Two times is the charm for Season 17 winner Laine Hardy as the 3rd ‘American Idol’ returning rejectee to take it all

Face it. Laine Hardy, the newly crowned winner of the 17th season of “American Idol,” was and is the full package. Young, handsome and talented. Yes, runner-up Alejandro Aranda, 24, is a much more accomplished and original artist and third-place finisher Madison VanDenburg, 17, has a set of pitch-perfect magical pipes (although I do wish the wardrobe handlers had dressed her less like a Vegas opening act and more like a teen).

But Louisiana boy Laine, 18, had one advantage that only Florida native Alyssa Ragu, 17, shared this season. They both tried out the previous year and were cut in the early rounds. That made them hungry and both used the time to improve before trying out again. However, Alyssa — a fave of judge Katy Perry who made it to the Top 8 — focused on polishing her performing skills as she took dance and singing lessons.

See‘American Idol’ recap: Who wins Season 17 — Laine,
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