Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie Reveal What It Would Take for Them to Return to 'Idol'

At present it's unclear if Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will return for the third season of ABC's American Idol

Will Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie be returning to Season 3 of ABC’s American Idol?

After Sunday’s three-hour finale, the judges opened up about the next season of the reality singing competition and revealed what it would take for them to reprise their roles.

“What would it take? The same thing we did this year,” Richie, 69, told reporters. “We got the three greatest personalities ever on this show. When I started with this group I was a bit worried. I kept telling America to pray for me, but now that I know everybody and their characters, I would not do another show without them!”

Bryan, 42, was quick to agree. “You know, we’ve had an amazing two years. It feels like this year we came in and had a clearer vision and developed our identity and our role,” he said. “We want to keep that going. We’re proud of what people at home are watching. I mean, I know Lionel and Katy are getting it when we walk down the street when somebody comes up and says, ‘We love the way you’re treating these kids on American Idol.’ It truly feels really great!”

“It feels good that we’re really getting to know each other,” Perry, 34, added.

American Idol judges : Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie
Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie. Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Last week, ABC renewed the reality singing competition, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, for a third season. But while the future of the show is certain, that of Seacrest and its judges is not. While offers have been made and a source close to the production told Entertainment Weekly that the network hopes all of the talent will return, EW has learned there is also no timing regarding an announcement — meaning those negotiations could take a while.


Regardless of the outcome, the three judges have thrived the past two seasons, despite the difficult aspects of the job.

“It’s tough because we’re so invested,” Perry previously told PEOPLE of her judging duties. “It’s so difficult to play chess with people’s dreams. I do wish we could have American Idols, the show, but I think that America did a fantastic job at voting for this first live show.”

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan. ABC/Disney

“We asked them to fight and then they go out there to fight,” Bryan added. “You see these kids and it inspires me to sit at home at my piano.”

Before season 16 kicked off, PEOPLE sat down with the trio to discuss their individual judging techniques.

“It’s very constructive criticism,” Perry said. “Personally, I’m a straight shooter. I’m very cut and dry sometimes. You know, it seems a little not soft — I do try and watch myself because I do know how it feels to be in their shoes. I was in their shoes 10 years ago … I’m inspired by all of their stories. I know it wasn’t an overnight success for me; it’s not going to be for them. They still have a long way to go. We’re really real with them.”

“We really encourage them,” she added. “There’s no dismissing and just sending off and saying, ‘You suck.’ That’s not how we roll. I think in the past there was some of that and maybe taking advantage of people [and] their actual skill sets for comedy. We don’t do that anymore but we still laugh just as much.”

On Sunday’s finale, Laine Hardy was crowned the winner for ABC’s 2nd season of Idol.

Hardy, who appeared on the 16th season of American Idol, wasn’t planning on auditioning for the show a second time. However, after accompanying a friend to her audition, the judges asked if Hardy would be willing to give it another try.

Taking that golden ticket to Hollywood turned out to be a huge blessing for Hardy.

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