ABC News

“Keep an ace up your sleeve”: Luke Bryan explains what it takes to make it as an ‘American Idol’ finalist

M Lukebryan 22
ABC/Lou Rocco

The new season of American Idol kicks off this month, complete with a whole new batch of talented stars in the making.

But what does it take to make it to the final rounds of the competition? Judge Luke Bryan says it’s all about keeping the audience on their toes.

“To make it all the way to the finals in American Idol is to constantly keep an ace up your sleeve,” the country superstar explains. “Constantly keep growing and surprising us and constantly being true to yourself — but surprising the viewers at home.”

This season of the show marks American Idol’s 20th anniversary, which means that the competition is fiercer than ever. This time around, Luke and his fellow judges kick things off by awarding the most talented contestants with a platinum ticket that allows them to sit out the next round of performances and go straight to Hollywood Week. But those platinum ticket holders will be held to an even higher standard: They’ll have to quickly adapt and evolve, delivering a blockbuster performance each time they step on stage.

“Keep everybody guessing, keep everybody on their toes,” Luke advises. “Once we think we got you figured out, then show us that we don’t have you figured out.”

Season 20 of American Idol premieres Sunday, February 27 on ABC.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.