American Idol Reboot Officially Signs Katy Perry as 'Anchor Judge'

American Idol 2.0’s first hire is anything but a dark horse.

Singer Katy Perry is nearing a deal to serve as a judge on ABC’s forthcoming reboot, according to TMZ. A formal announcement is reportedly expected to come at the network’s annual upfront presentation on Tuesday (assuming a deal is closed in time). UPDATE: ABC did indeed make Perry’s arrival as Idol “anchor judge” official at its upfront presentation.

Word of Perry’s alleged judgeship comes after the somewhat surprising news that Idol alum Kelly Clarkson — who was said to be circling the reboot — instead signed on as a coach for The Voice Season 14. Fellow Idol contestant-turned-Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is also joining The Voice this fall, where she’ll coach alongside Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus.

Also not yet signed on for Idol 2.0: Former emcee Ryan Seacrest, who recently joined the ABC family as co-host to Kelly Ripa on New York-based Live! Idol, however, is expected to remain in L.A., which could make his return a logistical nightmare.

ABC has declined comment at this time.

Who is on your Idol judging wish list? 

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  1. Larc says:

    Good choice, but it’s hard to believe ABC could afford Katy if they couldn’t afford Kelly Clarkson.

    • thisismenow says:

      Having Katy Perry who appeals to a younger demographic is more important than a nostalgic judge on the panel. If both asked for the same payday, Katy would likely fare better. After all, Kelly and her last venture on ABC was a bust.

      • Smokey says:

        When Idol first started and became successful, the Judges panel and Host were not nearly as famous and high-priced as these talent shows today. ………………………………..

        FOX exec’s back when Idol folded, the cost of the celebrity judges, Host and others who had their hand in the pie, had made production costs so high that they could only lose money on the show……………………………………………………………….the last 4 years they lost well over half their audience but were forking-over huge money to the “celebrities” that were supposed to help ratings.

    • I think it was about more than that. For Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson going back to American Idol would almost seem like a step backward. In reality it doesn’t, but it gives off that perception considering they worked so hard to develop a career post-show. That’s why Kelly chose The Voice over AI.

  2. lifeofanoddball says:

    Ugh really? Could they not get someone that can that has a decent singing voice? If Gaga wasn’t on tour, she’d be perfect

    • Lili says:

      Katy Perry was a guest judge on The X Factor UK and she was brilliant. She was tougher than Simon. Said “No” to *A LOT* of singers… her most famous “No” was Niall from One Direction – that originally auditioned as a solo singer. She will be a great judge!

  3. David says:

    Hopefully they’ll round out the panel with industry people instead of artists. That’s why the early seasons were more successful than the later seasons in creating stars.

  4. Boop says:

    Kesha. She can sing. Was a decent judge on Rising Star

    • lifeofanoddball says:

      Excellent choice. After what she’s been through the past couple of years, she deserves a comeback.

  5. Boop says:

    My panel would be
    Katy Perry
    Ryan Tedder

  6. readenreply says:

    Making the show about the judges is what killed AI and why The Voice is cringeworthy.

    • Timmah says:


    • Jason says:

      The Voice sucks because every performance is toured ad greT. What made Idol interesting was it was as much about failure as it was about success!

    • Braden P. says:

      Idol became a cash cow that the celebrity insider group eventually used-up, then killed the cow and had steaks off of it the last couple years. They did little for the winners record deals the last four seasons, they were hardly promoted and sold little .

      They shortened or suspended post-show contestant tours, to save money, while paying the Celeb’s more and more money to sleepwalk through the show .

      Plus the show got noticeably slanted with the voting mess and producer preferences for back stories or cannon-fodder contestants promoted to top 13. There were two guys in the top 12 one year, that literally could not sing – but they could yowl with a rock or country rock song with the band, and make the crowd jump around.

      A lot of things need to change, or it will just be another 1 or 2 season talent show bust, like “Duets” or “Rising Star”

  7. TiredofTripe says:

    ABC should left “Idol” buried.

    It went on at least five seasons too long.

    The last few seasons no one–not the judges, not the producers, not Seacrest cared.

    It was only about them collecting their paychecks.

    They didn’t bother promoting the “winners” or the “runners up.”

    • Maria says:

      Completely agree. I watched because…and only because…I’m a Keith Urban fan. But I noticed the recent winners’ careers never really took off.
      I hope young aspiring singers stay far away from Idol. There has to be a better way to get started in the industry.

      • Ann says:

        The reason why the recent winners’s careers didn’t take off was because Idol changed the voting process to skew towards young voters voting an exponential time more than the average American. This is why we has 7 years of “white guys with guitars.” Plus, the judges skewed towards “artists” who sung and played their own instruments, bringing in lots of folk-type singers than someone who could simply sing to good music and appeal with their voice and looks.

        • Troll says:

          The past 4 years of winners, which did not specifically mean wgwg winners, none have done much in the industry since. Some of the past winners like Phillip Phillip’s, Scotty McCreery, are on tour usually and have been on Billboard top 100 a few times since the show.

  8. Riana says:

    They need to not make it into the voice. They have to focus on the contestants

  9. Leumas says:

    What about Ice Cube???

  10. Guy says:

    And just goes to show that they already aren’t trying to fix what went wrong with American Idol to begin with. Forget the big stars, get industry insiders to judge. Ugh.

  11. jr. says:

    What about:
    Michael Buble
    Meghan Trainor
    Trevor Noah

    or more mature choices:
    Ricky Martin
    Cindy Lauper
    Mathew Morrison

    • dude says:

      Michael Buble has to take care of his son so I don’t see him signing onto something like this. He’s already cancelled several obligations to be at home during his son’s treatments.

  12. ninergrl6 says:

    Ryan & Katy seemed awfully chummy at Wango Tango last night.

  13. Amber says:

    Losing before the cameras even start rolling…

  14. AngelWasHere says:

    Ugh another reason not to watch.

  15. Kevin H. says:

    Really, ABC? Ugh, talk about a miss.

  16. Dennis says:

    Katy Perry has always appealed to Middle America, this would be a great get for ABC!

  17. prada says:

    Fantasia, Adam, Clay, Daughtry, Jordin, etc, just to name a few better choices than this.

    • Jason says:

      Adam might work but the rest would be terrible. Unless they had a revolving alumni chair with a different one every week!

  18. Shar says:

    I used to like American Idol, but it’s time to keep the coffin closed. I’ll give it two seasons at best. Ryan, go away your so money hungry it’s disgusting. I’m not sure, but isn’t there a fantasy world or is it fantasy land at Disney world. Yeah, that sums it up.

  19. Shar says:

    Oh no! I used to love American Idol, but seriously that coffin needs to stay closed. Ryan, your so money hungry it’s disgusting. Would love to see Simon come back but as least he is smart enough to not get sucked into this joke of a show. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there a fantasy land or fantasy world at Disney World. Now I understand.

  20. Marcia Christmas says:

    I felt Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr and Keith Urban was some of the best group of judges in its 15 yr run
    If they aren’t possible I felt Adam lambert would be a good choice

    • Teresa Krom says:


    • Timmah says:

      God no. They were three of the most self-obsessed people I’ve ever heard.

    • Troll says:

      Jennifer Lopez got a huge contract salary that helped to kill the show, lost ratings the past 2 years she was there. Connick did nothing at all to help ratings. That was the crew, after Nikki, Mariah and Randy, that finished-off the potential for the show to continue and meet the budget.

  21. That makes it easy, another show to stop watching.

  22. Piers says:

    Egad! All I can say is they’d better get Ryan and hopefully Adam Lambert or the show is dead to me.

  23. Pat says:

    Ugh. Not what I’d consider “talent”, no matter how many records she’s sold. We need a veteran.

    • Piers says:

      Adam Lambert for theater/Broadway, Babyface [Kenny Edmonds] for R&B/Soul, and Shania Twain of Country. All singer/songwriters with broad knowledge.

  24. Thomas says:

    Jason derulo Luke Bryan and Taylor Swift. Would be great they’d make great judges.

  25. Brenda says:

    My wish for AI 2.0 judges are Simon, Paula, Randy, and Keith Urban and Ryan for host.