American Idol 16 rumors: Charlie Puth, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan

Luke BryanABC is getting close to announcing the final panel of American Idol 16 judges, and there are apparently several names in the running.

According to TMZ, Lionel Richie still remains a favorite to get one of the spots alongside Katy Perry on the judging panel, and Charlie Puth is another name that is being strongly considered. Given that it’s been years since the show had any sort of behind-the-scenes talent on the panel, we’re not surprised that they are looking primarily at all recording artists once more. It does make the show easier to promote, though we do think having a manager or a studio executive on there offers up more in the way of insight on that particular part of the industry. Also, they may feel less pressure to be nice all the time in fear of fans turning on them on social media. To each their own.

There are still apparently some other names in the mix, including Luke Bryan and even former judge Keith Urban. If we were to personally have our say on this (hey, it’s our website), we would argue that the ideal panel for the next season would be Perry, Bryan, and Ritchie. Here, you’ve got one of the biggest pop stars on the planet alongside a music icon and a country-music superstar. You’re appealing to three very different demographics here, while also getting some people who are relevant. While Richie is not the most newsworthy person out there, older viewers who grew up on his music will love him. Meanwhile, Perry should appeal to the young social-media generation while Bryan gets the country crowd in the heartland, one of the show’s biggest viewership demographics.

With auditions being filmed in the months to come, we’re starting to get to a point where there is a sense of urgency to get a deal done. Ryan Seacrest is officially returning as host, and the show is looking to condense the auditions with the judges to a couple of locations after doing a lot more travel in prior years. They can use Disney-owned properties like Disneyland / Walt Disney World if they want to, and they can get a lot of auditions done in a shorter period of time. Given the $25 million that the show used to hire Perry and the $10 million+ that Seacrest is getting, they need to find some ways to save money elsewhere. One of the reasons why the show ended on Fox when it did was because it was so expensive to make, and we’re not sure ABC is doing anything at present to try and resolve that issue.

Who do you think are the right American Idol judges?

Be sure to let us know some of your thoughts on that subject now in the comments! Meanwhile, you can head over to the link here in the event you want some other insight on the show. (Photo: ABC.)

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