American Idol just wrapped up its second season on ABC, with Laine Hardy crowned the winner, and the network already committing to another season with the reality TV talent show. What is not yet confirmed is whether judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry will also return, although all three of the stars seem to think it is likely they will join the cast again in 2020.
“What would it take? The same thing we did this year,” Richie told PEOPLE. “We got the three greatest personalities ever on this show. When I started with this group I was a bit worried. I kept telling America to pray for me, but now that I know everybody and their characters, I would not do another show without them!”
“You know, we’ve had an amazing two years," added Bryan. "It feels like this year we came in and had a clearer vision and developed our identity and our role. We want to keep that going. We’re proud of what people at home are watching. I mean, I know Lionel and Katy are getting it when we walk down the street when somebody comes up and says, ‘We love the way you’re treating these kids on American Idol.’ It truly feels really great."
The three judges all enjoyed advising the contestants, which made the saying farewell to some of them painful.
“It’s tough because we’re so invested,” Perry previously confessed. “It’s so difficult to play chess with people’s dreams."
“We asked them to fight and then they go out there to fight,” Bryan continued. “You see these kids and it inspires me to sit at home at my piano.”
Much has changed since Idol debuted in 2002, with the former three judges, especially Simon Cowell, known for their harsh criticism of the contestants – a sharp contrast to the relationships Richie, Bryan and Perry have each formed with the rising stars over the last two years.
“It’s very constructive criticism,” Perry said. “Personally, I’m a straight shooter. I’m very cut and dry sometimes. You know, it seems a little not soft — I do try and watch myself because I do know how it feels to be in their shoes. I was in their shoes ten years ago … I’m inspired by all of their stories. I know it wasn’t an overnight success for me; it’s not going to be for them. They still have a long way to go. We’re really real with them.”
“We really encourage them,” she continued. “There’s no dismissing and just sending off and saying, ‘You suck.’ That’s not how we roll. I think in the past there was some of that and maybe taking advantage of people [and] their actual skill sets for comedy. We don’t do that anymore but we still laugh just as much.”
Bryan has already said he believes all three judges will return next year.
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