Luke Bryan Owes His ‘American Idol’ Role to Fellow Judge Lionel Richie
The three current American Idol judges sat down together during a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live to reminisce about the show's early days and explain how they each came to be there. Sitting next to his co-judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan admitted that he was initially surprised that he was chosen to be an Idol judge.
"I was like, 'They picked me?'" he recalls with a laugh.
As it happens, it was Richie who first brought Bryan to the attention of the show's producers and suggested that he might be the perfect addition to the cast of judges.
"Unbeknownst to any of us, they asked me during my interview, 'Who would you consider?' And I said, 'Luke,'" Richie explains. "They were putting it together, we didn't know if we were gonna be in or out, and ... I said, 'Trust me, there is never a dull moment with Luke in the house," he remembers reasoning.
Even though the show's three judges are very different artists and people, they explained to show host Jimmy Kimmel, they've discovered common ground -- and learned a lot about each other -- since joining the cast of Idol. Though Perry and Richie deliver some good-natured ribbing to Bryan for his lack of expertise when it comes to LA and city life, the singer says he got the last laugh when the show did some filming in rural Oregon.
"We get out there filming in Oregon, horses are supposed to run by, it was supposed to like this, you know, amazing scene or whatever," Bryan recalls. "We get out there -- [Perry's] having hay fever, I'm in my element --"
"He was fully enjoying it," Richie agrees. "I'm sitting there going, [cough] 'Guys, this is, uh ...' My throat's closing up, and Luke is just taking in the air."
Watch the full interview to learn more about the behind-the-scenes hijinks between Bryan and his fellow Idol judges -- including the story of the time the country star stepped in horse manure, and the reason why he's not invited to Perry's wedding. American Idol returns for another season on ABC on Sunday (Feb. 16).
6 Unforgettable American Idol Auditions
What Are Country's American Idol Alumni Doing Now?