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"American Idol" winner Laine Hardy on why the second time competing was the charm

ABC/Eric McCandlessWe saw him tackle everything from Elvis Presley to Elton John on American Idol this season. Now, newly crowned winner Laine Hardy is ready to make music of his own.

The 18-year-old Livingston, Louisiana native – who previously tried out last season and didn’t make the cut -- tells ABC Radio why the second time competing on the show was the charm. He says he was able to balance the fun with the serious.

“It was like a fun-serious,” he says. “So I was like having fun but learning songs and pushing myself to new limits.”

He credits one of this season’s mentors and Idol alum Adam Lambert with giving him the best advice.

“Adam Lambert, he told me some things about stage presence and just pushing yourself to…just try it, you know?” he says. “Just try something new on stage and if you don't like it, you don't have to do it.”

As for what’s next for Laine, he says he's excited to explore all different genres of music and not get pegged down to one thing. He's also excited to go back home and spend some quality time with his family.

“If I didn't have my family, then I would not be able to get through all of this at all,” he says. “They are super proud of me and they've been with me through it all and they've been really supportive…And my whole state is just behind me one-hundred-percent and I'm glad I have a home to go back to and I'm very grateful for that.” 

On Sunday's Idol finale, Alejandro Aranda was named the runner-up and Madison VanDenburg placed third.

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