‘American Idol’ Judges Discuss Show’s Future, Katy Perry Sets Record Straight: “This Is Not A Karaoke Show”

American Idol returns with Season 22 in 2024. It currently remains unclear if Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan will be returning to the judges panel or not.

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Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on July 12, 2023

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Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of American Idol ABC

Every year, American Idol shines the light on real people with real talent and real-life stories. And this time was no different. 

Iam Tongi Is The Latest Champion Of American Idol

Season 6 wrapped with a successful run, crowning singer Iam Tongi as the winner. The 18-year-old Hawaiian standout stole hearts across the country with his magical singing voice and his heartbreaking story of being “priced out of paradise” following the passing of his father, Rodney, who instilled in him a love for music. 

“Iam’s audition was probably the highlight of my year because it just set the tone for a lot of good vibes, a lot of good energy,” Luke Bryan told Parade of the show results. “And it was a real moment, and I think more than ever, America wants to see reality. They want to see real things going on. I think, we’re giving them a dose of good emotions, good stories, and the American dream.”

Iam Tongi; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Iam Tongi; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Being able to search every corner of the country and turn every stone to find the next big star is something that has kept viewers engaged and judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Bryan itching to return to their roles season after season.

What’s In Store For The Future Of Idol?

Now that American Idol has been confirmed to return in 2024 for its seventh season, and 22nd season overall, on ABC, judges are being asked whether or not they wish to see changes for the next round of talent coming into the reality TV competition series.

For Perry, to be a part of the contestants’ journeys and be able to show the kind of talent in America that viewers would otherwise not hear or see is something she hopes will continue in the future. 

“I’m just so grateful that real musicians, real artists are trusting us, are giving us a shot again. This is not a karaoke show. It’s not a show about the judges. We are one little part of it, but this is ultimately about people’s stories and sounds and voices that need to be heard,” Perry said. “And these stories make up the fabric of America, so I would like to encourage and invite all serious artists and songwriters to audition for American Idol to have the best season yet.” 

Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

“We’ll Always Evolve”

Bryan, meanwhile, spoke of his hopes to keep evolving the rules of the show. He mentioned the recent change in which the Top 24 became the Top 26, allowing two more contestants to fight their way into the finale. 

“We live through things, and we learn things,” he said. “Like this year, we had a Top 26, which we’ve never had. Next year, we may not have that. The core of the show is such a special thing, but we’ll always evolve. Even when you look at Lionel and Katy going to the coronation and bringing Ed [Sheeran] and Alanis [Morrissette] in, it may be fun to have two extra judges come in one week. But the main thing is always evolving with the times. I think it’s important for me, Lionel, and Katy to sit up there and speak our heart.”

Richie echoed Bryan’s sentiments, adding, “I think the most important part of what we do is when the talent comes through the door. So, it won’t be the same as last year because we adapt to who’s coming in. This year was on steroids. If this is 21, I can’t even imagine where we’re going next.”

Will The Idol Judges Return For Season 24?

So far, it has not been revealed whether or not Perry, Bryan, or Richie will return as judges for Season 7 of the competition, but by the sounds of it, the trio would welcome working alongside each other again. 

“When you get three knuckleheads that have careers solid in their own right, getting a chance to get our egos out of the way, where we just allow the kids to shine, and it’s not about us per se, is the best,” Richie said. “What I’m loving the most is that I can actually play with this superstar [Luke] and that other superstar [Katy], and we all don’t take it personal, and that’s what makes the element work for the kids.”

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

The Season 21 finale of American Idol  aired on Sunday (May 21). Look for Season 22 (7) in 2024. 

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Written by

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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