One of the "charms" of the old American Idol was the way they would stretch out the big winner reveals, usually with host Ryan Seacrest throwing it to commercial just before the reveal. Over the years, it even became a running joke among the contestants and judges.
Here's hoping that the creative forces behind ABC's American Idol reboot are purposefully trying to recreate that level of drama this time — because with only a week left until auditions are due to start, the show has confirmed country music star Luke Bryan as the second judge. Bryan will join Katy Perry on the judging panel; and though the third judge has yet to be named, it would appear that American Idol will go with a panel of three and not four judges.
ABC first announced the revival of the long-running Fox series in May 2017, signing pop singer Perry as the first judge for an estimated $25 million. Slated to premiere in early March 2018 and expected to air on Sunday and Monday nights, American Idol will see Seacrest return to his hosting duties.
Even before his signing, Seacrest saw the potential in an updated American Idol:
"I think there are tweaks that the show will make and can make to update itself for 2017. But at the core, the format is the format — that's the strength of the show: the story telling and the talent… So I don't think you reinvent the wheel."
A number of names were in strong consideration for the third judge's seat, with Lionel Richie reported to have been in advanced talks to join the show before negotiations went cold. Singer/songwriter Charlie Puth and a returning Keith Urban were also rumored, but now appear unlikely.
Bryan has seen his last three releases debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Album charts; and will be honored on CMT's "Artists of the Year" special on October 18th. Bryan will be joined by Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt and Urban.