Luke Bryan is to judge American Idol.
The 41-year-old country singer has reportedly signed up to sit alongside Katy Perry on the panel of ABC’s rebooted version of the popular talent show, just a week before auditions are due to begin.
According to Variety, Luke hasn’t yet signed a contract but is expected to do so in the coming days.
Ready to judge! Country singer Luke Bryan (above at June’s CMT Music AWards) has been confirmed at American Idol’s second judge besides starlet Katy Perry
Sources told Variety the show plans to have a panel of three judges, rather than four.
And while Lionel Richie was said to have been in advanced talks to join the program, he is no longer in the running, while other artists who are in consideration include Charlie Puth and Keith Urban.
However, Keith recently ruled himself out, insisting no one who had been on the judging panel when the show broadcast on Fox would be joining host Ryan Seacrest in making a comeback.
Starting Perry soon! The 41-year-old country singer has reportedly signed up to sit alongside Katy Perry (above Tuesday) just a week before auditions are due to begin
Fresh talent! While Keith Urban (above on Wednesday) was rumored to be in talks with the program, the country star from down under explained ‘all new people’ would be judging this season
He said: ‘I think it’s going to be all new people except for Ryan.’
ABC declined to comment on Luke’s signing.
Meanwhile, Bon Appetit hitmaker Katy – who has landed a reported $25 million contract for the show – said she was ‘thrilled’ to be involved with the program when her signing was unveiled in May.
No comment: ABC has yet to comment on Luke’s signing. Above the star is seen in June
She said: ‘I am honored and thrilled to be the first judge bringing back the American Idol’ tradition of making dreams come true for incredible talents with authentic personalities and real stories.
‘I’m always listening to new music, and love discovering diamonds in the rough – from mentoring young artists on my label, or highlighting new artists on my tours, I want to bring it back to the music.’
And network chiefs were delighted to get Ryan back on board as host.
Host with the most! ABC’s network chiefs were delighted to get Ryan (above on Friday) back on board, saying ‘So much of American Idol’s overwhelming success can be attributed to Ryan’
In a statement, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said: ‘So much of American Idol’s overwhelming success can be attributed to Ryan.’
‘[His] larger-than-life personality and laudable dedication to creating quality entertainment has made him a true master of his craft.
‘His talent is limitless, and I can’t think of a more appropriate person to honor the Idol legacy as it takes on new life than the man who has been there through it all.
Season sixteen of American Idol is set to debut March 2018 on ABC.
Idol minds! Season sixteen of American Idol is set to debut early 2018 on ABC