When American Idol returns in 2020, Bobby Bones will take his third turn on the reality TV talent show, serving as an in-house mentor for the entire season. While Bones enjoys his time hanging out with host Ryan Seacrest and judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, it's Luke Bryan, who is also returning as a judge, that makes the experience so enjoyable for Bryan.
"Going back to American Idol is going to be fun because it's my third season back, and my second season being there full-time," Bones told Country Now. "So for me it's exciting that I know all the people; I can kind of hop back in without missing a beat. Hanging out with Luke, Luke Bryan and I are good buds, so it's nice having someone out in LA that I can hang out with while doing the show."
Bones is grateful to be returning to Idol, even though he wishes fans would have found out in a different way.
"You know, I kind of wish, selfishly, that they would have held me off – either let me go before the judges or after the judges," Bones said on his own The Bobby Bones Show. "They just kind of went, 'Guess who's coming back? Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Bobby Bones. And so I get left off because I'm not near as famous as they are."
Still, the 39-year-old is grateful to be part of one of the most iconic shows in the history of television.
"To walk out on the stage, when those big American Idol letters are up, I've had a couple moments where I go, 'Oh man, if I could tell the kid in me who was watching the show that this was going to happen, I don't think that I would have believed me,'" Bones told ABC's Nightline. "It's a legacy, and I don't want to be the one to screw it up. Really, I don't."
"I come from a really small town of 700 people, in Mountain Pine, Arkansas," reflected Bones. "I grew up without a dad, and my mom was an addict who ended up dying in her 40s, so for me, I needed to break the cycle somehow. From a really early age, I knew that I had to get an education and get out. I was the first kid to graduate high school in my family, first kid to graduate college.
"Since the days when I was 5, 6, 7 years old, sleeping on the couch. I never had a real bedroom, until I went to college – that was the first time I had literally my own first bed," he continued. "I think I got out because I wanted to show others they could do it. For me, that's really what all of this is. If I can do it, I think anyone can do it."
No word yet on when American Idol will premiere in 2020.
Photo Credit: Getty images / David Livingston