Luke Bryan won’t be at the judge’s table when American Idol kicks off its first live show of season 19 tonight.
While it’s unclear when the country star will be back on Idol, one thing we do know is who is going to step in temporarily as guest judge. That’s Idol alum, Paula Abdul, according to a statement posted on the show’s official Instagram account. She’ll be joining fellow judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie for the April 12 live show.
Here’s why Bryan won’t be on Idol tonight.
Why is Bryan Missing From ‘American Idol’?
Luke Bryan has a valid reason for missing tonight’s live show. He’s quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19, according to an announcement he made earlier Monday on Twitter. Bryan also shared the news on his Instagram story.
“I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show,” he wrote in his Twitter post. While he does have COVID, Bryan reassured his more than nine million Twitter followers that he’s “doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”
Bryan last appeared on American Idol Sunday, April 11, when eight contestants were eliminated from the show, and the top 16 were chosen.
This Isn’t Bryan’s First Time Quarantining At Home
Back in April 2020, Bryan, like the rest of the country, quarantined at home under stay-at-home orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with ABC, Bryan shared that he spent much of his newfound downtime grilling food, gardening, planting sweet corn, and watching TV with his wife, Caroline Boyer at their family farm. That time was also spent with the couple’s two sons, Thomas Boyer “Bo Bryan, and Tatum “Tate” Christopher Bryan.
“It was fun,” Bryan added about quarantining with family before production started back up for season 18 of Idol.
Another Judge Was Missing From ‘American Idol’ This Season
Bryan wasn’t the only Idol judge sidelined by COVID-19 this season.
In March, Lionel Richie quarantined away from the Idol set after a possible COVID-19 exposure. While quarantining at home, Richie made virtual Idol appearances via video to judge contestants.
Richie told ABC cameras back in November 2020 that he found this “silver lining” while quarantining at the start of the pandemic. “I discovered my family,” he shared. Richie went on to confess that he missed a lot of family time while building his career as a musician. “So I missed that soccer game, or I missed that Thanksgiving,” he said, adding that time spent at home gave him the time to connect with his children.
What’s Coming Up on ‘American Idol’?
With only 16 contestants remaining, tonight’s live show will whittle down the number of finalists to 12.
Here’s what the schedule looks like for the rest of the season:
- Sunday, April 18
- Monday, April 19
- Monday, April 26
- Sunday, May 2
- Monday, May 3
- Sunday, May 9
- Monday, May 10
- Sunday, May 16
- Monday, May 17
- Sunday, May 23
The season finale of American Idol is scheduled for Sunday, May 23.
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on ABC.
READ NEXT: ‘American Idol’ 2021 Eliminations: Who Got Eliminated & Voted Off 4/11