Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie Hope to Return as Judges for ‘American Idol’ Season 19

High hopes for 2021! Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie opened up about wanting to return as judges for season 19 of American Idol.

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“We usually start taping in September or October. I think this whole year is a year of unknown and uncertainty. I think we’ll probably have a plan A, B and C,” the “Daisies” singer, 35, told Us Weekly and other reporters during a conference call after the season 18 finale on Sunday, May 17.

“I hope we’re all going to be judging on the show [next year]. That would be fun to stay the same,” she continued. “But I think we kind of just have to go with the flow and be malleable like we were for the end of [this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic]. … It’s such a team effort, and it’ll continue to be a team effort.”

Katy Perry Luke Bryan Lionel Richie Hope Return Judges American Idol Season 19
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. ABC/Stewart Cook

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The Commodores member, 70, noted that the ABC competition developed “real artists” this year despite the judges and contestants being miles apart in quarantine.

“What we did this time, we’re actually proving to the world that it’s not just a cute show,” he said. “Being with Katy and Luke, I can’t imagine being with anyone else on this show because it’s just been so fun, but at the same time, so productive. We are actually scaring ourselves when it comes down to what we’re getting in terms of artists. I’m enjoying the process. Bring on the next season! We’re ready.”

The “One Margarita” crooner, 43, echoed that the chemistry between the judges would make for yet another successful season.

“We kind of had to revamp the vibe [from the original Fox show], and it takes a little time to rebuilt that. To go from year one to where we are now, it just feels great,” he explained. “We’ll leave these phone calls and we’ll start talking it out and plan next year, but I know I certainly love where we’re at [with] the show. I love the product that we’re putting out. I sat here in Nashville, Tennessee, and I watched my colleagues show up on time to make this happen.”

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That said, Perry — who is pregnant with her first child with fiancé Orlando Bloom — admitted that working from home had its pros and cons, including not being able to celebrate with season 18 winner Just Sam.

“There’s a lot of patience and it’s a new thing to learn,” she told Us. “I like to get up, I like to engage, and obviously that was difficult. At the end, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, she won! Oh, my.’ We don’t even get to go to Red Lobster after the show.”

Perry, Bryan and Richie joined the judging panel in 2018 when the show made the move from Fox to ABC after 15 seasons. Ryan Seacrest has served as the host since the inaugural season, which premiered in 2002.

With reporting by Travis Cronin

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