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Luke Bryan reportedly reaches deal with 'American Idol' to serve as second judge with Katy Perry

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/25/2017 

Luke Bryan has reportedly inked a contract with American Idol to judge the show's 2018 revival on ABC.

Bryan has been confirmed as a second judge on the panel next to Katy Perry with only a week left until American Idol auditions are set to start, Variety reported.

The country crooner has released five albums since 2007, with the latest three hitting No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Album charts. Bryan will also be honored on CMT's Artists of the Year special on October 18.

In early September, reports surfaced ABC had made Bryan an offer to judge the Idol reboot.

Production sources told Variety that American Idol will implement a three-person panel although the third spot has yet to be locked down.

In seasons past, the long-running Fox reality singing competition had utilized four judges every season, which typically included a pop star, a country singer, a music producer, and a rocker or rapper.

Lionel Richie and Charlie Puth have reportedly been in talks with ABC and the show's production company to join the upcoming 16th season of American Idol, but Variety claims Richie is no longer in the running and the situation with Puth isn't looking promising either.

ABC declined comment on Bryan's alleged deal as well as other casting rumors.

ABC's revival of American Idol has been slowly taking shape since the series' return was officially announced in May. Perry was almost immediately revealed to be a judge by the network after the deal was made, and she was offered a whopping $25 million contract.

American Idol will continue to be hosted by Ryan Seacrest, despite his New York obligations with Live with Kelly and Ryan in New York. Seacrest hosted all 15 prior seasons of Idol when Fox was its home.

Late last month, Perry weighed in on judging panel possibilities while speaking to Seacrest on his OnAir with Ryan Seacrest radio show.

"I'm really pulling for Lionel, because I think Lionel is an icon, and not only that, if you've ever seen or met Lionel, he just knows how to charm the whole room," Perry revealed at the time. "He's such an artisan with words and his presence just lights -- it brightens the whole room. So, I love Lionel."

Perry was also rooting for Puth to join her as an Idol judge.

"Charlie, I think, is a really interesting play, because Charlie Puth is someone new to the general public of America," Perry explained.

"Obviously he has his own big fanbase, but I think he's really talented. That song 'Attention' is one of my favorite songs this year. He's a writer, he's a producer, he's young, he's fresh, he's hip -- he's Charlie Puth!... Between Lionel and me, it would be nice to have someone a little more fresh."

American Idol is slated to premiere in early March, shortly after the March 4 broadcast of the Oscars.

According to Variety, it's unclear where the show will fit into ABC's primetime schedule but it is likely to air on Sunday and Monday nights.

Luke Bryan/Instagram

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