If you’re like me, you listen weekly to the Justin Moore Podcast. In fact, you’ll probably listen to anything that Justin Moore puts out. If my guy were to sing the ABC’s I’d have it on my playlist. If you haven’t heard the Justin Moore podcast, do it here! Justin Moore teams up with his tour manager, JR, to deliver the podcast. Sometimes they feature guests, other times they shoot the shit for an hour. When they do have guests though, they bring in heavy hitters. Matthew McConaughey, Travis Tritt, and BO FUCKING DUKE have all spent time with Justin and JR. They don’t only feature musicians either. They have had actors, athletes, media personalities, and members of Justin’s team. At the end of the day, regardless of the guest Justin and JR kill it every week. Saying all that, the majority of them have been country artists.
Next, we decided to do what we do best and make a bracket out of them. In round 1 we made a list of all 27 eligible people, starting with Adam Hambrick and ending with William Lee Golden. We needed to knock out 11 people to narrow the list down to 16. That meant 22 people faced off in round one and five got byes.
This was a lot of fun to do because we didn’t have Luke Combs or Morgan Wallen to pretty much guarantee the win. This bracket had superstars, legends, and up and comers, but no clear winner. With that came upsets, and starting in round one we saw some major ones. Travis Tritt, gone early. Travis Denning, a good artist but a young up and comer, see ya in the later rounds. In fact, the winner is someone who I NEVER saw coming. To see a full breakdown of the bracket, look below!
Adam Hambrick 29% vs William Lee Golden 71%
Brantley Gilbert 58% vs Travis Tritt 42%
Brent Cobb 17% vs Travis Denning 83%
Carly Pearce 31% vs Tracy Lawrence 69%
Chris Janson 86% vs Shay Mooney 14%
Chris Shiflett 4% vs Riley Green 96%
Colt Ford 40% vs Rhett Atkins 60%
David Lee Murphy 37% vs Parker McCollum 63%
Dillon Carmicheal 44% vs LoCash 56%
Granger Smith 59% vs Lee Brice 41%
Heath Sanders 21% vs Lainey Wilson 79%
Upsets? How about Parker McCollum over Mr. “Dust on the Bottle” himself in David Lee Murphy for one? Brantley Gilbert over Travis Tritt also caught me off guard a little bit. How about Riley Green beating Chris Shiflett by a count of 96-4. Not saying I wasn’t surprised Riley won, but that’s an insane margin to beat the Foo Fighters lead guitarist as.
Brantley Gilbert 71% vs Chris Janson 29%
Granger Smith 82% vs Jameson Rodgers 18%
Jaren Johnston 21% vs Joe Nichols 79%
Jon Pardi 76% vs Kip Moore 24%
Lainey Wilson 68% vs LoCash 32%
Parker McCollum 56% vs Rhett Akins 44%
Riley Green 62% vs Tracy Lawrence 38%
Travis Denning 74% vs William Lee Golden 26%
Down go all the old-school artists. Rhett, Tracy, and William all got sent back to the 19th century in this round. New, young guys Parker McCollum, Riley Green, and Travis Denning all pull upsets and move on. Lainey Wilson dominated LoCash as well, and while I wasn’t surprised I didn’t expect such a blowout.
Brantley Gilbert 60% vs Granger Smith 40%
Joe Nichols 23% vs Jon Pardi 77%
Lainey Wilson 32% vs Parker McCollum 68%
Riley Green 88% vs Travis Denning 12%
This is the first round where I can say I wasn’t surprised by any of these results based on how things have been going so far.
Alright so let’s break this final four down a little bit. First off, we have Brantley Gilbert and Jon Pardi. They are more established but have completely different types of music. I am very interested in this matchup and expect it to be close. On the bottom, half of the bracket are the two newer guys. Parker McCollum has one number one with “Pretty Heart” and another hit on the rise in “Loved by You.” Riley Green had a number one with “There Was This Girl.” He also got fucked over when “I Wish Grandpa’s Never Died,” did not go number one. Parker has a large following in Texas, and Riley has a large following in the southeast. Let’s see how this all shook out!
Brantley Gilbert 51% vs Jon Pardi 49%
Parker McCollum 32% vs Riley Green 68%
Coming off a crazy come-from-behind win, Brantley Gilbert has to be the heavy favorite. He beat Travis Tritt, Chris Janson, Granger Smith, and Jon Pardi to get here, all big names. He has more hit songs, more longevity, and plays bigger tours.
Riley Green hasn’t had the easiest path to the finals either. He took down Foo Fighter Chris Shiflett, Tracey Lawrence, Travis Denning, and Parker McCollum. The biggest thing Green has going is the lowest vote percentage he got was 62%. None of his matchups have been close.
If I was a betting man, I would’ve pegged either Travis Tritt or Lawrence as favorites. I learned a lot about my following, and it has been an eye-opening exercise to see who made it further than others. Without further delay, here are the final results!
Brantley Gilbert 36% vs Riley Green 64%
Congratulations Riley Green!