‘American Idol’ Finalist Colin Stough Found A Strong Supporter In Jelly Roll

Stough opened up about his friendship with Jelly Roll and connection to Idol judge Luke Bryan.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

July 28, 2023


8:32 am

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Colin Stough, Jelly Roll; Photo Courtesy Instagram

Colin Stough has found a friend and supporter in fellow country star, Jelly Roll. 

The American Idol finalist recently took to social media to share a clip of the pair reconnecting backstage of one of Jelly Roll’s concerts. The singers greeted each other with such warmth, almost as if they had been friends for years. They shared a hug, caught up on life, and even posed for a photo. 

Stough paired the images and video with a caption that read, “Had a blast last night at the @jellyroll615 show last night! Kinda run into struggle Jennings as well.”

Many commented on the heartwarming interaction, including Jelly Roll who showed his support for the young artist. 

He wrote, “Love you bubba- so happy for you – glad to be in your corner.”

During an interview with Country Now, Stough reflected on finding a friend in an artist like Jelly Roll. 

“You know, man, it means the world to me. Cause that’s just kind of the thing you always dream about till it happens,” he shared. 

The singers first had the opportunity to meet when Jelly Roll appeared on the Season 21 finale of American Idol. On Sunday, May 21, he delivered a duet alongside Oliver Steele, who returned to the stage following his elimination to showcase his talent once more. 

The 25-year-old singer stepped out in front of the audience to finish off the opening verse of Jelly Roll’s single, “Need A Favor.” This song impacted country radio on February 13, following his top-charting track, “Son Of A Sinner” and his No. 1 single at rock radio, “Dead Man Walking.”

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Later on in the night, Colin Stough also had the chance to leave his mark on the stage for the final time. Following his elimination from the Top 3, he delivered a cover of Conway Twitty’s “Slow Hand” alongside Idol judge, Luke Bryan.

Letting their harmonies dance together, Bryan and the former contestant tapped their toes to the mid-tempo melody as they stood in front of the scenic backdrop that featured a glowing mountainside. 

This performance further proved the incredible bond these artists were able to establish throughout Idol. In that time, they found ways to relate to each other both on and off stage, including their similar backgrounds.  

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Bryan and the aspiring singer/songwriter were both raised in small, southern towns with the “Country On” singer growing up in Leesburg, GA and Stough hailing from Gattman, Mississippi. 

“We killed it up there, me and him,” Stough told Country Now as he reflected on the milestone performance. “When we got in a room to rehearse and stuff like that, we just kinda hit it off ’cause we have similar upkeep about how we were raised and stuff like that.”

Since day one of Stough’s journey in the competition, Bryan has boasted about his incredible potential in the music industry. In a highlight reel that aired ahead of their duet, the “That’s My Kind Of Night” singer can be heard expressing his pride for Stough as he said, “You’re like becoming my little science experiment because I know every emotion going on in your head because I grew up very similar to the way you have.”

LUKE BRYAN, COLIN STOUGH; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
LUKE BRYAN, COLIN STOUGH; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

After coming onto the show fresh out of high school, Stough is still trying to take it all in and adjust to his new career as a rising country star. He admits that he’s feeling “blessed” for everything that’s come his way so far. 

Lately, he’s been spending most of his time in Nashville and putting in the hours to hone in on his songwriting skills. He’s already released his debut single, “I Still Talk To Jesus,” as well as his song “Bad Day,” and according to Stough, there’s hope that these tracks will soon lead to a bigger project. 

“Maybe an EP or a small album or something like that. Can’t give all the secrets away,” he teased. 

Colin Stough; Photo via YouTube
Colin Stough; Photo via YouTube

Colin Stough has yet to solidify plans for a tour, however, he is scheduled to appear at a number of individual shows throughout the next few months. 

He’s slated to serve as support for Drake White’s upcoming concert in Phenix City, AL on Friday, July 28. Then, on August 10, he will return to Mississippi to play his first hometown show since coming off Idol. 

The following days will include performances in Birmingham, AL, and Hattiesburg, MS. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.