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After what has been a phenomenal season for talent, American Idol is set to return to ABC for the just-renewed Season 3. Unfortunately for Idol, ratings haven't been quite as high as the inaugural season at ABC, which has sparked rumors the singing competition is looking to cut costs ahead of its third season. One way to shed expenses would be finding less pricy talent, but will American Idol really change its judges lineup for Season 3?
That's what some are wondering, as one would think American Idol could help itself save a buck or two by dropping (or at least renegotiating) big contracts like Katy Perry's alleged $20 million being pocketed this season. For those upset about the prospect of Perry getting replaced by someone cheaper, rest assured that it's not automatically in the cards.
In fact, TVLine reported that offers have been made to Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie enticing them to return for another season. Ryan Seacrest is in the midst of a long-term deal with ABC, so it's assumed he'll be back for more.
As for what's happening with the judges' offers right now, none of them have been accepted just yet. It's possible that ABC tried to negotiate lesser amounts for the musicians going forward, and that the conversations are ongoing. Or perhaps it's taking some time to get the paperwork lined up ahead of any official announcements that may be coming any day now.
So, how would American Idol viewers react if one or more judges were to be replaced? It may depend on who was asked to leave. Katy Perry certainly has a strong following on social media, and while she may be expensive, it's possible she's one of the show's main draws. If keeping her on board meant subbing out Lionel Richie and/or Luke Bryan for cheaper options, ABC might go that route. The same goes if Luke Bryan's audience-power would equal or top Perry's.
Then again, American Idol isn't really about the judges, and there has been some criticism directed at the current group and their decision making over the course of Season 17. From questionable saves to superfluous advice that doesn't feature any true criticism, the Idol trio have often inspired a vocal group of viewers who want judges that are a bit more critical of competitors and their abilities. Will Idol give that group what they want, or continue to keep its mostly positive-minded judges on staff?
Again, the payday situation was spawned by rumors. While American Idol has hit a bit of a ratings slump in its followup season, it's still consistently performing as one of the top broadcast television entries on Sunday nights. That's impressive, especially as of late when its second hour runs alongside episodes from the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones. With that series out of the way next year, it's possible ratings may climb higher if Idol returns around the same time in 2020.
Should American Idol replace its judges? Sound off in our poll below and be sure to tune into the Season 17 finale which airs Sunday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend after for reactions and analysis on the season, and the latest news regarding movies, television, and pop culture.