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'American Idol' reportedly close to finalizing judging panel, Charlie Puth and Luke Bryan are frontrunners


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/26/2017 

American Idol is reportedly close to finalizing its judging panel for the show's upcoming ABC revival.

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Iconic pop star Katy Perry is the only official judge on American Idol's sixteenth season so far, but Idol sources told TMZ that show executives will finish assembling the judging panel this week when they meet with ABC and make offers to the celebrities.

Singer Charlie Puth has reportedly emerged as a frontrunner to become one of the judges, as well as country star Luke Bryan.

As previously reported, Lionel Richie was in talks to serve as a judge, and the Idol sources claim he's still considered a favorite for the gig.

With Katy in one of the judges' seats, two reportedly remain open.

If Charlie, Luke or Lionel don't work out, former Idol judge Keith Urban is the backup option, TMZ reported. Keith is a country star who served as a judge on Season 12 through Season 15 of the reality singing competition when it aired on Fox.

Although the show's judges have yet to be confirmed, Ryan Seacrest officially announced last week he'll be returning as host of American Idol.

"I am very, very excited," Ryan gushed on Live with Kelly and Ryan. "It's gonna be the best time."

ABC announced in May the network would be bringing back American Idol, which aired its fifteenth-season finale in 2016 on Fox.

Reports circulated at the time that ABC wanted to put together a judging panel comprised of former Idol winners and finalists, but some of the most famous faces to come out of the show -- such as Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson -- signed on for Season 13 and Season 14, respectively, of NBC's The Voice instead.

Fox premiered Idol back in 2002 and all of the seasons were hosted by Ryan.

American Idol's auditions are reportedly set to begin in mid-August and stop in 19 cities.


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