Lionel Richie Frightened by Katy Perry’s ‘American Idol’ Exit, Luke Bryan Weighs in on Her Emotional Departure

For the past seven years, fans of American Idol watched as judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan formed a special bond. Helping the show find the next American Idol, the judges also became extremely close. And while loving her time on the show, Perry announced she would be leaving after the season finale. Although that seemed far away when she broke the news, the season finale is here and it is sure to be an emotional rollercoaster as Richie expressed his feelings about losing not just a fellow judge but a friend. 

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Sitting down for an interview with KABC, Perry shared her thoughts on tonight’s season finale and how her emotions are at an all-time high. While the remaining contestants Abi Carter, Jack Blocker, and Will Moseley look to become the next American Idol, Perry is looking to just keep it together as she explained, “I think I will be crying at anything. It’s been a beautiful journey and I love watching these kids grow and become this big beautiful patchwork quilt.”

Knowing how emotional tonight will be, Richie added, “To see her leave is going to be frightening and sad, but at the same time … hang on to your seat! She has a roar, about herself, no pun intended.” 

Adding his voice to the conversation, Bryan also shared his love for Perry. “It’ll be emotional. Katy, Lionel, and I have developed a close friendship. It will be an emotional night.”

[RELATED: 3 New Singles and Videos From the Top 3 ‘American Idol’ Season 22 Finalists]

‘American Idol’ Looks To Replace Lionel Richie And Luke Bryan As Well?

While looking forward to a special night on American Idol, the producers are constantly looking for Perry’s replacement. With names like Kelly Clarkson and Jon Bon Jovi being tossed around, rumors suggested the next season might feature not just one new judge but three. 

Speaking to Life & Style, a source claimed the producers toyed with replacing all three judges. “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.”

While just rumors for now, don’t miss Perry’s last time on American Idol tonight, starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. 

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

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