Keith Urban’s name may have been thrown around out there for American Idol 16, we do now come bearing some rather-sad news. In the end, it does not appear as though we’re going to get a chance to see him dive back into the judging panel. He held the post for the later part of the show’s run, and he was actually rather good in it. He was always honest without being mean, and he brought an easygoing charm to the proceedings. While he didn’t make the show the most headlines, he was steady and we certainly wouldn’t have minded seeing him come back.
Unfortunately for Keith fans out there, it does not appear as though that gig is now in the cards. Speaking in a new interview with Us Weekly, the singer had the following to say on the current state of the judging panel: “I think it’s going to be all new people except for [returning host Ryan Seacrest].”
As of right now, Katy Perry remains the only personal formally attached to be on the new season of the show, and her return is cemented in the form of a pretty hefty contract that is currently slated to earn her around $25 million for being on one season of the show. There are reports out there about negotiations to bring Luke Bryan on board the show, and beyond that you also do have to wonder if there’s a chance to see Lionel Richie or Charlie Puth. They are two of the other names that we’ve heard thrown out there over time.
There was a time when it was easy for ABC to keep people guessing when it comes to when the show was going to hire the new judges. However, time is now running out. The auditions are filming this fall, and unless the network hires people soon they are facing a possibility of either guest judges or having to move things around in the schedule. Neither one of these are ideal, since you want to be able to promote the show around a new group of people. The longer that you wait, and the more likely it is that these people all have other commitments. That means that you’re all but assured that people are going to have some other stuff going on that makes it all the more difficult to get them to commit to being a part of the show.
There is no firm premiere date for American Idol 16 either, but for now, the early estimate is that the show is going to be back in March, once we get to the other side of NFL football and awards season. That way, there is no major competition getting in the way.