The rumor mill has been working overtime for WEEKS, with tons of people speculating about who will be joining the judges panel for the reboot of American Idol on ABC. Ryan Seacrest confirmed he'll be back to host, but for quite some time, the only confirmed judge was Katy Perry, who famously signed a $25 million contract for a single season (I know, WHAT?!)
But then progress seemed to stall out...there were rumors of several high-profile artists potentially joining the show--including Lionel Richie, Keith Urban, and Charlie Puth--but none actually closed the deal (In my opinion, they were probably offered considerably less money than Perry, and walked away from negotiations. Can you blame them? If you're an icon like Lionel Richie, and you're offered 1/4 of the money that Katy Perry is being given, to do the exact same job, would you take the gig?).
Anyway, fast forward to this week. It's being reported by several media outlets (Variety, CMT, People, Rolling Stone) that Luke Bryan has officially signed on to be the second judge for the upcoming season of Idol for an undisclosed amount of cash (TMZ estimates that Luke is getting somewhere in the neighborhood of $6M, but that's not official).
Luke is one of the biggest artists in country music right now, and has a mass appeal. He's charismatic, funny, and very experienced in the music industry. I think he'll do a great job. Congrats, Luke!
The auditions in front of the main judges begin next week, and the new season will air beginning this spring on ABC.