Stewart Cook/ABC via Getty Images
Luke Bryan wasn’t expecting to turn on the water works during Sunday’s big American Idolseason 21 finale! However, sometimes you just can’t hold back your heart.
While fellow judge Katy Perry found herself getting expectedly emotional during the star-studded finale — as she’s a judge who is known to wear her heart on her sleeve — Bryan surprised some fans when he shed a few tears as well during the showdown between the season’s Top 3 — Megan Danielle, Iam Tongi, and Colin Stough.
Speaking with ET’s Denny Directo after the show, Bryan joked, “I never anticipated crying on national TV that much.”
“But I think we’re just mimicking what people are feeling at home,” he said, explaining that some of the contestants’ backstories and inspiring bouts of courage and perseverance are deeply inspiring and moving for everyone.
Ultimately, 18-year-old Tongi was crowned the American Idol champion, and Bryan shared some words of wisdom for the up-and-coming performer.
“I think the main thing is, you have to make sure it’s all on your terms, and when somebody is trying to push you down a creative path you may be unsure of, just trust your gut on stuff,” Bryan shared. “Also, understand that you’re gonna make some mistakes. I’ve learned through the years that, if you make a mistake… your fans will have your back.”
Espousing the importance of humility and loyalty to those closest to you, Bryan shared his most sage bit of advice: “This this is a wild ride, but navigate it with your friends and your family and just have fun with it.”
When it comes to his own future with American Idol, Bryan said he was in the process of working things out, and nothing was yet set in stone.
“But this has been an amazing year,” he added with a smile.
Check out the video below for more on the wild ride that was American Idol season 21.
‘American Idol’ Crowns New Champion for Season 21 — Find Out Who Won!
Lionel Richie Has High Hopes for ‘American Idol’ Top 5 Contestants
Keith Urban Is Returning to ‘American Idol’ as a Guest Mentor
Ryan Seacrest Talks King Charles’ Impromptu ‘American Idol’ Cameo