Luke Bryan Comments on Returning to ‘American Idol’ Next Season

Luke Bryan

Heavy/Getty Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan has been a judge on “American Idol” since it premiered on ABC in 2018. And it doesn’t sound like he’s going anywhere for season 22.

The singing competition show wrapped its 21st iteration on Sunday and Iam Tongi, an 18-year-old Hawaii native, took home the trophy. Access Hollywood caught up with Bryan on the red carpet after the live finale aired, and the country music superstar was asked about the chances of him returning alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

“Well, we’re working through it and it’s a great question to ask,” Bryan said. “But, certainly I don’t see the reason why I wouldn’t come back with my fellow judges. We have a great time doing this and it feels good.

“You know, my big question is always to the contestants. When you look at like Clay [Aiken] and Ruben Studdard coming back and they’re coming back and it’s a great experience for everybody. So, it feels good and love being in the role.”

Studdard and Aiken, who placed first and second during “American Idol’s” second season respectively, performed on Sunday night as well.

Bryan, Perry & Richie Dont ‘Don’t Have Any Ulterior Motives’

Bryan was also asked to talk about the bond he shares with his two fellow judges.

“It’s special because we enjoy doing it, and we don’t have any ulterior motives,” Bryan said. “We’re not going up there trying to like, outshine, outdo one another.

“We’re up there to compliment the show, compliment kids, compliment and hopefully be a voice to help these kids. I hope we can encourage them and tell them that they’re great. And be that shining light that gets them the confidence they need to go through and navigate this contest.”

Tongi’s Audition Was a ‘Highlight’ for Bryan This Season, Sunday Night Felt Like an ‘Awards Show’ for the Country Artist

Bryan went on to share some of his favorite moments of season 21. He knew Tongi was a frontrunner after watching his audition at the start of the season, which he called a highlight. Further, Bryan said that the star-studded finale night, which included performances by the likes of former “American Idol” judge Keith Urban, felt like an “awards show.”

“Our favorite moment, Lionel said something like, ‘You gotta sing from your colon,’ or something,” Bryan said. “And then there was something else he did where me and Katy fell out of our chairs. But, still looking back and Iam’s audition was certainly a highlight. And tonight — when we have so many stars from so many genres coming in, stars that are moving the needle now, moved the needle [back then], it was a great night of music, and it felt like an award show kinda night tonight.”

On Sunday night, Tongi performed, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” his single that’s dedicated to his late father, which moved Bryan to tears.

Bryan has filled the role of judge alongside Richie and Perry for six seasons — since ABC revived “American Idol” in 2018. Tongi joins five other artists who have been crowned as American Idol on ABC, including Maddie Poppe, Laine Hardy, Just Sam, Chayce Beckham and Noah Thompson.