Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton Trade TV Judging Notes

The country superstars talk about their time on 'American Idol' and 'The Voice.'

Written by Chris Parton
Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton Trade TV Judging Notes
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: Recording artists Luke Bryan (L) and Blake Shelton speak onstage during the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ACM2016/Getty Images for dcp)

For the last couple of years, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton have had more in common than being two of country’s biggest stars. They’re also judges on two of TV’s biggest musical competitions, American Idol and The Voice, and the two friends recently compared their experiences.

Chatting with each other on Bryan’s Party Barn Radio for Apple Music, the host first admitted he only took his American Idol job in 2018 after Shelton encouraged him to do so.

“You said, ‘Do it,'” Bryan explained. “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.'”

After saying “Nothing is more fun than being in the room when a star is born,” Bryan also went on to note that his time as a TV personality has surprised him. He’s even gotten emotional watching the contestants pour their hearts out during auditions, and said discovering new talent like Gabby Barrett is a “magic” feeling. “I mean, you got to go through hundreds of people to find that star,” he said, adding “I know you’ve seen that stuff too, and that’s what brings you back.” 

 Shelton agreed, and after 19 seasons as a mainstay coach on The Voice, says the two shows may use different approaches, but they get the same result.

“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,” Shelton told Bryan. “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.”

Soon, both will get back to making that TV magic happen. A new season of American Idol begins on February 14, with Luke Bryan joining Katy Perry and Lionel Richie once again. The Voice will likewise come back for season 20 in the next few months, with Shelton, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Nick Jonas.