American Idol: Race is On to Find Third Judge, Auditions Begin Next Week

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With American Idol judges audition rounds scheduled to begin shooting in New York City next Tuesday, the race is on to fill the third seat on the panel. So far, ABC and producers Fremantlemedia have filled two spots with Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. But at this point, the $50 million dollar budget is nearly blown, thanks to Katy’s huge $25 million price tag and host Ryan Seacrest’s $15 million dollar payday.

American Idol Producers and ABC Fight Over Third Judges Spot (Report)

According to Variety, long rumored contender Lionel Richie is back in the running. Others are being considered, but Richie is the one they really want:

As an October deadline approaches for “American Idol,” Variety hears Lionel Richie is back in the running for the third seat on the ABC reboot.

The third spot has seen a slew of rumored — and considered — contenders, including Charlie Puth, Keith Urban, and manager Scooter Braun. Even Dolly Parton’s name was thrown in the ring for a time. Most recently, rapper Common was approached about joining the panel, says an insider, but the new Emmy winner — who’s a Tony Award shy of an EGOT — turned down the offer.

On Sept. 25, TMZ floated Spotify executive Troy Carter’s name. The former manager of Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor reportedly had taken a recent meeting with FremantleMedia, the production company behind “Idol.” But sources close to the production tell Variety that Richie is the one “Idol” wants, and that so long as they can agree on the price, the deal should close in a matter of days.

According to a couple of reports profiling singers that made it to the judges rounds, auditions will be held in New York City:

In just a few days, Nebraska Citian Lizzy Rasmussen will get to live out her dream of meeting Katy Perry when she sings for the American Idol judge at an audition in New York City. Rasmussen, age 20, has already auditioned twice for the 2018 ABC re-boot of the popular Fox television show which went off the air following its 15th season in 2016.

And apparently auditions will also take place in Nashville and New Orleans:

Todd now has the choice to audition in front of the celebrity judges in either New Orleans or Nashville. She’s hoping for Nashville because the New Orleans date is during a busy time at work.

However, according to Variety, judges auditions may be delayed a few days if that third seat can’t be nailed down on time.

About mj santilli 30838 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!