Luke Bryan feared he would be fired from American Idol after he came under fire following his ‘tasteless’ introduction of Dustin Lynch at a music festival in Mexico in January of 2023.
Lynch, 38, appeared Tuesday on the iHeartMedia podcast God’s Country, detailing the fallout of Bryan’s controversial introduction of him at the Crash My Playa festival.
Bryan, 47, was worried and anxious about his spot on the series, Lynch said, after introducing him by saying, ‘No one has drank more liquor, no one has vomited more, no one has taken more drugs, no one has taken more IVs, no one has passed more STD tests than this next gentleman.’
Lynch said he and Bryan monitored the online response to Bryan’s viral comments in real-time as the story went viral, and were initially distressed by the pushback: ‘We’re looking at all these articles pop up like, “Oh, crap.”‘
Lynch said at that point Bryan said he needed to make a public apology, as he was ‘worrying’ about his spot on American Idol.
Luke Bryan (left) feared he would be fired from American Idol after he came under fire following his ‘tasteless’ introduction of Dustin Lynch (right) at a music festival in Mexico in January of 2023
‘Who cares about the country music thing?’ Lynch said. ‘It’s American Idol … he gets to where he can’t sleep at night cause he’s worried.’
Bryan’s only intent was ‘to be funny’ in his introduction, Lynch said, but crossed the line of good taste with the references to sex and substance abuse.
‘He starts going down this road of just bashing me and to the point where I’m looking at his manager like, “Dang,”‘ Lynch said of Bryan, who has been a judge on the musical competition since 2018 next to Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.
Fans were quick to react on social media, branding the speech ‘tasteless’ and voicing their disappointment in the American Idol star’s comments.
One wrote: ‘I love Luke but he sounded like an idiot making that introduction good grief’ while another typed: ‘What Luke said about Dustin is so undeserving to be said. Dustin deserved a better introduction than that.
Another typed: ‘I understand he may have been drunk and he’s joking but as a DL fan this is disgusting of Luke to do.’
Another wrote: ‘What Luke Bryan said about Dustin Lynch is absolutely uncalled for! Nobody deserves an introduction to stage like Luke did to Dustin.’
One fan penned: ‘I am beyond disappointed in what Luke said about Dustin that was not cool at all’ while a second wrote: ‘Keep it up zero talent Luke! You’ll be playing to empty stadiums soon.’
Bryan was slammed by fans over his crass introduction to a performance by Dustin Lynch
Bryan added: ‘No one has drank more liquor, no one has vomited more, no one has taken more drugs, no one has taken more IVs, no one has passed more STD tests than this next gentleman’
The longtime country music colleagues were pictured in Nashville in 2018
The entertainers were pictured sharing the stage in 2016 in Indio, California
Fury: Fans took to social media to put Bryan on blast
Another wrote: ‘Drunk or not this is so tasteless and uncalled for. I lost so much respect after seeing this.
‘If someone talked about Luke’s nieces like he did Dustin, Luke would destroy their reputation! Remember the stone you roll will come back to you Luke!
Other fans came out in support of Bryan, writing: ‘I think he was being funny’ while another wrote: ‘Ever thought they’re very good friends?’
Lynch said on Tuesday that in a move that ‘just shows you what kind of guy Luke is,’ Bryan asked him for the email addresses of his parents, to apologize to them for his remarks.
Bryan would go on to apologize and say that his off-color comments were made out of ‘complete sarcasm,’ and that Lynch is among his ‘dearest friends on the planet.’
American Idol’s 22nd season is slated to debut on ABC on February 18 at 8/7c.