Home Q News Music News Paula Abdul to guest-judge ‘American Idol’ tonight; Luke Bryan out with COVID-19

Paula Abdul to guest-judge ‘American Idol’ tonight; Luke Bryan out with COVID-19

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ABC/Eric McCandless

First, the good news: Paul Abdul is returning to American Idol tonight. Now, the bad news: She's doing it because Luke Bryan is out sick.

"I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show," Luke wrote on Twitter. "I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon."

American Idol's Instagram notes, "Luke will be missed at our first #AmericanIdol LIVE show tonight, but he is resting now in quarantine at home and we’re wishing him a speedy recovery. We’re so excited to announce @paulaabdul will be stepping in as a guest judge to join Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as we get closer to crowning a new winner!"

In a statement, the show also notes, "Production is following strict, rigorous, COVID guidelines and we are all being tested often in accordance with those guidelines."

This will be Paula's first time back on the show since American Idol moved to ABC. During tonight's show, 10 contestants will be sent through from the top 16, based on America's vote. Then, the remaining six contestants will get the chance to perform again for the judges, who will pick two additional hopefuls to create a top 12.

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