Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, & Ryan Seacrest Star In Wizard Of Oz Themed American Idol Promo

“Somewhere over the rainbow, a star will be born,” Seacrest teases in the clip.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 2, 2024

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Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest in a new American Idol promo video.

American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie ready fans for a new season of the singing competition show with a Wizard Of Oz-themed promo video. Viewers first got to see the creative video when it was unveiled on Dec. 31 during ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcast with returning Idol host Ryan Seacrest. 

The cinematic clip finds the trio of judges plus Seacrest stepping into the roles of the four main characters in the classic 1939 film. Perry appears first in her baby blue dress and iconic red slippers as the character Dorothy, while Bryan plays the Scarecrow, Richie plays the Lion and Seacrest plays the Tin Man.

After picking up the golden ticket laid at her feet, Perry, along with her fellow superstars, quickly come to realize they are no longer in their hometowns. Bryan then encourages the group to “get a move on” as they begin their journey down the coveted “Golden Ticket Road” to find a new group of talented singer/songwriters who each share the same dream of becoming the next American Idol. 

Searching For Talent Across The Country

“They explored the cities, the towns, big and small, and everything in between,” the narrator reads as the judges found themselves in the hometowns of several past Idol finalists who have gone on to see tremendous success as a result of the show. First, they came upon Season 1 winner, Kelly Clarkson’s hometown of Burleson, Texas, followed by Checotah, Oklahoma, home of Season 4 winner, Carrie Underwood, Kahuku, Hawaii, home of Idol’smost recent winner, Iam Tongi, and finally, San Diego, California, home of season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert.

“I can see brighter things ahead,” Richie said as the group looked off into the dreamy distance that unveiled the shining “Hollywood” sign. This view of heavenly clouds and a bright-colored rainbow signals the place “where all dreams come true,” as Bryan noted. 

“Somewhere over the rainbow, a star will be born,” Seacrest added. 

At the very end of the video, Perry clicks her ruby red slippers together just as her character does in the film, thus opening the golden gates to Emerald City, or in this case, Hollywood.

“There’s no place like ‘American Idol,’” Perry said before turning to follow the group down the remainder of the golden path with dreams and hopefulness on the horizon. 


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As a special addition this year, Seacrest also told Rolling Stone that the next season will offer an extra special treat as the show will visit each of the judges’ hometowns throughout the season.

“Just like Dorothy, we all know there really is no place like home – and Idol cannot wait to share the judges’ special hometowns with our viewers – and show off the talent from each of the places they call home,” he shared in anticipation. 

When Does American Idol Return?

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

The 2024 season premiere of American Idol is set to air on ABC on Sunday, February 18, and will also be available for streaming via Hulu. This marks the 22nd run of Idol in total and seven seasons on ABC. 

The first round of auditions will give viewers a look into the talent that has been compiled from all over the country as a result of the Season 7 auditions that began back in August with the return of “Idol Across America.” This live virtual nationwide search for the next superstar gave auditioners the chance to showcase their talents in front of an Idol producer from anywhere in America. From there, many lucky singers were chosen to continue onto the next round of auditions in from of the judges. Auditions for next season are now closed.

Tune into the premiere on February 18 to see which artists will begin their journey to stardom. 

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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.