Are Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan Returning to ‘American Idol’ Next Season? Katy Perry’s Exit Shakes up Judge Panel

Back in 2018, when ABC decided to revive American Idol, the producers welcomed a new panel of judges that consisted of Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry. Although the show welcomed countless aspiring artists to audition over the seasons, the judges remained the same. But sadly, that all changed when Perry announced her exit after season 22. Wanting to get back into the recording studio, Perry shocked fans with the news. Besides celebrating her time on the show, the producers are now looking for her replacement. And according to rumors, American Idol might have a lineup change that goes far beyond Perry. 

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Over the last few weeks, rumors have constantly surrounded American Idol and who will replace Perry. While contestants Abi Carter, Will Moseley, and Jack Blocker look to win the crown, fans want to know who the frontrunner is to take over for Perry. While names like Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor, and Jelly Roll circulated the internet, a source suggested it might be the end of the road for Richie and Bryan. 

[RELATED: Who are the ‘American Idol’ Season 23 Judges? The 3 Favorites to Replace Katy Perry]

Is ‘American Idol’ Looking To Replace More Than Katy Perry

Speaking to Life & Style, an insider claimed that the show’s producers are toying with the idea of starting season 23 with a fresh lineup. “This has been a very stressful time for Luke and Lionel because they’ve been left in the dark about so much — there was even talk producers were going to start fresh with a whole new lineup and give them the boot.” 

With Richie and Bryan offering suggestions for Perry’s replacement, another source added, “It’s turning into a real claw-fest now.”

Having Perry leave the show has already caused a firestorm on American Idol, so the idea of all three judges being replacements is somewhat unfathomable. For now, the rumors are just that as neither Bryan nor Richie announced their departure. And as for Perry, it appears that the producers are looking at icon Jon Bon Jovi to fill in. While the addition of the rockstar sounds like a great idea, reports suggest the singer is looking for a staggering $25 million deal. 

For now, both Richie and Bryan are scheduled to return for season 23, but with it being Hollywood, anything can change. Don’t miss the season finale of American Idol, airing tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. 

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)

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