Laine Hardy returned to star in a special reunion episode of “American Idol” which aired Monday, days after he was arrested for allegedly bugging his ex-girlfriend’s dorm.
The episode, which was taped earlier this month and paid tribute to the show’s 20th anniversary, opened with a duet between Hardy, who won the reality TV singing competition in 2019, and Laci Kaye Booth, who finished in the Top 5 that year.
The two performed “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty to rave reviews from judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
“I was killed when you came on stage, Laine,” Perry said. “I was like, ‘Who is this guy? Was he in ‘A Star Is Born’?”
Richie said the singers “both sound amazing” and Bryan thanked them for continuing “to be part of the ‘American Idol’ family”.
“I don’t know of any other TV show that creates superstars like this, and you guys are legit,” Perry added.
Other “American Idol” alumni who have returned to perform include former winners Jordin Sparks, Ruben Studdard, Kris Allen and David Cook. Motivational speaker William Hung, whose failed Season 3 audition went viral, also returned, as did last year’s finalists Willie Spence and Grace Kinstler.
Hardy, 21, was arrested by the Louisiana State University Police Department on Friday after he was charged with bugging his ex-girlfriend’s dorm with a recording device.
He was incarcerated in the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail for violation of 15:1303 – interception and disclosure of electronic, electronic, or oral communications. If found guilty, he could face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a prison term of 2 to 10 years.
According to the arrest warrant, a woman and her roommate found a recording device in their dorm on April 6. The next day, they reported the find to LSU police. The woman told police she found the device, which looked like a phone charger, under her futon, according to the warrant.
‘American Idol’ winner Laine Hardy arrested accused of bugging his ex’s room
She told officers she believed her ex-boyfriend, Hardy, had left the device in her room earlier because he seemed to know details about what was going on in her life even though she didn’t. had not spoken. Police said they later found evidence of secret recordings made over 10 days in February, according to the warrant.
“The victim said she immediately confronted him, to which he confessed to her that he left a ‘bug’ in his room but threw it in his pond,” an affidavit read. of the font.
Hardy is originally from Louisiana and lives in Livingston Parish. He is not an LSU student.
The ‘Idol’ star confirmed there was a warrant for his arrest in a Facebook post on Thursday, avoiding specifics but noting that an incident of a ‘sensitive nature’ occurred on the LSU campus .
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“Earlier today, I received a warrant due to allegations against me and have cooperated fully with the Louisiana State University Police Department,” Hardy wrote. “I understand that my career has propelled me into the public spotlight, and I wholeheartedly embrace that because my whole world belongs to my music and my fans.”
In a statement to USA TODAY, Hardy’s attorney, C Frank Holthaus, said, “Mr. Hardy received an arrest warrant earlier today and has been and will continue to be fully cooperative with the Department of Louisiana State University police about it.”
Hardy rose to fame after winning “American Idol” in 2019. It marked the end of a long road on the singing competition for the Livingston, Louisiana native, who previously competed on the show in 2018 but has been knocked out of the Top 50.
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Contributors: Naledi Ushe and Greg Hilburn