Country star Luke Bryan has been kept awake at night questioning the choices he’s made as a judge on revived TV talent show American Idol.
The Crash My Party hitmaker joins Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on the judging panel for the revamped competition series, but turning down aspiring singers during the audition process has proved to be a rough learning curve for sensitive Luke.
“We’re having a blast, but you don’t expect all the emotions,” he explained on breakfast show Good Morning America.
“I mean, I have laid awake… worrying about, ‘Did I make the right decision?’ with some of these contestants. It’s so critical.”
Luke reveals he initially fretted about how to gently let people down after their try-outs, but as the days wore on, so did his patience – making it a little easier for him to simply say no.
“It’s a little out of my comfort zone to just pick people apart, you know, but you have to, it’s what you signed up for (as a judge),” he shared. “I remember our first day on set… and when somebody doesn’t need to make it through, there’s no way around (it), you’ve got to say no. I’m like (worrying), ‘Oh god, I gotta tell ’em no… (sic),’ but then when you learn after 14-hour days of filming, you’re like, ‘No! It’s time to get the next person in!'”
Taking part in the show has been a real “learning experience” for Luke, but it’s also given him reason to push himself musically for his fans.
“It’s been inspirational for me,” he said. “It makes me want to get back in the studio and work harder, because you see truly wonderfully talented people and it inspires you…”
Filming Idol auditions across the nation also gave Luke the chance to return to his birth state of Georgia, where he gave one bride and groom a wedding celebration to remember in October (17).
“We crashed a wedding in Savannah…,” he smiled. “I’ve got a lot of roots down in Savannah, and we heard that there was a wedding in a reception area right down the road (from the audition venue), so we took the camera crews down there, had some fun.”
The new season of American Idol premieres on U.S. TV on Sunday (12Mar18).