American Idol hopeful Laine Hardy took to the stage as a Top 20 contestant to perform a solo on Monday (April 1), showcasing his soulful side with a cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" that left the judges satisfied.

Hardy won the crowd over, too, with a passionate and inspired cover that earned him a standing ovation. Judge Katy Perry was even fanning herself, saying: "Whew! Jesus, take the wheel" the second he finished the song. She even admitted admitting she was scared of Hardy and the way he commanded the stage, but in a good way.

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Judge Lionel Richie added that they are in trouble now, because Hardy seems to have learned a new performance trick: "Ladies and gentlemen, Laine has discovered a new thing. You can take that look all the way to the bank, my friend!"

"I'm so glad that we don't get to pick our Top 10, 'cause I can't do it anymore, 'cause y'all keep coming out here bringing it like this, and I'm like, 'What am I gonna do? Jesus, take the wheel,'" Perry continued.

Luke Bryan seemed especially impressed with Hardy's performance, remarking: "I'm really so happy where your voice has come from last year." Bryan was a supporter of Hardy during the last season. "But what I'm even more excited about is everything you're doing currently looks like you're trying to win this whole competition."

Last week Hardy performed the Beatles' classic "Come Together" during the Top 40 getaway to Hawaii. Hardy was a part of the last season of American Idol and hadn't intended to audition this season — he attended a friend's audition as support, to play guitar, but couldn't say no when judges thrusted a Hollywood golden ticket at him after an impromptu performance.

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