‘American Idol’ Judge Luke Bryan Contracts Covid-19, Paula Abdul To Guest Judge For ABC Competition Show’s First Live Episode

American Idol‘s Luke Bryan revealed on social media that he tested positive for Covid-19. The country singer, who joined the ABC singing competition show at the top of its sixteenth season, will not be part of the series’ first live show on Monday.

“I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @americanidol show,” he wrote Monday morning. “I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”

Monday’s episode, which will air form 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, will mark the ABC’s competition series’ return to the studio with a live audience. While Bryan leaves an empty seat at the judges’ table for the upcoming episode, original American Idol judge Paula Abdul will step in to help the panel make their decisions, ABC revealed.

Abdul will join judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to help find the next American Idol.

For the first live show, audience members will be masked, tested and seated in pods with their immediate households, American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane told Deadline in March. Behind the scenes, the ABC series follows rigorous Covid-19 guidelines and has worked closely with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to open up the series to a live audience.

See Bryan’s announcement below.


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