'American Idol' Season 3: Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie Get Emotional in New Sneak Peek

The third season of ABC's reboot of American Idol premieres in February, and the network has released a new preview of the upcoming episodes, which will see the return of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest, along with in-house mentor Bobby Bones. The clip starts with footage of an American Idol tour bus, at which point Perry explains how the show is sending out a bus to contestants who can't make it to an audition in a larger city.

"American Idol has delivered superstars because we find raw talent," Bryan shares. Richie adds, "It's the only show that brings you serious artists."

In the preview, released late last month, viewers got their first taste of what they can expect from Season 3, including emotional moments, encouraging messages and, of course, excellent performances.

"It's not just about what you sound like," Perry says. "It's about your story."

The clip then cuts to footage of a contestant who tells the judges that he works as a garbage man, to which Richie says, "He's here to show his daughter that he's somebody."

"That wasn't garbage, it was greatness," Perry later says with tears on her face. A second contestant with a moving story is brought to tears after her performance, at which point Richie hugs her and says, "We got you."

Another contestant receives a "No" from Bryan, which prompts Perry to take the hopeful out on the street to sing for her life, with a crowd of people ultimately deciding whether she gets a golden ticket.

"Trying to be a little more frank, a little more real," Bryan explains of his Season 3 judging style before adding, "When you see these kids that come from the toughest of backgrounds, it's very emotional."

Bryan's frank attitude seems to extend to Richie, who is seen telling one contestant, "I don't really like your attitude. I don't think you're going to make it to Hollywood."

There might also be some inter-judge drama, as Perry is shown running away from the set in a sequin jumpsuit as Richie says, "That woman is possessed."

"We are delighted to have our judges Katy, Luke and Lionel as well as host Ryan and in-house mentor Bobby back on American Idol," executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane said in a statement. "They are all credible, hugely successful artists and will bring their expertise, passion, and energy to the search for America's next superstar."


American Idol returns on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: ABC / Eliza Morse