LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: (L-R) Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie arrive at ABC's "American Idol" show on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

‘American Idol’ notes: judges in 2020 remain the same, Ryan Seacrest a Radio Hall of Famer, Kris Allen

Originally posted by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

“American Idol” has been a moderate success for ABC. It has brought in decent but hardly spectacular ratings. 

So far, ABC has opted for status quo, keeping the three “Idol” judges they hired in 2017: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Georgia’s Luke Bryan.

Bobby Bones will also remain as in-house mentor.

Although there have been reports Ryan Seacrest will be back as host, ABC did not mention him in the press release that came out today. He remains in negotiations but it would be a shocker if he walked. Seacrest is nothing if not loyal to “Idol.” 

“We are delighted to have our judges Katy, Luke and Lionel as well as in-house mentor Bobby back on ‘American Idol,’”said executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane in the release. “They are all credible, hugely successful artists and will bring their expertise, passion and energy to the search for America’s next superstar. They have an undeniable chemistry together making for another fun and exciting season!”

I have not been a huge fan of this trio - especially Lionel Richie’s mindless cheerleading - but they have generated decent finalists two years in a row and that matters. 

Continuity also matter.

The press release implied that more live shows might happen. I feel there are not enough live shows, which are expensive to produce and schedule. So if ABC adds another week or two of live shows, all the better. 


CARSON, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 01: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE) Ryan Seacrest attends 2019 iHeartRadio Wango Tango presented by The JUVÉDERM® Collection of Dermal Fillers at Dignity Health Sports Park on June 01, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Speaking of Seacrest, he was inducted into the 2019 Radio Hall of Fame today. 

He was previously nominated in 2017 but lost to Bones that year. 

The 44-year-old Dunwoody High School grad’s radio history harkens back to Star 94 in the early 1990s when he managed to get some weekend/fill-in work as a high school student. His first big job was hosting mornings at what was then Star 98.7 in Los Angeles from 1995 to 2003. 

In 2004, two years after joining “Idol,” he became a morning host at Los Angeles’ No. 1 pop station 102.7/KIIS-FM, which can also be heard on Sirius/XM. He also took over the “American Top 40” countdown show that year. In 2008, his morning show went into syndication, with versions for both mornings and afternoons. In Atlanta, he is now heard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST on Power 96.1. 

He will be inducted with Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton of 103.5 KTU New York; Harry Harrison, on-air morning personality of New York’s WMCA-AM, WABC-AM and WCBS-FM; sex expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer; Kevin and Bean (Kevin Ryder, Gene “Bean” Baxter) of The Kevin & Bean Show, KROQ-FM in Los Angeles; syndicated host John Tesh, urban talk host Joe Madison and sports host Jim Rome

95.5 WSB News and Talk’s Scott Slade was nominated but lost to Madison in the spoken-word host category. 


Season 8 winner Kris Allen and his wife Katy welcomed their second son and third child into the world. His name is Marlo James Francis Allen

“Yesterday really was such a great day. I could not be more proud of my wife. She is the definition of a superhero. Marlo has only been in the world for a day but I couldn’t imagine loving him any more than I do right now. But I know that will only grow,” he wrote in Instagram a few days ago. 

Allen will return to Eddie’s Attic in Decatur November 9. (

Tickets here.All his tour dates here


Brooke White from season 7 released a video for her sweet country song “Into the Trees.”

Season 16 “Idol” winner last year sung her current single “Made You Miss” on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” last week. Maddie apparently did a big radio tour but the song appears to be struggling on the Hot AC charts. 


AMERICAN IDOL - "215" - The "American Idol" finalists continue their journey in the competition, paying tribute to one of the world's most iconic bands, Queen. In this episode, each contestant will take on a song from the legendary Queen catalogue, before partnering up for classic movie duet performances. Helping to prepare the Top 8 to rock the stage is "American Idol" alumnus and GRAMMY¨-nominated artist Adam Lambert, who acts as celebrity guest mentor. Since first appearing on "American Idol" in 2009, Lambert has gone on to release four albums, has appeared in numerous hit television series and is currently touring the U.S. with Queen. The journey to find the next superstar continues SUNDAY, APRIL 28 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT/5:00-7:01 p.m. PDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) ALEJANDRO ARANDA

Not surprisingly, season 17 runner-up Alejandro Aranda is selling a lot of concert tickets. He came into “Idol” as a fully formed artist and left with a huge fan base.

He performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago earlier this month. His fall tour with a full band starts in October. He will be at Buckhead Theatre November 7 and identifies as “ScaryPoolParty.” Yes, he’s calling himself that. Tickets are sold out so you’ll have to go on the third-party marketplace to buy them. Prices start at $44.66 on Stubhub but some folks are trying to unload tickets for more than $100 apiece. 


Chart update

Danny Gokey “Haven’t Seen You Yet” #2 (peaked at #1), Mediabase Christian AC chart

Maddie Poppe “Made You Miss” #24 (peaked at #22) Hot AC chart

Fantasia “Enough” #3 (peak so far) Urban AC

Carrie Underwood “Southbound” #10 (still climbing) Country

Scott McCreery “InBetween” #41 (climbing) Country

Clay Aiken Tweet of the week

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.