All three of the “American Idol” celebrity judges — pop star Katy Perry, country star Luke Bryan and R&B legend Lionel Richie — will return for their seventh season together, ABC announced on July 25, 2023.
Though there had been rumors of Perry leaving after a tumultuous 21st season during which she took heat for several on-air interactions with contestants, all three judges have agreed to another season, to begin airing in early 2024. Fans reacted swiftly to the news, with many upset over Perry’s continued presence on the show — particularly because they wanted her to go on a world tour instead.
ABC also announced that host Ryan Seacrest, who has been with the series since its inception, will return for his 22nd season on the popular series, juggling his new duties as host of “Wheel of Fortune” next year. Meanwhile, auditions will kick off on August 2, ABC said in its release.
Fans React to Casting News for ‘American Idol’ Season 22
As soon as “American Idol” announced the casting news on social media, fans weighed in with mixed reactions to the news, with many excited to see all four celebrities returning.
However, many of Katy Perry’s fans expressed their dismay over the likelihood that her continued involvement on the show would further delay plans for a new album and world tour.
One Perry fan on Instagram wrote, “Pls we need new music @katyperry seventh season in a row? please STOP we are begging you.”
Another commented, “unbelievable, katycats hate American Idol @katyperry WTTTFFFFFF?!?!?!”
“Someone remind Katy of the wonderful pop star that she is,” one fan tweeted. “And her Katycats need music. But well I love you as a judge too”
Some urged “American Idol” producers to be more careful about how they portray Perry in the next season, after she was slammed in the media and booed on the show for certain comments that aired. Perry was accused of “mom-shaming” contestant Sarah Liebe, for almost ignoring Wé Ani when America’s votes advanced her instead of Platinum ticket winner Elijah McCormick, and for showing favoritism toward Nutsa Buzaladze weeks after Perry was booed for critiquing her.
One fan tweeted, “TELL YOUR EDITORS TO STAY AWAY FROM KATY THIS TIME”
Another tweeted, “TREAT KATY WITH RESPECT THIS SEASON. SHE IS THE REASON YOU’RE STILL ON AIR.”
‘American Idol’ Continues to Draw Large Audiences & Kicks Off Auditions
“American Idol” has continually scored impressive ratings with Bryan, Perry, Richie and Seacrest at the helm on ABC. In its release, the network said the series ranked as the No. 1 program in the Sunday 8-10 p.m. time slot last season among Adults 18-49 and its time period for the fourth straight year.
In fact, “American Idol” was ABC’s top series last season in both total viewers and the key demographic of adults 18-49. It was also the “most social reality series across all of television, year to date, with nearly 1 billion social video views,” ABC said.
Auditions for the next season are already just around the corner, starting on August 2 with the return of “Idol Across America,” the show’s virtual auditions that allow singers to try out remotely from their homes. It’s how season 21 winner Iam Tongi auditioned, when his mom signed up for a slot for him to log in and sing for a producer.
The auditions start with a “First 700 event,” which lets “Idol” hopefuls sign up for a special VIP audition to get in front of producers before anyone else. Otherwise, singers can sign up to audition on the date their state is listed below or on one of the first-ever “genre-specific” dates.
• August 2: First 700 VIP Event
• August 4: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
• August 7: Florida, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia
• August 9: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas
• August 11: Genre-Specific Open Call for Singer-Songwriters
• August 14: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington
• August 16: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
• August 18: Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire
• August 21: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming
• August 23: Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
• August 25: Genre-Specific Open Call for Country & Rock
• August 28: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin
• August 30: Genre-Specific Open Call “The South”
• September 6: Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Washington D.C. , Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts
• September 8: Genre-Specific Open Call for Pop, R&B & Soul
ABC said additional dates will likely be added and that contestants must be at least 15 by February 15, 2024 to audition.. Those who make it through virtual auditions are typically invited to audition in-person for Bryan, Perry and Richie in a “judge” city, filmed in the fall. In 2022, they held auditions in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Nashville.