Luke Bryan Doubts He Would Have Made It Competing on 'American Idol'

Luke Bryan is well into his third season as a judge on American Idol, where he, along with Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, help the dreams of aspiring singers come true – and gently tell others they don't have what it takes to be a singer, at least not yet. The three judges, who have spent the last few months hosting auditions all across the country, try to be gracious in giving constructive criticism to those whose talent isn't quite up to par, but especially Bryan, since he thinks he likely would have never made it competing on the reality TV talent show.

"If I had been a 20-year-old kid and walked into Idol, I don't think I would've made it through.," Bryan admitted to and other media. "I think I may have charmed them with a goofy grin or something, but I don't know. And that's what you never know about these kids. I mean, when you end their dream right there, that's just not what me and Lionel and Katy are about. So we don't know if this is our last moment with them. We don't know if they will go on to win.

"But either way, it's really fun having their attention and giving them advice," he continued. "I think the country music role is not an 'Everybody helps everybody' [role], and it kind of shows ... Katy gives amazing advice too. We all have our little lane, but when I meet a kid that I don't think is going to make it but I see myself in them, I really feel like I have to encourage them to really chase that dream."

Bryan didn't have a reality TV talent show when he moved to Nashville to pursue country music, but he did have plenty of support from his friends and family, which he says is even more important.

"If they're 16, if they're 17, 18 and from 18 to 22, I mean the sky's the limit on what they can become," Bryan said. "I would have never moved to Nashville without the encouragement of friends and family. And I thought I was pretty good when I was 22 and 23, and it still took massive amounts of encouragement. To get kids to dive into the music business, it's scary, and it's a whole lot scarier if you give them negative feedback, if it's all negative.

"I think when we say, 'We think you got something, but you're not ready yet, but you will be,' that goes a long way to them," he added. "We're not doing it to let them down. We're doing it to lift them up."


A premiere date for American Idol has not yet been announced. Bobby Bones will return as an in-house mentor, and Ryan Seacrest will return as host.

Photo Credit: Getty / David Livingston