‘American Idol’ Judges Discuss The Show’s Future: ‘This Is Not A Karaoke Show, It’s Not A Show About The Judges’

The show has officially been picked up for another season on ABC.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 23, 2023


10:12 am

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Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest, Luke Bryan; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Season 7, and Season 22 overall, of American Idol has officially been confirmed for another run on ABC in 2024. With this news, the current set of judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, have expressed what they would like to see change or not change for the next competition season. 

While speaking with Parade, Perry shared that her main vision for the future of the show is to continue to attract the outstanding level of talent that they’ve seen lately. 

She said, “I’m just so grateful that real musicians, real artists are trusting us, are giving us a shot again. This is not a karaoke show, it’s not a show about the judges. We are one little part in it, but this is ultimately about people’s stories and sounds and voices that need to be heard. And these stories make up the fabric of America, so I would like to encourage and invite all serious artists and songwriters to audition for American Idol, to have the best season yet.”

In addition to demonstrating great pride for the recent set of contestants that have come their way, Richie also made note of the professional mentors that took the time out of their busy schedules to work with the hopeful artists throughout the season. This year, the star-studded lineup of mentors included Keith Urban, Allen Stone, Noah Cyrus, Alanis Morisette, as well as former Idol winners and runners-up Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken, David Archuleta, Justin Guarini, Phillip Phillips, Jordin Sparks and Catie Turner.

“And they showed up, didn’t they? This season they really showed up,” Perry added. “Some amazing, incredible artists were even watching along— Bon Jovi or Coldplay sent messages. They’re all tuning in.”

Bryan then weighed in as he shared his high expectations for the future seasons of Idol and revealed the importance of keeping up with the times as they continue to learn and grow each year. 

“We live through things, and we learn things,” he began. “Like this year, we had a Top 26, which we’ve never had. Next year, we may not have that. The core of the show is such a special thing, but we’ll always evolve.”

He then made note of the moment in the season when his fellow judges traveled to the United Kingdom to take part in King Charles III’s historic Coronation. While they were away, Idol continued with the temporary addition of two guest judges, a decision which the country star seemed to be fond of.

“Even when you look at Lionel and Katy going to the coronation and bringing Ed [Sheeran] and Alanis [Morrissette] in, it may be fun to have two extra judges come in one week,” he explained before adding, “But the main thing is always evolving with the times. I think it’s important for me, Lionel, and Katy to sit up there and speak our heart.”


In conclusion, Richie added that viewers can expect Season 7 to look a bit different than the last. 

He shared, “I think the most important part of what we do is when the talent comes through the door. So, it won’t be the same as last year because we adapt to who’s coming in. This year was on steroids. If this is 21, I can’t even imagine where we’re going next.”

While the singing competition show has been renewed for another season, it has yet to be confirmed whether or not Richie, Bryan and Perry will all return as judges. However, based on their close-knit bond and undeniable chemistry, it looks promising that they will all find themselves back on set in 2024. 

“When you get three knuckleheads that have careers solid in their own right, getting a chance to get our egos out of the way, where we just allow the kids to shine, and it’s not about us per se, is the best,” Richie told the outlet. “What I’m loving the most is that I can actually play with this superstar [Luke] and that other superstar [Katy], and we all don’t take it personal, and that’s what makes the element work for the kids. Because the more honest we can be with them and ourselves, they get to see how we really want them to act.”

IAM TONGI; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
IAM TONGI; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

These judges most recently crowned singer/songwriter, Iam Tongi the Season 21 winner of American Idol during the star-studded finale on Sunday (May 21). 

Prior to learning his monumental fate, the 18-year-old got to showcase his skills through his final performances on the show. 

First up, he took to the stage to deliver a cover of Keith Urban’s “Making Memories Of Us,” which earned him a standing ovation from the audience. After receiving great praise from the judges, he returned to the stage to perform “Cool Down” by Kolohe Kai.

Tongi also performed his debut single, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” shared the stage with James Blunt for an emotional duet, and closed the show with Spawnbreezie’s “Don’t Let Go” to celebrate his big win.

Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the American Idol season 21 finale aired on Sunday, May 21 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.