American Idol is getting the gang back together for another season. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest will all be returning for the singing competition's sixth season on ABC and 21st season overall when it returns in spring 2023, Deadline reported Thursday. Perry, Bryan and Richie have been judges since ABC revived the Fox competition show in 2018, and Seacrest has been the host since Idol first premiered in 2002.
Season 6 auditions kick off Aug. 3 with the live virtual audition tour dubbed Idol Across America in all 50 states. In May, Noah Thompson walked away with the Season 5 crown after competing in the finale against Leah Marlene and HunterGirl. "My heart is beating out of my chest," said the singer, who previously worked in construction before getting his big break on Idol. "This is crazy."
During Season 5, Perry told Entertainment Tonight that she felt the judging panel was really finding its groove. "I feel like, every season, artists see us and they are trusting us more and more," Perry said of connecting with the artists of Season 5. "The real world out there is not easy, and you can't be too soft."
She continued of her own personal judging style, "I like to be firm and fair and fun and hopeful and supporting, but don't lie to them. Because they need the help. I keep people around who say no to me all the time or debate me all the time, and that's a real big key to success." It's that firmness that makes Perry such a good judge, but it also had led to more "public spats" with Bryan and Richie than ever before.
Perry admitted that throughout the fifth season there were a few contestants with which she "didn't really agree with them" at all. "Those boys, like, it's true, they may have been a little bullied by my direct, black-and-white yes or no [choices] these past seasons," she said, reflecting on their more spirited disagreements behind the judging panel over the years. "So they're like, 'Were not gonna take it anymore!'" American Idol returns for a brand new season in spring 2023.