The Voice coach Blake Shelton threw some shade towards American Idol judge Luke Bryan during NASCAR's Real Heroes 400 race on Sunday. In order to keep racing while still following coronavirus pandemic protocols, the race is the first in NASCAR's history without anyone in the stands. With that in mind, Shelton joked that the stands looked like the crowd at a Bryan concert.
"I’m so happy NASCAR is coming on!!! The stands look like a [Luke Bryan] concert but who cares!!!" Shelton tweeted. "Go Clint!" the "God's Country" singer added, cheering on driver Clint Bowyer. Shelton posted the tweet just after the race at Darlington Raceway kicked off.
Shelton and Bryan have a friendly rivalry as judges on competing singing shows. Shelton has been the only Voice coach to appear on every season of the show since it debuted on NBC in 2011, while Bryan joined American Idol when ABC revived it in 2018. They also both appeared on ACM Presents: Our Country, an April special featuring country music stars performing from home. After a local news station misidentified him as Shelton, Bryan joked on Instagram, "I gotta work harder."
Bryan might end up ignoring Shelton's fun NASCAR joke, since he has to prepare for Sunday night's American Idol Season 3 finale. The episode airs at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and will end with a new singer crowned Idol champion. The remaining contestants — Julia Gargano, Arthur Gunn, Dillon James, Just Sam, Louis Knight, Francisco Martin and Johnny West — will all perform, as will Bryan and fellow judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. Richie will also lead a new performance of "We Are The World" with the judges, contestants and past Idol performers.
Last week, Bryan also appeared on ABC News' Good Morning America, where he spoke with ICU nurse Cassiy Gubin, who works at a Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. During the "Tell TJ" segment, Bryan surprised Gubin while she was being interviewed by TJ Holmes. Gubin said Bryan's "Rain is a Good Thing" was her favorite song. "Thank you for everything you are doing on the frontline, you're inspiring people like us. We're told to sit home, and you're told to go straight into the hospital where actively sick patients are so you are certainly a hero to me," Bryan told Gubin, who then thanked him for his message and his music.
The coronavirus has also hurt Bryan's touring plans. He was scheduled to perform at Youngstown State University on June 13, but the concert was postponed until May 30, 2021. The performance was set to take place at Stambaugh Stadium, a venue that can hold up to 20,000 people, in Youngstown, Ohio.