Tonight, April 12, is the first ‘live show’ on this season of American Idol. The top 16 contestants were revealed last night, and tonight, they’ll be duking it out in the hopes of becoming the country’s next top singer.
The top 16 contestants are:
- Alanis Sophia
- Alyssa Wray
- Ava August
- Caleb Kennedy
- Cassandra Coleman
- Chayce Beckham
- Colin Jamieson
- Deshawn Goncalves
- Grace Kinstler
- Graham DeFranco
- Hunter Metts
- Madison Watkins
- Willie Spence
- Wyatt Pike
Here’s what you need to know:
Luke Bryan Will Miss the First Live Show
Tonight, Luke Bryan will be sitting out of the first live show, since he has tested positive for Covid-19.
The singer made the announcement on Monday, April 12, writing on Twitter, “I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show. I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”
I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show. I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) April 12, 2021
What will things look like with Bryan out of the picture?
According to CNN, Paula Abdul will be taking over for the country singer. In a statement to the outlet, the network shared, “Luke will be missed at our first #AmericanIdol LIVE show tonight, but he is resting now in quarantine at home and we’re wishing him a speedy recovery.”
As fans may recall, Abdul was part of ten seasons of American Idol when the show aired on Fox.
At this time, it’s unclear exactly how long Abdul will be in the judge’s chair.
Why Did Paula Abdul Leave ‘Idol’?
Now that Abdul is subbing in for Bryan, people may be wondering what it was that made her leave Idol, to begin with.
According to an MTV News article, Abdul left the show in the midst of negotiations for a pay raise.
The outlet wrote, “The Times reported that Abdul made around $2 million last season and was seeking a big raise, ultimately rejecting a 30 percent salary increase and a multiyear deal worth more than $10 million. According to TMZ, the show’s producers made an initial offer that Abdul didn’t like, then they rejected a counter-offer from the judge and made yet another offer to her. But, rather than responding, Abdul reportedly shocked everyone involved by tweeting her goodbye to the show on Tuesday night. The New York Daily News pegged her asking price at $12 million per season.”
Prior to that, MTV reported, Abdul said she felt “under-appreciated” by the show’s producers.
What has Abdul been up to since then? In 2016, she performed for the first time in 26 years at the Mixtape Festival in Pennsylvania. That same year, she also went on a tour with Boyz II Men, which marked her first tour in 25 years.
In an interview with Elle in 2016, Abdul was asked what made her decide to get back on stage after 20 years.
Many reasons! I took a long break and had sustained some injuries in the past. Then I returned to television with American Idol and that took up a good decade of my life. Then I went out to do some more television, as well. I always wanted to get back on stage, because I missed it. I wanted to get back in close contact with the people who have supported me all throughout my career and be able to see them again. Plus, I was getting asked all the time if I would ever do it again! I finally said, You know what, I want to and I’m going to make it a priority. I’m really passionate about it and it’s fun, and I want to connect with my fans around the country.
Tonight, the live shows on American Idol will air at 8 p.m. on ABC.