‘American Idol’ Announces Judges & Host for Season 21


“American Idol” and ABC have officially announced which judges and host are returning for the upcoming 21st season of the long-running singing competition series.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Season 21 Judges & Host Are…

In a press release on July 28, ABC announced that all three judges — Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie — and host Ryan Seacrest are returning for season 21.

The press release reads:

The iconic star-maker competition series “American Idol” welcomes back music industry legends, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, and veteran host Ryan Seacrest to help discover America’s next singing sensation for a sixth season on ABC when it returns in spring 2023.

On social media, the show released a funny little teaser trailer where the photo of the judges and host got closer and closer to the camera as a voice over shouted, “It’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for” and did some mouth-trumpet sounds.

Katy Perry wrote on her post, “#wereback #yearsix,” and the tagline on the video read, “We’re coming back,” and on Ryan Seacrest’s Instagram stories, he wrote, “We’re returning for another season of ‘American Idol’ plus live virtual audition tour ‘Idol Across America.'”

The Show Also Announced the ‘Idol Across America’ States & Dates


In addition to the judges and Seacrest officially coming back, ABC and “American Idol” also announced the “Idol Across America” states and dates. The auditions start next week, on Wednesday, August 3.

The states and dates are as follows:

  • First 500 VIP Event (Aug. 3)
  • Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina (Aug. 5)
  • Florida, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia (Aug. 8)
  • Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas (Aug. 10)
  • Connecticut, New Jersey, New York (Aug. 12)
  • Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi ( Aug. 15)
  • Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee (Aug. 17)
  • Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington (Aug. 19)
  • Open Call: Nationwide (Aug. 22)
  • Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin (Aug. 24)
  • Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming (Aug. 26)
  • Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. (Aug. 29)
  • Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont (Aug. 31)

The way it works is that when it is your state’s turn, you get a chance to showcase your talent for a producer in the hopes to proceed to the judges’ audition round. The “First 500” VIP event is where “American Idol” hopefuls can “sign up to grab a VIP spot before anyone else.”

More details can be found here. The site explains, “‘American Idol’ wants to see singers from all 50 states! Pick your state (that will also be your audition day) and then reserve your time slot for your Live Virtual Audition. Good luck!”

There are several requirements for your online audition, including what you are allowed to wear, if you’re allowed to have musical accompaniment, what happens if you are selected to move on and more, so be sure to check out the FAQs for all the details. You can also audition by posting a social media video audition to your preferred social media platform, like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Instagram.

ABC renewed “American Idol” back in May 2022 during ABC’s Upfronts day as part of a slew of reality TV renewals — “American Idol,” “The Bachelor,” “America’s Funniest Videos,” “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” and “Shark Tank.”

When “American Idol” returns, it will be the show’s sixth season on ABC and its 21st season overall since it debuted on FOX in the summer of 2002. “The Bachelor” earned its 27th season, “America’s Funniest Videos” returns for its 33rd season, “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” comes back for its third season and “Shark Tank” is coming back for its 14th season, plus “Shark Tank” will air its first-ever live episode when the show returns in the fall.

“American Idol” returns for its 21st season in the spring of 2023.

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