Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie Have a Golf Cart Race in New 'American Idol' Promo

The latest season of American Idol recently premiered on ABC, and it's clear that the judges are having fun. In a new video for the singing competition show, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie take some time away from their judging tables for a quick golf cart race, in Ojai, California, proving that the judges can compete just as much as the show's contestants.

Outfitted with a fishing net-covered golf cart whose license plate read "Gon Fishin," Bryan asked, "Who you got your money on?" Richie, whose cart was disco-inspired and featured a license plate that said "Hello," remarked, "I don't know nothing about no hunting and fishing, but I know something about driving." After the starting flag was waved, the pair stayed close, almost bumping into each other on multiple occasions before Bryan pulled ahead for the win.

"They didn't tell me that my Afro was going to get me some drag," Richie joked about the hairstyle-inspired decoration on top of his golf cart as Bryan jumped out of his own cart and ran around the course, declaring, "Help me Tom Cruise!" "I had my pedal to the metal, and I could not get the power that I needed," Richie said. "But you know what? I look good."

American Idol returned on Sunday, Feb. 14 with Bryan, Richie and fellow judge Katy Perry searching for the country's next superstar from behind three separate tables in accordance with social distancing protocols. Due to the pandemic, the judges are not allowed to hug the contestants to congratulate them, which Bryan called the "hardest part" of filming the current season.


"The interesting thing is just trying to navigate all of the new rules of COVID-19," he told PEOPLE. "One tricky thing is a lot of times during the audition process, contestants will get very, very emotional and it will be an emotional situation for them. The fact that me and Lionel and Katy can't walk out there and do the human element — hug and show support and love, is very, very tough."

"At the core of it, it's all about those wonderful singers and talented singers walking in the door and really blowing our minds as judges," the country star added. "I think through all of the COVID restrictions and rules, we've been able to really, really put an amazing show together, and very excited to see some of the talent that we've been able to find."