American Idol season 22 is already in the works, and current judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan are considering making a return to the show for a seventh time. The American Idol season 21 finale culminated with Iam Tongi being crowned the winner. Megan Danielle was the runner-up, while Colin Stough placed third. The judges discovered these three incredible talents along with many more during the Idol season 21 auditions. Other season stand-outs included Wé Ani and Zachariah Smith, who were Top 5 finalists.


In an interview with ET, Katy, Luke, and Lionel revealed their plans for their possible American Idol season 22 returns. Katy and Luke didn’t give a lot of information about whether they’ve decided to come back to the show or not. After the finale ended, when asked if she was returning, Katy answered, “I don’t know. I think we’re gonna talk about it tonight at dinner.” Luke was also cryptic in his response, saying, “Well, we’re working on it. But it’s been an amazing year.”

Lionel Richie Would Jump At Chance To Return To American Idol

American Idol Season 21 Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry & Luke Bryan smiling

Lionel was the only judge who gave a definitive answer about returning for American Idol season 22. He declared, “If they want me back, I’m running through the door, first thing.” The three current American Idol judges have been the only ones on the panel since ABC revived the reality singing competition show back in 2018. Since then, they have discovered six winners: Maddie Poppe, Laine Hardy, Just Sam, Chayce Beckham, Noah Thompson, and now Iam. Aside from the original judging trio of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, other Idol judges over the years include Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr., and Mariah Carey.

Lionel, Katy, and Luke have a great rapport as American Idol judges. They have been both silly and serious together throughout the seasons. They’ve had some very funny moments over the years but have also cried with the finalists as they worked through difficult moments on the show. In addition, Katy’s Disney Night costumes are a much-anticipated staple every season. Also, their finale night performances with the contestants are inspiring as they send the bright lights they’ve discovered off to become superstars.

It would be difficult to imagine American Idol without Lionel, Katy, and Luke as judges. They have brought something different to their roles as judges, serving more as mentors and cheerleaders for the contestants than harsh critics. American Idol viewers got a taste of having different judges on the panel when Alanis Morissette and Ed Sheeran filled in for Katy and Lionel when the latter two performed at King Charles III’s coronation. Although Alanis and Ed did a fantastic job, Katy and Lionel’s absences were definitely felt. Hopefully, all three judges will return for American Idol season 22.

Sources: ET, American Idol/Instagram

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