American Idol 2022: Bobby Bones Not Returning for Landmark Season 20

AMERICAN IDOL 406 (Hollywood Week: Genre Challenge) In a two night event, the search for the next superstar continues as American Idol kicks off its iconic Hollywood Week, SUNDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless) BOBBY BONES
(ABC/Eric McCandless) BOBBY BONES

Bobby Bones has been missing from American Idol promos. He also has not been spotted at tapings for the Hollywood Round. Now, the DJ and television personality reveals in his Instagram stories on Thursday that he’s not appearing on the landmark 20th season of the show, set to premiere on February 27.

Bobby signed an exclusive contract with a new network–probably Viacom/CBS

Bobby has been filming an unnamed project in Costa Rica. A fan asked when they will know why he was working in the South American country. “As soon as I can say I will,” Bobby replied. “The network hasn’t even announced the show yet. So I’m going to chill for a bit. But it’s a really good show.”

Then, Bobby revealed he won’t appear on Idol, because of the contract he signed with the yet-to-be-named network filming the project. “And some of younticed I’m not in the Idol promos this season,” he wrote. “My contract with my new network won’t let me do another show right now.”

But it’s just business! He loved his time on American Idol. “Love Idol, BTW. Was a great 4 years.” Bobby, who also won Dancing with the Stars season 27 in 2017 alongside pro Sharna Burgess, appeared as mentor on all four seasons of the ABC era American Idol.

Bobby Bones Leaves American Idol

The new network is likely Viacom/CBS. Bobby is hosting a big New Year’s Eve Special broadcasting live from Nashville on Dec. 31. If he signed an exclusive contract with the unnamed network, the New Years Eve gig kind of gives it away.

Bobby’s American Idol run was controversial with fans

Meanwhile, his tenure as American Idol’s “in-house mentor” was always controversial with fans. Bobby’s edits always had him spouting bland therapy-speak type bromides that appeared completely useless. Although there WERE contestants who loved him and found his advice helpful (Season 16 winner Maddie Poppe, for instance, said good things about him). 

Interestingly, Bobby subbed as host for an ailing Ryan Seacrest for an episode in 2019, the year Laine Hardy took the crown. Ryan had NEVER missed a show before. And after Bobby helmed the taped-ahead episode, part 2 of ALL-Star Duets, fans wondered if Bobby was the network’s choice to take Ryan’s place if he decided to leave the show. 

Bobby Bones American Idol journey comes to an end

But now, it appears that Bobby’s American Idol journey has come to an end! It started with season 16, the beginning of the ABC era. Bobby joined to mentor the Top 24. The following year, season 17, he became a full time mentor for the entire season. On season 19, however, conflicts with his National Geographic show, Breaking Bobby Bones, kept him from joining the team until later in the season.

American Idol recently dropped a new promo featuring host Ryan Seacrest and judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan

About mj santilli 34995 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!