ABC has revealed which American Idol judges will be back for Season 19 — and if Ryan Seacrest will once again take on hosting duties. The network officially confirmed on August 19 that it’ll be a trio of familiar faces on the judging panel when it returns next year, while the latter mainstay will also be back for more.
Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan will once again sit on the panel as judges while Ryan will host his 19th consecutive round of the singing competition, TV Line reported. The foursome has worked alongside one another ever since the series was revived on ABC in 2018.
But it’s not yet a blanket return for everyone involved with the singing competition from last time around.
According to TV Line, former Dancing with the Stars winner and radio personality Bobby Bones, who has been the in-house mentor since Season 17, has not yet signed on the dotted line. However, a source alleged that those behind-the-scenes are “still figuring out logistics” for the new episodes.
The insider added that the show is allegedly hoping to announce if there will be a mentor, and who that person will be, “very soon.”
ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said in a statement that there’s “no one who we feel more confident about leading us into a new season of high notes” than the returning judges and longtime host.
Showrunner Trish Kinane called the trio “fun” and “astute.”
“[They] 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.”
While the next round of shows will be the series’ 19th overall, it will mark its fourth outing on the alphabet network. Prior to that, American Idol aired on Fox from 2002 until 2016.
The show is expected to return to screens in spring 2021, which gives Katy time to settle into her new life as a mom. The star is pregnant with her first child with her fiancé, Pirates of the Caribbean actor Orlando Bloom, and is expected to give birth pretty soon.
Auditionees take part in a video call with a producer, which lets them get instant feedback. According to the outlet, the show is using “custom-built Zoom technology” to keep auditions going safely, though it’s not yet clear how the celebrity judging stage will go ahead.