‘American Idol’ Judges Offer Update After Luke Bryan Tests Positive for COVID-19

Luke Bryan had to miss the first live American Idol episode of the season, after testing positive for COVID-19, but his fellow judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry believe he will be back to the show soon, perhaps as early as next week.

“He’s totally good,” Perry told Entertainment Tonight. “I think he’s gonna be alright. I think we’ll be seeing him next week.”

Bryan must not be too sick — the “Waves” singer stayed in close contact with Richie and Perry during the entire show.

“He was texting us,” Perry revealed. “He was blowing up our phones during the whole episode. Some of it we can’t even say.”

“We can’t say half of it!” Richie interjected.

“But he agreed with everything,” Perry continued. “He was just giving critiques at home. I guess, alone in his room.”

Bryan was replaced for last night’s episode by inaugural judge Paula Abdul, who was on American Idol for the first eight seasons, working alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson.

“I love being on this panel tonight. It’s way different than the panel that I was on, that’s for sure,” Abdul said, adding that she “didn’t have to go to therapy” before heading to the show, likely referencing Cowell’s often insulting approach while on set.

Abdul didn’t have a lot of time to consider if she wanted to return to Idol or not, which may have worked out in her favor.

“I didn’t have time to think about it because it was literally, I got the call on Friday night and I was worried because I was getting my second vaccine and I thought, ‘Oh my God, what if I have a reaction?'” Abdul shared. “I was able to move my appointment to Saturday night, so yesterday I was feeling kind of crappy, but today I woke up fine. And it was fun!”

American Idol revealed the Top 12 on the most recent episode, with one contestant, fan-favorite Wyatt Pike, unexpectedly dropping out of the competition.

American Idol airs Sunday and Monday nights at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.