American Idol: Lionel Richie Won’t Return Without Katy Perry, Luke Bryan

I’ll believe this when I see it. Lionel Richie told reporters after Sunday’s (May 19) American Idol finale that he won’t return to the judges panel without Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

“What will it take? The same things we did this year,” Richie told reporters following Sunday’s finale when asked about offers made to the trio to return for the show’s third season on ABC. “I’ve got the greatest three personalities ever. Now, when I started out with this group, I was a bit worried. I kept telling America, ‘Pray for me.’ But now that I know who everybody is and their characters, oh my god, I would not do another show without ’em.”

Even if the money was right? And considering that ABC is looking to cut costs “I won’t do it without the others” may be a handy non-greedy sounding excuse if the negotiations go south.

For those out of the loop: ABC renewed American Idol for a 3rd season on the network, but Lionel, Katy and Luke are still in negotiations to return to the panel. According to reports, the network was hoping to have negotiations wrapped up by the advertiser upfronts last week, but it was not to be. Katy is the most expensive cast member, earning a reported $25 million a season. Whether she’s willing to take a pay cut to continue as an Idol judge, remains to be seen.

Luke also wants to keep the gang together. “We’ve had an amazing two years,” he told reporters. “When you just look at the overall approach, we had a clearer vision, we developed our identities and roles, and we want to keep that going.” He added, “We’re proud of what people are at home watching…. I know Lionel is getting it, and Katy — when we’re walking down the street and somebody comes up and says, ‘We love the way y’all are treating these kids on American Idol,’ it feels really, really great.”

Eighteen year old Louisiana native, Laine Hardy took the American Idol crown on Sunday with Alejandro Aranda from Pomona, California as runner-up. Seventeen year old belter Madison VanDenburg came in third. 

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About mj santilli 34858 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!