Blake Shelton Admits “It’s Embarrassing” That ‘The Voice’ Rejected Luke Combs Back In The Day

Blake Shelton, Luke Combs are posing for a picture

Back before Luke Combs turned out the turbo jets for what’s become a record-breaking career already, he actually auditioned for The Voice (I can’t stand that show, is that show still on?).

We talked to Luke about it years ago, and he said:

“I was on spring break a few years ago when ‘The Voice’ was having auditions in Atlanta, Georgia. In my audition round I was the only guy and you get about thirty seconds to sing. I made it to the next round that was at a studio, and then made it to the next cut.

They had four audition cities and narrowed it from about 10,000 to 200 people. Then you don’t know if you made it to the show for a few months.

I made it through those rounds with the producers, but I got a letter saying I wasn’t “interesting” enough for the show’s ratings so I didn’t get to the show. But it gave me a lot of confidence because I was good enough voice wise to make it through all those producer auditions.”


That’s too funny, but yeah, it happened…

Not “interesting” enough

It’s why I think these reality singing shows are such garbage these days.

Obviously, Blake Shelton is a judge on The Voice, and props to him for usually going after the country talent, and helping them after the show ends. However, he was recently asked in a radio interview about that Luke Combs rejection, and he didn’t mince words…

“He told me that story…there’s no way around it, it’s embarrassing. Let’s just face it.

Luke told me that he kept his rejection letter, his letter saying we’re not gonna put you on the show. He said he put that in his dorm room in college and he hung it on the wall to push him on, something to fight for.

I don’t know if he still has that letter or not, but if he does … I think he should frame it and put it next to his first triple-platinum album that he has.”

Here’s Luke talking about the rejection, and Blake.

A nice reminder to keep fighting, hustling, and grinding.

Way back in his college days, Luke Combs covered “Simple Man” at Town Tavern in Boone, North Carolina.

Good thing that Voice thing didn’t work out.


Luke Combs Recalls Being Told He Didn’t Look Like A Country Singer: “Put Me At The Jiffy Lube, You’ll Think I Manage The Son Of A B*tch”

We were talking with American Aquarium’s BJ Barham on the podcast recently about the ways the country music industry likes to manufacture artists to fit this image, and I was reminded of this story from Luke Combs.

A while back, Luke Combs joined Scott Van Pelt’s podcast SVPod, and while they got to talking about sports (Lamar Jackson taking a dump in the middle of the game), music, gambling and everything under the sun, one part that caught my eye (and cracked me up) was when Luke got to talking about signing a record deal.

Long story short, Luke had just moved to town and was writing with friends and folks he’d met around town, playing showcases and writer’s rounds… you know, the kind of thing you do when you get to Nashville.

But a lot of people (record execs and industry folks) told Luke that he was destined to only be a songwriter for these bigger artists because he didn’t “look the part.”

And here was Luke’s brilliantly honest (and hilarious) response:

“We’re talking about COUNTRY music here… if anybody looks the part, it’s me.

The OTHER guys don’t look the part, that’s the problem. I’m not the guy that’s the problem here.

Throw these other guys at the Jiffy Lube, they’re gonna look outta place. You put me at the Jiffy Lube and you’re gonna think I manage the son of a b-tch.”

Can I get an amen?

But by all means, keep pumping these copycat pretty boys out of the Nashville music machine….

Meanwhile, Luke Combs is busy racking up hit after hit after hit, and oh yeah… a nice little Entertainer of the Year award to go with it.


Anyway, check out the full podcast, it’s a good listen.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock