“American Idol” judge Luke Bryan won’t be on the show’s first live episode of the year Monday night.

The country singer announced Monday on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be a part of the broadcast.

Instead, “Idol” producers are turning to a very familiar face to sit next to Lionel Richie and Katy Perry: Paula Abdul, who was a judge for the show’s first nine seasons.

Abdul promised Bryan via Twitter that his seat remains in good hands.

“American Idol” has filmed two seasons during the pandemic, and Bryan admitted it’s been challenging at times.

“One tricky thing is a lot of times during the audition process, contestants will get very, very emotional, and it will be an emotional situation for them,” he told People.com in February. “The fact that me and Lionel and Katy can’t walk out there and do the human element ― hug and show support and love, is very, very tough.”




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