For three hours, Idol fans waited in anticipated to learn whether Hardy, Madison VanDenburg or Alejandro Aranda would take the title that helped catapult major names like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson to superstardom, taking in performances from Idol royalty like Underwood and Adam Lambert as well as fan favorites like Laci Kaye Booth and Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon from earlier in the season.
Once the big news as to who would be joining Maddie Poppe in the ranks of recent American Idol winner broke, fans of the talented singer immediately took to Twitter to celebrate:
LAINE HARDY OH MY GOSH 🤩🤩😍😍😍😍 #AmericanIdol— brooke (@brookeburt_) May 20, 2019
Others were not so happy, claiming their favorite contestant had been robbed with the victory.
Alejandro should have 100% won. He will definitely have the better career! #AmericanIdol— Ryan James (@Rhyn0man) May 20, 2019
#AmericanIdol that was disappointing...Laine is certainly talented but Alejandro is by far more talented! Loved watching him blossom on this show though!— Judy O'Brien (@judyobrien7) May 20, 2019
After the first live vote whittled the pool down to the Top 10, Perry told PEOPLE, “It’s tough because we’re so invested. It’s so difficult to play chess with people’s dreams. I do wish we could have American Idols, the show, but I think that America did a fantastic job at voting for this first live show.”
“We asked them to fight and then they go out there to fight,” Bryan added of the night's performances at the time. “You see these kids and it inspires me to sit at home at my piano.”
American Idol Season 18 is expected to return to ABC in January 2020.
Photo credit: Twitter/American Idol