Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie to Return to American Idol
Fret not, American Idol fans — the judges you know and love will be back for the show’s 22nd season. On Tuesday (July 25), ABC announced that Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie are returning to the judging table for the singing competition’s next season, which will premiere in spring 2024. Perry, Bryan and Richie joined the show five years ago when it was revived by ABC. Fox broadcast Idol for the original 15 seasons. Ryan Seacrest is also set to come back as the show’s host, which he’s held since the show started in 2002 with original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
Hopeful contestants can sign up to audition for the reality competition series starting on August 4 with the return of “Idol Across America,” the virtual nationwide. They can choose a time slot throughout August and September based on their location or preferred musical genre, with more information available here.
Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie will return as American Idol judges along with host Ryan Seacrest for Season 7. Audition NOW! pic.twitter.com/2S34ntHvBW— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) July 25, 2023
During the most recent season, the “Roar” singer, 38, sparked backlash among fans for various comments she made to contestants. In an interview with Fox News last month, Bryan, 46, praised Perry, who he said is used to shaking off negative attention. “Katy Perry’s been dealing with stuff like that her whole career,” he said. “We all get it… I mean, we’re judging kids that people at home fall in love with. We’re not gonna bat 1,000 as judges.” For the three judges, Bryan said, “We kinda fall on the sword a lot of times. And get set up to where people can get very vocal on socials and stuff.” Despite that, he said when they sit at the desk, they are doing the best they can in their hearts.
Perry was receiving lots of backlash from viewers this season, which began during auditions when she joked that contestant Sara Beth Liebe — a 25-year-old mother of three children — had been “laying on the table too much.” Liebe went on to accuse Perry of “mom-shaming” in a since-deleted TikTok video and later quit the competition. Perry did make efforts to convince her to stay. Liebe later expressed gratitude toward the show and toward Perry, implying that the two were on good terms.
Then, Perry was booed for the first time in six years after she told contestant Nutsa Buzaladze that she was too flashy. “Nutsa, every time you take the stage, it’s like you glitter bomb the stage,” she said back in April. “Listen, I think one thing I personally would like to see from you is not one piece of glitter the next time. I know that’s gonna be hard.”
Bryan continued to defend Perry in his Fox News interview, saying, “She gets picked on for going out and trying to have fun making a TV show. It makes me appreciate her even more, just how big of a scale she’s had to deal with that her whole career.” Despite not liking the treatment of Perry, he said he will remain a judge as long as “the vibe feels like we’re onward and upward.”