American Idol has had its share of surprise guests, but Idol judge Luke Bryan was caught off guard when his own mother made an unexpected visit to the show on the May 13 Mother’s Day episode. To throw the country star off, a “taped” message from his mom was played for Bryan before she appeared.
“Hi Luke,” his mother, LeClaire, said in the clip. “I miss you here on Mother’s Day. (I) wish I could be with you. I’m having a good day down here at the beach. Wish you were here with me. I’m very proud of you. I’m getting excited about the night. I get to watch American Idol one more time. Love you. Call you in the morning. I have something to tell you about fishing.”
After the message, Bryan took a moment to reflect on his mom and the importance of fishing in their family, while the audience chuckled as LeClaire tip-toed up behind him for a surprise hug.
Bryan posted a shot of the moment on his Instagram feed after the show, with a caption that read “That feeling when your mom surprises you on #AmericanIdol.”
The episode offered more emotional moments as well, as Carrie Underwood returned as a mentor and to give a live performance on the show that made her a star, and the top three finalists were announced.
American Idol is in its first season on ABC and airs on Sundays at 8PM ET; it was recently renewed for Season 2. Luke Bryan is one of the show’s judges.