Trent Harmon knows the ins and outs of American Idol — Harmon won Season 15, the last before the reboot — and like many, he's been impressed with Luke Bryan as a judge thus far.

"I think he's doing well," Harmon says to Taste of Country Nights' Sam Alex of Bryan's time on the show. But the Idol winner admits he's surprised — he expected Bryan to be the easy one!

"My original synopsis was going to be that he was the sleeper judge," Harmon says. "I think everybody thought that he might be the judge that might be the least critical." He compares Bryan's judging style to that of Harry Connick, Jr., who brought something different to the table while instructing Harmon and his fellow contestants, critiquing their performances in a very "music-minded" way, as Harmon describes.

"For a minute I thought he was going to take over the Harry Connick role," the "There's the Girl" singer says. "Harry always talked to me about being on time. Not a perfectionist, but wanted it to be as close to perfect as possible. That's a different person than someone that says, 'Sonically, it sounded great,' whereas Harry said, 'It sounded great ... you're out of time over here.'"

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Bryan was one of the first artists chosen to judge the new round of Idol, now on its new ABC home after leaving Fox in 2017. It was recently revealed that he has signed on for another season.

Now past his reality TV run, Harmon will soon make his major label album debut with You Got 'Em All on Big Machine Records. The project is named after a striking breakthrough single that positioned him as one of the genre's most soulful up-and-coming acts. The album features a remix of "Falling," a track co-written by Keith Urban that was released in 2016, and one penned by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers titled "Hold On." Harmon himself had a hand in writing eight of the album's 11 tracks.

You Got 'Em All drops on Friday (May 18).

Listen to Trent Harmon's Interview With ToC Nights,

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