Meaghan Kirby
September 25, 2017 1:32 pm

It looks like Katy Perry won’t be sitting alone next week when American Idol auditions begin! It’s been reported that country superstar Luke Bryan will be joining the judges panel on the ABC revival of the singing competition.

According to Variety, the “Light It Up” singer will take one of the two empty seats left at the judges panel, as producers look to fill the third and final seat.

Earlier in the summer, the singer had been widely speculated to be a front-runner for the position, along with Charlie Puth and Lionel Richie — neither of whom will likely end up on the panel.

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Bryan’s position as a judge is a particularly savvy move for the competition series. Bryan is one of the most successful country singers today, with his last three albums debuting at the top of the Billboard country charts. He’s also found mainstream success with numerous singles including “Drunk on You” and “Play It Again,” peaking in the top 20 on the Billboard Top 100.

The American Idol revival will also see longtime host Ryan Seacrest return to utter the line that made him famous: “This…is American Idol.”

Over the weekend at the iHeartRadio festival, just before Bryan was confirmed to be joining Idol, Seacrest told reporters to expect announcements regarding the remaining judges shortly. This means we’ll hopefully learn the identity of the final judge sometime this week, especially if all three judges are expected to be a part of the iconic Idol auditions.

While the most recent Idol judges panel consisted of Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban, the final judge doesn’t *have* to necessarily be a singer. The original — and dare I say most iconic — panel of judges consisted of only one singer, Paula Abdul, with musician and producer Randy Jackson and producer Simon Cowell taking up the other two chairs.

The new season of American Idol is set to premiere in early March on ABC!

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