Luke Bryan + ‘American Idol’ Judges Are ‘Especially’ Bonded Ahead of Season 22
American Idol judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry have been on the show together ever since its move from Fox to ABC in 2018. Still, each season brings new challenges and new learning experience — and as they prepare for Season 22, the three judges got to know each other more intimately than ever before.
"Every season we learn more about each other, especially this season," Perry explained while all three judges were giving a recent interview to ET Online.
That's because this time around, the three judges visited each other's hometowns for rounds of Idol auditions. "Which was really — it was like being on a field trip," Bryan describes.
According to local South Georgia station WALB News, Bryan, Perry, Richie and Idol host Ryan Seacrest made their appearance in Bryan's hometown of Leesburg, Ga., in mid-September. The country star's alma mater, Lee County High School, planned a pep rally and hosted a parade to welcome Bryan and his fellow Idol judges to town.
Alabama.com reported that Richie's hometown of Tuskegee, Ala., was the next stop on the Idol auditions tour, and indicated that they were planning to wrap up with a visit to Perry's old stomping grounds of Santa Barbara, Calif., in mid-October.
Back in July, the entire Idol crew — Bryan, Perry, Richie and Seacrest — confirmed plans to return for Season 22. But even before he officially announced his return, Bryan seemed confident that he'd be back for another year at Idol. At the 2023 CMA Fest in June, he told Taste of Country and other outlets that he feels like the show has just hit its stride.
"We felt like this year was what we had all worked together to get to," Bryan said. "As long as the vibe feels like we're moving onward and upward...it's gonna be a tough show for me and Lionel and Katy to walk away from."
In their new interview with ET Online, the judges were even more forthright about how happy they are to have the gang back together for another season.
"You can't separate us!" Perry joked. "You can't break this fam down!"
Season 22 of American Idol is expected to air in the spring of 2024.
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