Why isn’t Luke Bryan on American Idol tonight?

American Idol judge Luke Bryan tests positive for COVID-19.
Luke will miss the first few live episodes o American Idol. Pic credit: ABC

There’s a perfectly good explanation for why Luke Bryan isn’t on American Idol tonight. No, the country crooner isn’t leaving the ABC reality TV show, but he will be out for a few episodes.

Live episodes of American Idol are just getting started. Katy Perry and Lionel Richie will be holding down the fort for a little while, with a special guest judge thanks to Luke being forced to miss the live show kick-off.

Why isn’t Luke Bryan on AI?

The reason Luke Bryan isn’t on American Idol tonight is that he tested positive for COVID-19. Luke used Twitter to break the news to fans earlier on Monday.

“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 tweeted.

Yes, it looks like Luke will be quarantining and recovering for the next couple of weeks. Luke will miss several episodes of American Idol.

At the very least, fans won’t see Luke at the judge’s table for the next four episodes. It could be longer, though, depending on how the country singer feels.

Fans immediately flocked to Luke’s tweet to share well wishes, virtual hugs, and their own stories with COVID-19.

Who is replacing Luke Bryan on American Idol?

Lionel and Katy won’t be left navigating the singing competition alone. Not long after Luke shared his news via Twitter, ABC released a statement announcing his replacement.

The lovely and talented Paula Abdul will be sitting in Luke’s chair for the next couple of episodes.

“Luke will be missed at our first #AmericanIdol LIVE show tonight, but he is resting now in quarantine at home, and we’re wishing him a speedy recovery. We’re so excited to announce @paulaabdul will be stepping in as a guest judge to join Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as we get closer to crowning a new winner!” The network shared in a statement on social media.

Paula’s the perfect choice to step in as a temporary replacement for Luke. After all, Paula was one of the original judges on AI when it premiered in 2002 on Fox.

The singer and dancer left after eight seasons. This will be Paula’s first time appearing on American Idol since the show was rebooted on ABC.

Luke Bryan isn’t on American Idol tonight because he tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily Paula’s replacing him to help Lionel Richie and Katy Perry keep the competition moving along. A new winner will be announced in May.

American Idol airs Sunday and Monday at 8/7c on ABC.

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