Keith Urban: Idol Is Like Little League

I can’t tell if Keith Urban means this in a good way or a bad way.

In an interview with USA Today, he said American Idol is kind of like Little League.

“The environment they’re in is not Little League, but the environments these guys and girls have come from, in many cases, is Little League,” he said. “We’re in the odd spot of having to figure out how to give them guidance when they’ve done this quantum leap from tiny little towns in America to the stage in Hollywood in front of millions of people.”

And the challenge for Urban and his fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. in providing guidance is that being honest doesn’t always sit well with the contestants and the people who love them.

“It’s an interesting show, Idol, and it’s at an interesting time in its history. Some people want more honesty in the show. They want us not to be sugarcoating everything. Other people say, ’Don’t forget the fun. These are just little kids, and you should be nicer,'” Urban said of the feedback he gets on his feedback. “I hear it all.”

Then, Urban went back to the Little League comparisons.

“Every parent wants to tell the Little League coach how to handle their kids, so I get it,” he said. “What I like about the three of us is, I think we’re just offering our thoughts, advice, guidance, criticisms. I think we’re giving it in the way we’d want to receive it.”

Urban’s oldest daughter Sunday Rose will turn 6 this summer. Which means she’s kind of in her prime for all kinds of Little League activities. I wonder if Urban will put his Idol coaching skills to work for any of her teams.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.