Bobby Bones Addresses Possible Return to 'American Idol' (Exclusive)

American Idol has already wrapped its latest season but fans are already anticipating the next round of contestants. One lingering question floating around for the show is the status of in-house mentor Bobby Bones and him potentially making a return. The chances reportedly remain high at this point.

After four successful seasons, the fate of his future this upcoming season depends on his busy schedule. Bones is mainly known for his hit radio show, The Bobby Bones Show, but he recently landed a new travel series on National Geographic, Breaking Bobby Bones. That's on top of a number of other projects he's hands deep in. During an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Bones touched on whether he'll return to Idol this upcoming season. 

"I hope," he said without being able to give a definitive answer and explained why. "Here's kind of the situation I'm in now. It's the greatest, unfortunate situation ever. I have a show called Breaking Bobby Bones and we just finished, all 16 episodes are up on Disney+, American Idol is also a Disney+ show because it's ABC, [and] we're trying to figure out where to put me because I can't do them both at the same time, and if I go back to Breaking Bobby Bones — which I hope — I probably won't be able to spend as much time over at Idol, which I love. So I have the great problem of: I don't know because, with COVID and the Delta variant coming back, the schedules are up in the air; my answer is I don't know. Hopefully I'm on something, but right now we're just trying to figure it out." 

Due to the 2020 pandemic, Bones, along with the rest of the cast of American Idol, wasn't able to be in-person with each contestant, instead, having to conduct interviews via the web. While the world had to make due with what it had, given the deadly situation, it wasn't the same for anyone involved: Bones, the contestants, the audience or the judges. On Idol's most recent season, Bones was finally able to be face-to-face with each person and described the opportunity as "oddly refreshing." 

"Oddly refreshing. I've been on the show for four seasons now, and being virtual sucked. It sucked for everybody in all ways, but for me in my job I need to be with them, I need to be able to put my hand on their shoulder, I don't always have to talk about music, I can talk about life with them and that's just hard to connect whenever you're on a Zoom for 12 minutes a day because they've got to go to other things," the Dancing with the Stars alum explained. While Bones, along with everyone else, is ready to move forward and not take steps back in regards to the pandemic, he did note how wonderful Disney has been in their COVID-19 protocols, and rests assure that if he is able to go back and be in person, he'll feel safe. 

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While that's up in the air as he juggles a tremendously busy schedule, he has partnered recently with Dog Chow in honor of Service Dog Awareness Month. Bones was the executive producer on a mini-documentary, Even Heroes Need Heroes, that follows a small handful of veterans who were honored with service dogs, thanks to Dog Chow, after being forced to adjust to a new life after battling a number of issues including PTSD. "Our veterans are coming back and they're not equipped sometimes with the tools they need to just go day-to-day. Again, they're not asking for a mansion when they come back, they would just like the medicine to help make them normal again," he explained. "And to me, a lot of times the medicine is a service dog, and the reason they're not just passing them out is because they're so expensive." Each service dog is $20,000, therefore not making it an easy purchase option for many.