Katy Perry Reveals Her Pick to Replace Her on ‘American Idol’

American Idol judges

Heavy/ABC/Getty Katy Perry at the Breakthrough Prize event in April 2024. Inset: Perry with fellow "American Idol" judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan

With only a few weeks left as a judge on “American Idol,” pop star Katy Perry has revealed the celebrity she’d pick to replace her at the judges’ table.

In an interview with E! News published on April 16, 2024, Perry said she was so impressed with country star Jelly Roll when he mentored contestants during the show’s Hawaii round, that she could see him being a perfect judge. That aligns with the overwhelming feedback from fans after his appearance on the show.

But according to Perry’s fellow judges — Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie — discussions are still underway about who might replace her after season 22.

Katy Perry Says Jelly Roll Would Be ‘Amazing’ as a Judge on ‘American Idol’

Jelly Roll, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan

ABCJelly Roll sat with Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan during the April 8, 2024, episode of “American Idol,” on which he was a guest mentor

Perry shocked fans in February by announcing that after seven years on the show, she’s leaving the judges’ table to focus on her music, hinting at a new album and world tour. During a post-show interview after the Top 14 was revealed on April 15, Perry proposed Jelly Roll as her replacement.

“I gotta say Jelly Roll was crazy when he came on the show,” she told E! News. “I was convinced at anything he said. He could run for president, he could be my pastor, I might go back to church for him. He could sell me anything.”

“So I love him,” she continued. “And to have any of these guys plus Jelly on the show would be amazing. I love you, Jelly!”

Jelly Roll, 39, shot to stardom in 2023 after years in the music business and has received countless accolades for his 2023 album, “Whitsitt Chapel,” including two Grammy nominations, multiple People’s Choice Awards, and Best New Artist Awards in both pop and country at the iHeart Music Awards, per Taste of Country.

After the “Save Me” singer mentored 12 contestants on the April 8 episode of “Idol,”  filmed in Hawaii at Disney’s Aulani resort in early February, fans flooded social media to beg ABC to hire him full-time.

Live-tweeting during the show’s airing, Jelly Roll intimated he’d be happy to return to the show, which he’s been a fan of for years.

He tweeted, “i could get used to doing this. #americanidol #jellytime”

His first time on the show was on the season 21 finale, when he performed with fellow country star Lainey Wilson and sang a duet with finalist Oliver Steele. 

“You know, for me it’s cool because I got to do the finale last season,” he told Access Hollywood while in Hawaii, “so now I’m coming back and it’s feeling like a family reunion a little bit.”

Luke Bryan Says ABC Will Have a Tough Time Replacing Katy Perry

"American Idol" season 22

ABC“American Idol” judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie in a scene from season 22.

Meanwhile, Perry’s co-stars say her replacement has yet to be decided, but Richie told “Entertainment Tonight” on April 15 that he has some possibilities in mind.

“I do have my eye on at least two,” Richie said. “I find myself going back and saying, ‘Hey, Katy, what do you think about this? Hey, Luke, what do you think about this?’ What we want is somebody with a sense of humor. Talent is talent, sense of humor is everything.”

Bryan told the outlet that he thinks ABC will have a tough time filling Perry’s shoes.

“There’s a couple names going around, but I wouldn’t even… that is, I let the all-powerful TV people decide that,” he said. “Big shoes to fill. She’s always been a big personality. Her personality is what made Katy, Katy. She’s unique in that, only one Katy Perry.”

Whether Jelly Roll or another artist officially named her replacement, Perry told E! News that she has one big criteria for them.

“I want a truth teller,” she told the outlet. “I want someone that is not afraid to tell the truth in a graceful way.”

She also wants someone to “keep my seat warm,” she recently said on “GMA,” in case she decides to return at some point.

Richie told “Entertainment Tonight” that won’t be a problem, explaining, “She’s built a great family here, and I told her she can come back anytime.”


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