Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest & Luke Bryan; ABC/Eric McCandless
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest & Luke Bryan; ABC/Eric McCandless

‘American Idol’ Announces Return Of Idol Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry & Lionel Richie

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie will be returning to their judges chairs on American Idol!

ABC announced the exciting news of the judges return on Tuesday (Aug. 3) as well as sharing the news that Ryan Seacrest will return as the shows host. 

The upcoming season will mark the fifteenth season overall and the fifth season on the network.

“Luke, Katy, Lionel and Ryan are music and industry icons that have become synonymous with Idol on ABC,” said Rob Mills, executive vice president, Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. “Their star power is unmatched, and their support is a gift to our contestants that have deeply benefited from their wisdom over the past four seasons—and they’re ready to do it again. As we begin a momentous season, I think it’s safe to say this dream team has officially cemented their legacy on Idol.”

American Idol is still the original music show that genuinely creates superstars and continues to evolve to allow true artists to succeed in this unique business,” noted executive producer and show-runner Megan Wolflick. “The chemistry and passion Katy, Luke, Lionel and Ryan bring is second to none. We couldn’t be more ecstatic that they are returning for this iconic 20th season in search of the freshest new talent that this nation has to offer.”

“We are thrilled that Katy, Lionel, Luke and Ryan will be back to help discover our next American Idol,” said executive producer Eli Holzman, CEO of Industrial Media. “This dream team has selected and guided some of the most talented ‘Idol’ contestants in the history of the series, and we can’t wait to see who they’ll find next.”

Season five auditions will kick off Friday, Aug. 6, with the return of “Idol Across America,” the live virtual nationwide search for the next superstar, taking place across all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For the second year in a row, “Idol Across America” offers hopefuls the opportunity to showcase their talents face-to-face with an “American Idol” producer, from anywhere in America, across any official audition date for a chance to proceed to the judge audition round of the competition. Last season’s first-ever “Idol Across America” virtual auditions successfully kicked off many hopeful’s “American Idol” journeys, including ABC’s season-four winner, Chayce Beckham.

“Idol Across America” auditions will be held as follows (subject to change):
Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina (Aug. 6)
Connecticut, New Jersey, New York (Aug. 8)
Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas (Aug. 11)
Florida, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia (Aug. 13)
Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi (Aug. 16)
Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee (Aug. 18)
Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada (Aug. 21)
Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming (Aug. 23)
Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin (Aug. 25)
Open Call: Nationwide (Aug. 27)
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah (Aug. 31)
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont (Sept. 2)
Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. (Sept. 8)
Open Call: The South (Sept. 10)
Open Call: East Coast (Sept. 13)
Open Call: West Coast (Sept. 16)
Open Call: Nationwide (Sept. 21)

For information on how to sign up for “Idol Across America” and a chance to virtually audition in front of an “American Idol” producer, please visit www.americanidol.com/auditions. More details on specific dates, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, terms and conditions are available on the website. Contestants must be at least 15 years old to audition and may do so on any “Idol Across America” date regardless of your location.

“American Idol” is produced by Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include Megan Wolflick, also serving as showrunner, and Fremantle’s Jennifer Mullin with Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman serving as executive producers for 19 Entertainment. Fremantle distributes the series worldwide.

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