Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Ryan Seacrest Reunite For ‘American Idol’ Tapings

American Idol stars Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Ryan Seacrest reunited over the weekend in Las Vegas to…


Lauren Jo Black

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September 27, 2022

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ABC’s “American Idol” stars judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and host Ryan Seacrest; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol stars Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Ryan Seacrest reunited over the weekend in Las Vegas to begin taping for the upcoming Idol season.  

The judges made their way to Sin City to begin their hunt for the next American Idol

In a new photo released by ABC, Richie, Perry, Bryan, and Seacrest can be seen gathered around a poker table as they begin their hunt for Idol hopefuls. 

In July, ABC announced the return of judges Richie, Perry, and Bryan. At the time, the network also revealed that Seacrest would return to host. 

The upcoming season will mark American Idol’s 21st season overall and the sixth season on the network.

While a premiere date has yet to be confirmed, the show is set to return sometime in the Spring of 2023. 

American Idol auditions took place throughout the month of August via Zoom or face-to-face events across the country. 

Hopefuls can still sign up to audition by clicking HERE

Throughout Season 20, Idol was the No.1 series in its two-hour time period among adults 18-49. This was the third consecutive year that Idol ranked in the top slot. 

Additionally, American Idol finished in the Top 3 for unscripted series. 

Noah Thompson; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Noah Thompson; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Noah Thompson was crowned the champion of Season 20. Throughout the season, the former construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, covered songs such as Cam’s “Burning House,” The SteelDrivers’ “Blue Side Of The Mountain” and Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up.” 

Thompson has also impressed the Idol judges and America with countrified renditions of pop hits such as Noah Cyrus’ “July,” Rihanna’s “Stay,” Harry Styles’ “Falling,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” and John Mayer’s “Heartbreak Warfare.”

Katy Perry once called Thompson “the American Dream,” while Luke Bryan later declared Thompson “might win the whole competition” after he praised the “magic quality” he has “going on in [his] voice.”

HunterGirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol
HunterGirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol

HunterGirl finished the season as runner-up. She was also a standout throughout Season 20 with performances of country hits like Rascal Flatts’ “Riot,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” Rascal Flatts’ “Banjo” and Miranda Lambert’s “Vice.”  

HunterGirl was deemed a “new age Miranda Lambert” by Luke Bryan.

The American Idol finalists will reunite later this month when they embark on a co-headlining tour. The trek kicks off on Thursday, October 27 and runs through December 2. 

“I can’t believe a year ago, I was working construction, and now I’m announcing a tour with one of my closest friends, HunterGirl,” Thompson shared in a press release. “HunterGirl and I met on Idol and became really close. We’ve stayed friends, and now we get to get out there on the road together. One of my favorite things to do is get up on stage and sing. I am literally living in my dream world.”

“This past year has been one of the most incredible years of my life,” HunterGirl added. “It is going to be so much fun being on tour with one of my good friends, Noah Thompson. I am excited to be on the road with my band and have the chance to play new music that will be coming out soon.”

More info about the tour can be found HERE.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.