american idol season 9 katy perry luke bryan abc

American Idol officially began its live shows of Season 19 on April 12, but the show looked different for more reasons than just the broadcast going live. Judge Luke Bryan was out due to a positive COVID test, and original American Idol judge Paula Abdul stepped in to fill his seat alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Abdul isn't going to be a full-time judge, however, and Perry has delivered an update on when Bryan could return.

Following the first live show of American Idol Season 19, Katy Perry spoke with ET about Luke Bryan's absence due to his positive COVID test. Although she didn't deliver any exact date, she did share when Bryan (who has had more than his share of bad luck recently) could return:

He's totally good. I think he's gonna be alright. I think we'll be seeing him next week.

Katy Perry's comments should reassure American Idol fans who were missing the usual dynamic between her, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. He seems to be feeling good enough that it's expected for him to return to American Idol next week, which could mean as soon as Sunday or Monday's broadcast, with Sunday's featuring Oscar Nominated Songs performed by the remaining contestants.

Luke Bryan didn't deliver any more hard details about when he could return than Katy Perry did, but his announcement that he'd be missing from the April 12 episode seemed optimistic about when he could return. Taking to Twitter, Luke Bryan shared:

Luke Bryan followed with another post saying that he was "going to miss being there in person," and he did miss a doozy of an episode. With Paula Abdul returning to the show that made her a household name for another reason beyond her singing career, this episode was a throwback to days gone by in some ways, and Abdul even dropped a jab at former co-host Simon Cowell.

It was a wild episode beyond Paula Abdul referring to Simon Cowell as an "STD" after a video reunion with Randy Jackson, thanks to the departure of a popular contestant. Ryan Seacrest announced at the top of the episode that Wyatt Pike had left the competition, without giving any kind of explanation for why, leaving viewers to speculate.

Only time will tell if American Idol will give any answers about why Wyatt Pike left the show, but all signs do point to Luke Bryan coming back to the show as soon as he's able. Whether that means next week's Sunday or Monday episode remains to be seen, but there is still plenty of Idol action on the way in what's left of Season 19.

Find new episodes of American Idol on ABC Sundays and Mondays starting at 8 p.m. ET. If you're in the market for some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2021 spring premiere schedule.

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