Spanx, so hopefully, she joked. Ripa then told her that she is perfection.
Madison also explained how the show taught her to be a better stage performer and helped her improve her singing technique.
Ryan Seacrest Casts His Vote on Bachelorette
Just before Laine Hardy became this year’s winner of American Idol, Bachelorette star Hannah Brown made a special appearance on the show. She also revealed that she was happy after the conclusion of the season.
While Hannah said that she was ready for marriage, recent contestants such as Peter Kraus and Cassie Randolph said that two months of dates and rose ceremonies are not enough to lead to a proposal.
ABC hasn’t revealed Brown’s official relationship status, but that didn’t stop American Idol host Ryan Seacrest from casting his own vote! “My vote is for Peter Pilot,” Seacrest said to Brown during the Idol’s finale. “I’ll keep that in mind,” Brown responded.