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American Idol Luke Bryan ABC

American Idol was one of the many shows to experience the swift impact of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. The singing competition managed to continue airing new episodes despite the shutdown, and it will be back for Season 19. Well ahead of the its return, Luke Bryan has revealed that the show will be getting back to normal in one fundamental way when it returns.

Luke Bryan is anticipating the eventual return of American Idol, which isn't due back until next spring, and sharing some exciting news in the process. (Hint: It is not related to Katy Perry’s new baby and album.) However, there is a silver lining worth looking forward to when the premiere eventually arrives. Fans should be thrilled to hear this! Bryan told Entertainment Tonight:

We will be in person together. One big happy, crazy family giving Lionel anxiety.

You read that correctly. Luke Bryan says that he, Lionel Ritchie, and Katy Perry will be together in the flesh for American Idol Season 19. This is a somewhat surprising revelation, considering that, not too long ago, the competition announced that it would be holding virtual auditions. So, one would have thought that the idea of Bryan being face-to-face with his fellow judges would have been a pipe dream.

Luke Bryan did not explain what process would be implemented so that he, Lionel Ritchie, and Katy Perry could be back together and in person. Will they have to undergo a quarantine process à la Dancing with the Stars? Could “bubble-filming,” like Paramount Network’s Yellowstone is using, be utilized by American Idol Season 19? It is all a bit of mystery for now.

The news comes after American Idol had to be crafty last season as the coronavirus pandemic bared down in full-force during its run. American Idol called on at-home auditions to keep things going back then, before announcing that it would continue to air live episodes in the face of the quarantine.

The solution? American Idol went remote with at-home performances and the judges’ reviews. So, Luke Bryan only got virtual face time with his fellow judges, music icon Lionel Ritchie, and pop star Katy Perry. Fast forward, and the trio will not have to rely on Zoom to have a conversation. Does this mean there will be no at-home portion of American Idol in Season 19?

Things certainly sound hopeful on that front. If the judges are expected to be in the same room (probably six feet apart), you would think the contestants might be able to follow suit. Only American Idol knows the answer for sure. To its credit, the ABC show (and its peer) found a way around dealing with quarantine last year. Is it all good from here?

Fans of the reality competition will have a chance to find out when Luke Bryan returns, alongside Lionel Ritchie and Katy Perry, for American Idol’s fourth season on ABC. Hopefully, Ryan Seacrest can be in the room too! American Idol will return for its new season in the spring of 2021 on ABC, a release window which puts Season 19 well after this fall’s premieres.

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