American Idol Judges Are All Returning for Season 19 — But What About...?

American Idol Judges, Ryan Seacrest and Bobby Bones

Not since the days of Randy, Paula and Simon has American Idol‘s judging panel seen such stability.

ABC announced Wednesday that Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie are all set to return for Idol‘s fourth cycle on ABC (and it’s 19th season overall). They’ll be joined by veteran host Ryan Seacrest.

Conspicuously absent from the network’s press release is Bobby Bones, who has served as Idol‘s full-time in-house mentor since Season 17. Sources tell TVLine that Idol is “still figuring out logistics for the upcoming season,” and hopefully there will be news on the mentor front to share “very soon.”

American Idol has always been able to bring people together, entertain and inspire — and I am so proud of how this show continued to deliver joy and laughter into people’s homes during a time when we needed it the most,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said in a statement. “There is no one who we feel more confident about leading us into a new season of high notes than Luke, Katy, Lionel and the incomparable Ryan Seacrest.”

Added showrunner Trish Kinane, “Katy, Lionel and Luke are fun, astute and really know how to spot talent. Their chemistry is undeniable, and we are delighted that they, along with host Ryan Seacrest, are returning to find the next superstar and take American Idol to new heights next season.”

While things at Idol remain relatively the same, fellow ABC reality series Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelorette are switching things up for their upcoming seasons. DWTS recently announced that it would undergo a creative overhaul, with Tyra Banks replacing ousted hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews ahead of Season 29. Meanwhile, The Bachelorette will have franchise alumna JoJo Fletcher fill in for longtime host Chris Harrison for part of the show’s 16th cycle.

Virtual Idol auditions are currently underway across all 50 states plus, Washington, D.C., for the first time since the show’s inception. (More information can be found here.)

American Idol is set to return in spring 2021. Are you glad to see the judges panel remain intact?

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