American Idol season 18: Katy Perry, full judging panel returning

American IdolJust in case you were worried that Katy Perry and the full American Idol judging panel would be returning for season 18, here’s a reminder that you really shouldn’t be.

Today, ABC confirmed that Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan will all be coming back for another year of judging performers, making it their third as a part of the revival of the series. Is this good news? We’d argue so, given that the three judges are reasonably articulate and while they could be more critical, we don’t think this is an era where you’re going to get that anywhere. Chemistry is more important and these three have that. They seem to legitimately get along and enjoy the job that they have … and the money doesn’t hurt, either.

Ironically, money is the #1 reason why there was such a long delay leading up to this announcement. There was talk that the network would need to cut costs to make up for the declining ratings of the show; maybe they have done that with these new deals, but there are no clear terms available as to what the new salaries are at the moment.

In a statement, here is what ABC Entertainment head Karey Burke had to say about the new deals — as well as one for returning in-house mentor Bobby Bones:

“‘American Idol’ is the original music competition series … It was the first of its kind to take everyday singers and catapult them into superstardom, launching the careers of so many amazing artists. We couldn’t be more excited for Katy, Luke, Lionel, and Bobby to continue in their roles as ‘American Idol’ searches for the next great music star, with more live episodes and exciting, new creative elements coming this season.”

Want some more American Idol video discussion? Then take a look at what we have for you below! Once you do that, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and visit our official series playlist for more.

Where is Ryan Seacrest?

For those wondering, Entertainment Weekly reports that news about the longtime host’s return to the show is imminent. This past season, Seacrest had his first-ever sick day, leading to Bones stepping in and taking on the gig instead. We do wonder if Seacrest could eventually share duties more, given the cross-country travel associated with this and also Live with Kelly and Ryan, which he hosts from New York.

What do you think about the American Idol panel, including Katy Perry, returning for season 18?

Be sure to let us know right now in the comments. (Photo: ABC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook for more updates!