NBC has had a lot of success with its country crooner "Voice" coach Blake Shelton, so it was only natural that ABC would cast a similarly successful country star, Luke Bryan, to serve as a judge on its reboot of "American Idol."
Bryan was the first to admit that he and Blake "are very similar human beings" but promised to deliver a different performance than that of Shelton.
"There are going to be aspects where I am going to sound like Blake Shelton probably sometimes, but then there are going to be aspects where I do things much differently than Blake," Bryan told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour in January.
"I think it’s about just being me and carving out who I am as… a television personality. You know, I am still having to… segue from being just a singer to being on television," he said.
Perhaps Bryan should learn to emulate his fellow country star a bit more, as many fans have taken to Twitter to complain about Bryan's judging skills, comparing him to Shelton and saying he's coming up short.
The Voice > American Idol Katy Perry and Luke Bryan CANNOT compare to Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson. It’s impossible.12:07 AM - Mar 15, 2018
I find it comical that Luke Bryan is a judge on American Idol. It's like he's trying to piss Blake Shelton off.7:12 PM - Mar 12, 2018
Am I the only person who thinks Luke Bryan sucks??7:00 AM - Mar 15, 2018
Trying to watch this new season of American Idol but it sucks. Luke Bryan is the most awkward mf.8:17 PM - Mar 14, 2018
The criticism over Bryan's lackluster performance comes after the revamped "Idol" lost out to NBC’s “The Voice” two weeks in a row, putting pressure on ABC President Ben Sherwood to right the ship before it starts sinking further.
“The Voice” picked up 11.7 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults ages 18-49 to thump the 8.4 million viewers and a 1.8 demo rating that “Idol” picked up last week, according to Entertainment Weekly. Both singing competitions aired from 8-10 p.m.
The reboot’s Sunday night debut was down 23 percent compared to the premiere episode of the final season on Fox, according to The Wrap. Monday’s episode of “Idol” also dropped 22 percent compared to Sunday’s premiere.
Meanwhile, Bryan's fellow judge Katy Perry is battling poor publicity of her own, arising from a legal battle with some elderly nuns over a convent Perry wants to convert into a luxury estate.
Perry also faced heat after she surprised a conservative contestant with his first kiss, though he told the star he was saving his first kiss for a special moment. Benjamin Glaze, who was 19 at the time, later said he didn’t enjoy it one bit and was "uncomfortable immediately."