Looking out for fresh talent: Country music star Luke Bryan chats about American Idol Season 18
For a quick profile note, American country music singer-songwriter Luke Bryan has sold over seven million albums and 27 million singles worldwide to date. On American Idol, Bryan first appeared as a judge along with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, with Ryan Seacrest as the host, in 2017, for Season 16 of the show — and the star panel remained in-charge ever since. Here, Bryan tells us what to expect this time around...
Welcome back for your third series! How does it feel to be back?
I truly enjoy everything about this show. We really care about the contestants and strive to advise them the best way we know how. We are artistes too, so we understand the load of everything they are dealing with — from performing to stage presence and song selection.
When I joined the panel two years ago, it was new territory to me — I loved American Idol in its early years and all the phases of it. And, gosh! When I walked on the set of the show and realised I was one of the judges — it was big time.
What sort of judge have you been this season? And what is the best part about being one?
I think, I would say, I’ve been an honest judge throughout all three seasons. Regarding the best part, so first and foremost, I think this thing will always be driven by the kids standing on that stage.
And I get so inspired by watching them perform. It is so good when I get to see good people go far, which is very inspiring for me.
How do you break the news to someone who is super quirky or when they have no talent?
Quirky is great. We have to say some things that are hard to hear sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be presented harshly.
Can you tell us about the dynamics between yourself, Lionel and Katy?
We have come to know each other so well after three seasons. The shooting days are very long! I think our comradery comes across on the show. I’m having a blast with them and respect what they bring to the show. We are all enjoying it.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I was ever given was when my dad told me he was firing me from his Peanut Mill in Georgia because ‘I needed to move to Nashville.’ He said I would always regret not trying to do music for a living.
Each season has some tweaks. What are we going to get from this season of American Idol?
I think what’s important is that we are seeing a lot of talent in kids and the tricky part is when we have to explain it to them that they haven’t put the final pieces of the puzzle.
How was it for the three of you to reconnect for Season 3? This dynamic works so well...
We get to have fun with one another and watch these kids who are so talented and remarkable. We didn’t realise last season how invested we would get, and they kind of throw us to the wolves, where we have to get to know each other on TV in front of America.
I think the main thing is that if we’re having fun, we are having fun watching the kids, where we come from an artistic place and try to give them advice and critique them, and I wish we could even spend more time helping them.
How was it for you this time around, being on the judges panel? And, how was your experience working with such talented kids?
To watch dreams come true in front of your very own eyes is very inspiring. Music is so inspiring. Some of the songs, like Disney songs can be very challenging, and obscure, but most of the time, the contestants pick up the right song for them.
And watching them, with each little performance, they become a bigger star and with each week, they’re able to reinvent themselves a little bit and even add a different element and pull off new surprises for us and America. And that really sets them apart.
Watch American Idol’s 18th Edition on Star World every Sat-Sun at 7 pm.