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Luke Bryan Was Convinced His Rant Would Get Him Fired From "American Idol"

The judge and country singer was so worried he would be cut that he was losing sleep.

After making his name as a country star, Luke Bryan became part of the American Idol judging panel in 2018, sharing the table with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. But, despite the fact that the lineup of celebrity judges hasn't changed since the show was revived that year, Bryan was evidently convinced at one point that he was going to be fired from the competition reality show. It all began when he went on a surprising rant about another country star on stage last year. Now, the subject of his misguided speech says that Bryan was so scared he would lose his job on American Idol because of it that he couldn't sleep at night.

RELATED: Fans Call Blake Shelton an "Embarrassment to Country Music" After Controversial Performance.

Bryan made headlines for the way he introduced fellow singer Dustin Lynch at 2023 Crash My Playa music festival in Mexico in January 2023. Page Six reported at the time that Bryan said of Lynch, "No one has drank more liquor, no one has vomited more, no one has taken more drugs, no one has taken more IVs, no one has passed more STD tests than this next gentleman." He then noted that Lynch has a "clean bill" of health and "does not have diseases."

When Lynch took to the stage, he did not address Bryan's off-color comments. But the intro went viral online with Page Six reporting that TikTok users called his words "absolutely uncalled for," said that he "sounded like an idiot," and said that they were "beyond disappointed."

Dustin Lynch and Luke Bryan at the 2018 CMT Music Awards
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Now, Lynch has explained what happened in the aftermath of the festival, including the fear Bryan expressed about his future on American Idol. As reported by Page Six, he said on the podcast God's Country that Bryan quickly called to apologize to him, though they were both surprised by the attention his speech got in the media and online.

"We're looking at all these articles pop up like, 'Oh, crap,'" Lynch said on God's Country. "And so [Bryan] has to apologize, you know, especially with, now he's worrying [about], obviously, American Idol. Who cares about the country music thing? It's American Idol … He gets to where he can't sleep at night 'cause he's worried."

Lynch also recalled how he reacted to Bryan's intro in the moment. "He starts going down this road of just bashing me and to the point where I'm looking at his manager like, 'Dang,'" the "Stars like Confetti" singer said. "We hit the stage and anyway; it catches fire."

Lynch said that he knew Bryan was "trying to be funny," and that the other country singer asked for Lynch's parents email addresses so he could apologize to them, too. "[That] just shows you what kind of guy Luke is," the 38-year-old said.

Soon after the comments spread online, Bryan also apologized publicly. As reported by Billboard, in a video posted on his Instagram story, he said, "I saw where people are starting to chat about my introduction of Dustin Lynch. Dustin Lynch is one of my dearest friends on the planet. No one respects him more than I do, and that night at Playa, Sunday night, last night, I get everybody out, and my introduction of him was complete sarcasm. Those words that I used were so absurd, I figured everybody would take it as sarcasm. Obviously, some people didn't."

Bryan continued, "I've spoke to Dustin, I love him, he and I are all good, and I apologize to anybody that doesn't understand my humor and sarcasm. It's been going on like that down there for years. We'll see y'all next year."

Lynch reposted the video on his own account and wrote, "Thx for the call, love ya bro. All good. We had a lot of fun down there again with the pirates."

Oh, and Bryan was not fired from American Idol. Season 22 is set to premiere later this month.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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