WATCH: Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie Have Epic Golf Cart Race in Latest Episode of ‘American Idol’

by Emily Morgan

“American Idol” co-hosts Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie may be friendly with one another, but the gloves came off when the two musicians raced one another like they were in the recent Daytona 500.

During a segment on “American Idol,” the judges got behind the wheel of their golf carts and the two raced to the finish line as if their lives were on the line for the win.

The singing competition filmed all of its new season’s auditions in California in late 2020. Even though Bryan, Richie, and fellow judge Katy Perry, and everyone else involved with the show had to adhere to COVID-19 rules, they could all take part in outdoor activities.

Luke Bryan & Lionel Richie Go Head-to-Head During Race

For Bryan and Richie, that meant tricking out a pair of golf carts with their own personal style. Bryan decorated his with fishing gear, while the R&B icon’s would look like a ’70s disco. After they showed off their rides, the two started their race at a golf course in Ojai, Calif.

“I don’t know nothin’ about no hunting and fishing, but I know something about this driving,” Richie said before the green flags wave and he and Bryan take off down the course.

The competition got somewhat vicious as they neared the finish line. In the clip, you can see the two veering toward each other, possibly hoping to sideswipe and slow down the other. Near the end of the race, Bryan throws his foot toward Richie’s cart, perhaps hoping to clinch the win.

It’s a close race, but in the end, Luke Bryan crosses the line just barely ahead of Lionel Richie.

“I had my pedal to the metal, and I could not get the power that I needed,” Richie admits with a smile.

“You know what? I looked good!” he says, proving he’s in no way a sore loser.

“American Idol” kicked off its 19th season on Feb. 14. The audition portion of the episodes will run through mid-March, followed by “Hollywood week.”

During the intense week, the judges will cut the group down to the Top 20. Those lucky 20 contestants will appear in the live performance episodes.