American Idol‘s Luke Bryan is set to miss out on the ABC show’s first live show of the season after contracting Covid-19. He will be replaced by original American Idol judge Paula Abdul for the episode.
Country singer Bryan, who joined the ABC singing competition show at the top of its sixteenth season, revealed the news on social media. “I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @americanidol show,” he wrote. “I tested positive for Covid but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”
Monday’s episode, which will air on ABC between 8pm-10pm and will mark the ABC’s competition series’ return to the studio with a live audience. While Bryan leaves an empty seat at the judges’ table for the upcoming episode, Abdul will step in to help the panel make their decisions.
Abdul will join judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to help find the next American Idol.
For the first live show, audience members will be masked, tested and seated in pods with their immediate households, American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane told Deadline in March. Behind the scenes, the ABC series follows rigorous Covid-19 guidelines and has worked closely with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to open up the series to a live audience.
American Idol, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, is produced by Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include Fremantle’s Trish Kinane, Jennifer Mullin and Megan Wolflick, with Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman serving as executive producers for 19 Entertainment.
See Bryan’s announcement below.
I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show. I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) April 12, 2021