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Blake Shelton Hopes for a Country Judge on ‘American Idol’

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

With reports swirling about Keith Urban‘s pending deal to take Randy Jackson’s place as a judge on ‘American Idol,’ it looks like country music will be represented on the show’s judges panel after all. And just like all country music fans who are excited to hear an Australian accent on ‘Idol’ this fall, Blake Shelton has his fingers crossed that no last-minute hiccups will cause the deal to fall through.

‘Idol’ producers have been shaking things up in their hunt to find a country star to judge the upcoming season of the show. First, rumors churned that Brad Paisley might appear on the show, but it became clear that he turned down the offer when Toby Keith said that he had been offered the gig, too. Keith turned down the show in order to focus on this music career. Now it sounds like Urban is up for the job and this time the rumors are probably true.

“I hope they choose a country artist,” Shelton, who serves as a coach on a competing reality show, said about ‘Idol’ producers during an interview with KO Video. “If you watch those shows, it’s the country artists who go on to have big careers, because the country fan base is the most loyal in the world. If they see someone on ‘The Voice’ or ‘Idol,’ they don’t care if they win or lose. They wait for the album to come out, and they demand music to come out from that artist.”

If anyone knows about country music fans, it’s Shelton. As a coach and judge on ‘The Voice,’ the ‘God Gave Me You’ singer has seen firsthand how the support of a devoted artist can help turn a country singer into a star.

And he has a point about country music’s legacy on reality television competitions. Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina have all jumpstarted their country music careers after competing on reality television shows. Even ‘Idol’ winner Kelly Clarkson–who later became a booming pop star–is starting to dip her toes into the inviting waters of country music.

It sounds like one way or another, there will be a country music star judging ‘American Idol’ this fall. We can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Next: See Sexiest Male Country Stars


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