Blake Shelton began coaching The Voice in 2011, years before his friend Luke Bryan took his judges' chair on American Idol in 2018. During a recent episode of Bryan's Apple Music Country radio show, Party Barn Radio, the "One Margarita" singer revealed that Shelton had a hand in his decision to accept Idol's offer, a choice he is glad to have made.
"You said, 'Do it,'" Bryan recalled. "I said, 'Heck yeah, I'm going to do it.' Man, it was like you told me. It certainly opens your eyes, opens your world up to stuff you never can imagine. Thank you for that. The world can hear me say thank you, Blake Shelton." The two country stars had been discussing their time as competition show judges, with Bryan declaring that "nothing is more fun than being in the room when a star is born."
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"I mean, you got to go through hundreds of people to find that star," he continued, recalling Gabby Barrett's audition for Season 16 of Idol. "There was just something magical about that." "I know you've seen that stuff too, and that's what brings you back," he told Shelton. "When you see the finished product of a really ... The Voice does that. I mean, obviously, we inadvertently compete against each other. But The Voice and American Idol, I mean, telling the stories of the kids and me sitting up there."
Shelton noted that a main difference between the two shows is the manner in which the judges first meet the contestants. "I've always said that the tough parts of our jobs are in two different timelines because what you guys do with the audition process, you're literally out there hitting the streets," he mused. "People coming in with a number taped on their back or chest or whatever, and they're just as raw as they could possibly be. Where on The Voice, by the time they get through the audition process to make it onto the blind auditions, they're a little more prepared for that moment. Because of what they go through just to get to that part. Then the tough part for us is more towards the back half when we've been in a room with these people."
Though a trailer for the upcoming season of American Idol shows Bryan telling a contestant they made him cry, the "One Margarita" singer admitted that he never thought he would feel that way. "I remember when I took the role of Idol, I'm like, 'Man, there, ain't no way I'm going to be boohooing and crying and emotional,' but it is emotional and it is amazing to watch kids put their life on the line," he said. Bryan judges alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, and the trio will return for Idol's newest season on Sunday, Feb. 14.