Luke Bryan Goes Off Script With Spontaneous Classic Country Duet During American Idol Audition

Bryan surprised contestant Kennedy Reid when he joined her for an unforgettable duet.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

February 18, 2024

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Luke Bryan and Kennedy Reid; Photo Courtesy American Idol, ABC YouTube

American Idol judge Luke Bryan surprised both contestants and viewers alike when he joined contestant mortician Kennedy Reid for a surprise rendition of “Rose Colored Glasses” during her audition. 

Luke Bryan Duets With American Idol Contestant

Displaying his signature country charm and playful personality, Bryan embraced his goofy side as he began singing from his judge’s chair. However, the impromptu performance didn’t end there, as Bryan took it a step further by climbing onto the judges’ table, lying down, and continuing to belt out the lyrics. 

Moments later, Bryan got off the table and made his way over to 23-year-old Kennedy Reid to finish out the song with her. Hand-in-hand, the Idol judge and the American Idol hopeful delivered the final lyrics together. (See below to watch!)

Luke Bryan and Kennedy Reid; Photo Courtesy American Idol, ABC YouTube
Luke Bryan and Kennedy Reid; Photo Courtesy American Idol, ABC YouTube

What Song Did Luke Bryan Sing With Kennedy Reid?

“Rose Colored Glasses” is a classic country tune originally recorded by country legend John Conlee. 

Moments before performing a surprise duet with Bryan, Reid introduced herself as a beauty mortician who has a passion for singing. 

“I work at Spring Valley Funeral Home. My job is all about providing closure to grieving families. It is very sad just watching the loss of their loved one, but I know that I have to be strong for the families,” she shared. “Not only do I meet with families and make arrangements, but I also am balm bodies so they can be preserved long enough to have a funeral. I was originally going to be a cosmetologist before I found my love for mortuary science. And I am applying what I learned in cosmetology school to my job.” 

Kennedy Reid; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless
Kennedy Reid; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

She later added, “As much as I love being a mortician, my dream is to be a full-time singer.” 

The Indiana native first performed “River Deep – Mountain High” by Tina Turner. Moments after she had the opportunity to sing with Luke Bryan, the judges weighed in on her fate in the American Idol competition. 

What Did The Judges Think About Kennedy Reid’s American Idol Audition?

“You have a big voice. You have all the tools. It’s just feeling a little bit Pageanty,” he explained. 

YouTube video

Lionel Richie admitted, “I think that’s the wrong song…For me, you answered all the questions when you were singing with Luke because I got a chance to hear your texture. Okay. Believe it or not, you were relaxed and you weren’t on.” 

Katy Perry told the Idol hopeful she had a “great voice” and recognized that she was “scared to death.” 

“Not sure you’re ready for it, but you’re the kind of character in person where I just want to throw you in there,” Perry added. 

Kennedy Reid; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless
Kennedy Reid; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

When it was time to vote, Richie voted yes, however, Luke Bryan said “no.”

It all came down to Perry: “Let’s give her a break from death and show her what life is all about. I’m going to give you a yes.” 

Ultimately, Kennedy Reid advanced to the Hollywood round, earning a year from two judges on the panel. 

When Did American Idol Come Back?

American Idol returned on Sunday, February 18 for its 22nd season. Airing on ABC, the season premiere introduced viewers to a new crop of rising stars. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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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.