Does 'American Idol' Have a Replacement for Katy Perry Waiting in the Wings?

"I love Idol so much. It's connected me with the heart of America. But I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat."

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Feb. 14 2024, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

Katy Perry on 'American Idol'
Source: ABC

There's no stopping the search for the next great singer on American Idol. The long-running reality show competition has changed judges and networks throughout its broadcast, but the premise remains the same. Singers from all over the country compete for their chance to sign a major music contract and become the next pop sensation while a panel of judges critiques their performances and their fates are determined by the viewers at home.

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Longtime fans will undoubtedly remember the original panel of judges that consisted of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. However, the judges have changed considerably over the years, especially after the series was revived after its cancellation on Fox and moved to ABC in 2018. Since then, Lionel Ritchie, Luke Bryan, and the ever-popular Katy Perry have served as judges for the show.

However, Katy recently announced that she's leaving once and for all. Does she have a replacement?

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie during Season 21 of 'American Idol'
Source: ABC
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Katy Perry's replacement on 'American Idol' is really anyone's guess.

In February 2024, Katy announced on Jimmy Kimmel Live that Season 22 — set to premiere on Feb. 18, 2024 — would be her last season as a judge on the show.

She told the talk show host, "I love Idol so much. It's connected me with the heart of America. But I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat."

Katy plans to follow the pattern of the original judges on the show, who each remained on Idol for seven seasons before moving on.

During her interview, Katy also teased new projects following her departure and even suggested that her co-stars didn't explicitly know about the announcement before she made it, but they had an idea of her intentions. When asked by Jimmy Kimmel if there was anyone in line to replace her on the show, she simply stated, "Let's just say I'm creating room for my own wingspan."

As of this writing, there are no confirmed candidates to replace Katy on the show, but they do have one last season to figure it out.

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Katy's impending departure comes after years of Idol fan backlash she has received for her role as a judge. She had been criticized on several occasions for her negative attitude toward contestants during both the audition process and even live episodes.

That said, her announcement has been met with enthusiasm from Katy's fans, who are looking forward to seeing if she has new music in the works.

"KP6 is coming," one person exclaimed on YouTube. "The queen herself is coming to dominate the music industry once again!"

Another wrote, "I'm so excited for Katy's comeback!"

Catch Katy on her final season of American Idol, premiering on Feb. 18, 2024, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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