Lionel Richie Gets Beat by Luke Bryan in ‘American Idol’ Golf Cart Race [Watch]
Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie may be friends, but the gloves came off when the two American Idol judges recently got behind the wheel of couple of golf carts. The two raced to the finish line as though they were on a NASCAR track competing for a championship.
American Idol filmed all of its new season's auditions in California in late 2020, which meant that although Bryan, Richie and fellow judge Katy Perry, as well as everyone else involved with the show, had to adhere to COVID-19 protocols, they could take advantage of the state's great weather and outdoor activities. For Bryan and Richie, that meant tricking out a pair of golf carts — the country star's is decorated with fishing gear, while the R&B icon's would look at home at a '70s disco — and racing down at a course in Ojai, Calif.
"I don't know nothin' about no hunting and fishing, but I know something about this driving," Richie quips before the green flags wave and he and Bryan take off down the course. The competition gets a little vicious as they head for the finish line, veering toward each other, each hoping to sideswipe and slow down the other; Bryan, at one point, jabs his foot toward Richie's cart, perhaps hoping to ... tip it over? Yikes!
It's a photo finish, but in the end, Bryan crosses the line just barely ahead of Richie.
"I had my pedal to the metal, and I could not get the power that I needed," Richie admits, but he's fine with the outcome.
"You know what? I looked good!" he says with a smile, making Bryan chuckle, too.
American Idol's 19th season premiered on Feb. 14. Audition-focused episodes will run through mid-March, after while footage from Hollywood Week will air. During those episodes, the group of hopefuls will be cut down to the Top 20, who will appear in the show's live performance rounds.
American Idol airs on Sunday nights at 8PM ET on ABC.
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