'American Idol': Laine Hardy Returns for Another Shot Thanks to Judges

American Idol is giving Laine Hardy a shot at redemption this season with another trip to Hollywood.

Last year, Hardy quickly became a fan-favorite on American Idol. The show is giving him another chance at fame, as his seemingly accidental audition on Sunday night's episode revealed.

Hardy attended the audition with 20-year-old Ashton Gill. He was there to support his friend with a guitar accompaniment, but his sudden appearance had the judges over-excited. Gill performed a stunning rendition of "Broken Halos" by Chris Stapleton. Hardy swore he was not there to audition himself, but of course, the judges goaded him into it.

"Laine, no audition for you?" asked Luke Bryan incredulously.

"No audition for me," Hardy confirmed.

The judges turned their attention to Gill, showering praise on her short performance. After giving her their approval to join the competition, they shook hands with her and Hardy. Perry innocently asked Hardy to sing a song as well, and he strummed his way into "The Weight" by The Band.

"If you want to come back, let us know, okay?" Richie said. "Do not play around!"

"Hey, yeah!" Perry agreed, waving a golden ticket at Hardy. "Take this ticket, come on, take this ticket! You found your confidence."

"You've found everything we said," Richie agreed.

In an emotional moment, Hardy agreed to give the show another shot. The singer toook the proffered ticket and signed on for another round on American Idol.

Fans were overjoyed to see that Hardy would be back this season. Many felt that he was overlooked last year, and the second chance is well deserved.

"Laine was robbed last season! I'm glad he's back! Hope his friend goes far too!" one commenter wrote.

However, many who watched the clip were distracted by Gill, who they felt bad for. The singer's own audition was lumped into Hardy's big comeback, and some wondered if it made her feel bad.

"They both have a great voice but I think the girl must've felt a bit bad since judges mostly focused on Laine," a fan noted.

"She looked uncomfortable during his song," noted another. "She's really good though!"


Of course, there were many others who rolled their eyes at the whole scenario, feeling that it was manufactured and unrealistic.

Now that he has the ticket in hand, it is time to see if Hardy can deliver on the judges' renewed confidence in him. American Idol airs Monday and Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.