Luke Bryan Advances ‘Country Little Bumpkins’ Alex Miller and EmiSunshine Following Johnny Cash Cover on ‘American Idol’

ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday evening (March 22) for an exciting Duets round and country singer Alex Miller stepped…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 22, 2021


9:35 pm

Share on:

Alex Miller, Luke Bryan And EmiSunShine; Photo Courtesy of ABC

ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday evening (March 22) for an exciting Duets round and country singer Alex Miller stepped into the spotlight alongside fellow contestant EmiSunshine to sing Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line.”

Prior to their performance, Idol judge Luke Bryan encouraged the pair to select a different song, explaining that he felt like they needed to step out of their comfort zones and chase after bigger notes. Miller and EmiSunshine, however, decided to move forward with “I Walk The Line” and it paid off. 

YouTube video

Their performance earned praise from Bryan, who had nothing but great things to say about their duet. 

“Well, I wanna give you guys kudos. You were getting pushed back on ‘Walk The Line’ because American Idol wouldn’t do you any good if we don’t push you,” the country superstar explained.

He went on to compliment Miller and challenge him to do something different in the next round. 

“And you know, Alex, you had Johnny Cash knocked out of the park when you were eight years old I would imagine,” he went on to say. “I want to see what Alex Miller morphs into. So, throw us a curveball, pick a pop song, how you play this thing, you’re gonna become a legitimate artist and not just the kid from Kentucky.”

Bryan advised Emi to tone down her vibrato a bit. 

“You really carried a lot of that performance,” he told her. “Your high end made it a lot more exciting. He could’ve overpowered you and you went toe to toe with him.”

Ultimately, their performance advanced them both to the next round. 

“So, with all that said, country little bumpkins, you’re going through to the next round… both of you,” Bryan explained. 

Alex Miller and EmiSunshine both jumped for joy following the news.

Click above to watch their performance of “I Walk The Line.” 

Share on:

Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.