‘American Idol’ Makes Major Decision About Judges for Season 21

by Suzanne Halliburton

So, curious about the American Idol judging panel? Did ABC tweak the lineup? Or did producers keep it all status quo, thinking there’s no need to break up the band?

TV Line reported Thursday that all three judges, plus host Ryan Seacrest are coming back for the 21st season. That means you’ll get another heavy dose of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

American Idol won’t be back on ABC until early 2023. However, the show starts the audition process next Wednesday, so it’s way closer than you think.

Perry also confirmed the news on her Twitter page. She captioned a video “We’re back. Year Six.”

The show starts its 21st year. But this is the sixth for ABC, which revived it after Fox left it go. When ABC revived American Idol, it hired Perry, Richie and Bryan as its judges. Seacrest has hosted the singing competition since its inception on Fox in 2002.

ABC had no reason to shake up the singing show. American Idol averaged 7.2 million total viewers this past year, making it the network’s most-watched program. It also did well in the coveted 18 to 49-year-old demo. Its 1.1 rating ranked third among all network reality programming, behind only Survivor (CBS) and The Masked Singer (Fox). And it tied fellow ABC reality shows The Bachelor and Dancing With the Stars.

Noah Thompson won the title of American Idol this past season. It was an all-country final, with HunterGirl finishing as runner-up. Thompson’s original song One Day Tonight reached No. 4 on the iTunes chart. And he made his first appearance as the Idol champ at the CMA Fest in Nashville last month.

On Friday, Thompson will release more new music. He sang Stay during the American Idol Showstopper round.

Thompson also used his social media to spread the word about the American Idol auditions. One of his followers could be the season 21 champion.

The first wave of auditions will be virtual. They’ll take place in all 50 states. American Idol producers will then choose who they want to see during in-person auditions.