American Idol‘s Luke Bryan is set to miss out on the ABC competition series’ 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 series at the top of its 16th 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 from 8-10 p.m., 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 Lionel Richie and Katy Perry make their decisions.
For the 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 with the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
American Idol, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, is produced by Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include Fremantle’s 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