“We Don’t Always Get It Right” – Luke Bryan Reflects On Lainey Wilson Getting Rejected By ‘American Idol’ 7 Different Times

Lainey Wilson Luke Bryan
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American Idol has been finding the best of the best singers since the early 2000s… haven’t they?

The reality TV series was a sure fire springboard to stardom for the first part of its 21-season run. Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Scotty McCreery are just a few of the winners that have gone on to have promising music careers. But as long as the show has been running, it’s really only given us a few true superstars.

American Idol has also famously gotten it wrong more than a couple of times. There are a number of modern day artists that tried to make it on the singing competition show and never made it past the audition.

One of the most famous examples of that is country music superstar Lainey Wilson. She auditioned a staggering seven times, and never had a chance to compete on the hit reality show. Considering she just won her first Best Country Album Grammy award for Bell Bottom Country, and is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, it’s safe to say Lainey deserved a shot on American Idol.

She tells Country Countdown’s Lon Helton:

“I finally made it on American Idol. I tried out 7 times.  I took the long way around, but finally made it on ‘American Idol.’  I never made it through. I never made it past the first round.

I also tried out for ‘The Voice.’ I’m grateful my story ended the way that it did.”

Her struggles to get her foot in the door of the music industry are well documented, but not many people probably know about Lainey’s multiple reality TV show rejections. It certainly was news to Luke Bryan, who has been a judge on American Idol since 2018.

When he talked with Country Countdown and was told about Wilson’s seven auditions with no success, the country star himself had this to say:

“I didn’t know that, that was the first time I heard that, but I’ll go see my producers today and find out what happened!  I’m glad she didn’t take the Idol letdown to heart. It also shows we don’t always get it right.”

I guess that’s an honest enough answer, but to me, openly admitting that your show doesn’t always do it right sort of undercuts the competition, does it not?

Of course, The Voice famously rejected Luke Combs because he wasn’t “interesting enough,” so it goes to show you that these singing shows are… about ratings?

Clearly, “water found its level” as the saying goes, and Lainey Wilson found her way to stardom without the help of American Idol. In fact, she’s such a star that she finally made it on the reality show… as a celebrity performer (along with Jelly Roll) during last year’s season finale.

Take THAT American Idol:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock