"It forces you to keep your finger on the pulse," the country crooner shared. "... It always energizes you and inspires you to stay current and ... be on your toes."
"They're teaching us something," Lionel confirmed, revealing every day is a gift on set with the talented contestants, who at times share their own daunting stories.
Listen back to some that have moved the judges, including Perry, and more from this season of Idol.
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.