Luke Bryan talks back to ‘American Idol’ after COVID-19 recovery and ‘hardest’ part of quarantine (exclusive)

Luke Bryan returned to american idol on Sunday, after previously missing the first live show of the season due to his COVID-19 diagnosis. The country singer opened up to ET after the episode and reflected on his recovery and his time in quarantine.

“Well, it was very difficult, I’ll tell you,” Bryan told ET’s Lauren Zima, as she opened up alongside fellow judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. “I learned how much he loved the investment that obviously Lionel, Katy and I have made [to the season]. “

Bryan had to sit outside the first live episode of the season, and the former Idol Judge Paula Abdul returned to the program to replace. However, Bryan admitted that the absence was particularly difficult.

“I mean, it was really very difficult not being there. That was the hardest part of the quarantine,” Bryan said. “It was really hard for me to lose myself, but I was really honored and very, you know, amazed that Paula stepped in for me.”

After testing positive for COVID-19, Bryan returned to his family’s home in Tennessee and remained largely isolated, relying on his wife, Caroline Boyer, to help him during his quarantine.

“I put myself in a part of the house and stayed away from my boys,” Bryan explained. “I really didn’t want the boys to miss school, so [the one of the hardest things was] not being able to hug all my children. “

Perry and Richie spoke to ET after last Monday’s show, and the couple revealed that Bryan had been texting them from home while they were watching the show live on TV, to give them real-time feedback.

“It was really interesting talking to Lionel and Katy and really telling them how wonderful some contestants looked on television,” Bryan explained. “Even in the living room, we miss some of the tonal nuances and vocal stuff, but when you’re on TV, TV doesn’t lie. So I could say a few things to Lionel and Katy.”

During Sunday’s show, the Top 12 dropped to just nine. After all the songs were performed and America had a chance to vote, the Idol journey came to an end for Ava August, Madison Watkins, and Beane.

Meanwhile, Alyssa Wray, Caleb Kennedy, Casey Bishop, Cassandra Coleman, Chayce Beckham, Deshawn Goncalves, Grace Kinstler, Hunter Metts and Willie Spence will move on to perform in the next round.

Monday marked a great night for Bryan even after his return to Idol. Later in the evening the Born here, live here, die here The artist also won the Artist of the Year Award at the 2021 ACM Awards and accepted the honor virtually, as the show took place in Nashville while he was in Los Angeles.

american idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 pm ET / PT on ABC.

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