‘American Idol': Laine Hardy Blasts Joe Cocker and Chuck Berry
Sunday night (May 5) was not just Cinco de Mayo, it was another big night on American Idol, in which the Top 6 performed two songs for the nation's votes with a potential two on the chopping block.
As with last week, a theme was in place: For the first song, the contestants sang classics inspired by Woodstock (or, as host Ryan Seacrest put it, "We're flashing back to 1969 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic music festival Woodstock...rock, folk, funk, world, blues. Woodstock had it all."). Second, they received mentoring from Idol alum Lauren Daigle on an "inspirational showstopper" selection before belting it out to the crowd.
Fan favorite Laine Hardy as usual brought his swampy, party-ready vibe to his two selections, starting things off with Joe Cocker's "I Don't Need No Doctor." Hardy's knack with earthy material served him well here, with judge Luke Bryan approving, "You continue week after week to pick the right songs for you...week after week, you come out with songs that really compliment what you're about."
Judge Lionel Richie first took a moment to admire Hardy's selection of jackets, then got a little more serious. "You're taking it to the core," he noted. "It's so strong to have your identity connected to that voice of yours."
Judge Katy Perry was blunt: "You have it locked in, dialed in," she instructed. "Now push yourself a little bit more past that point that you don't think you can go, and literally push yourself into the stardom category."
Hardy found himself in a little less confident territory working with Daigle on his next number, Chuck Berry's standard rocker "Jonny B. Goode," which of course mentions Hardy's native state's New Orleans. Daigle, a fellow Louisiana gal, broke the ice by asking, "Do you put tomatoes in your gumbo?" (No--he uses okra). She then encouraged him to do a "cajun" dance, which had poor Hardy hopping in confusion.
He didn't seem confused at all on stage, however, providing a version of the Berry classic that might have benefited from a bit more grit, but was nevertheless a polished representation of his best vibes. "Who knew you had that in your lower body!" screamed Perry, to which Bryan dryly noted, "I have nothing left to say."
There was nothing left to say, as Hardy easily made the night's cut into the Top 4 (is anyone surprised?).
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