For the first time since the singing competition show was revived on ABC, Abdul will return to guest judge after series host Luke Bryan tested positive for COVID-19. He is currently recovering while in quarantine, ABC announced on Monday morning.
Bryan’s positive diagnosis means he will miss the first live “American Idol” broadcast of the season.
“I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live ‘American Idol’ show. I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon,” Bryan tweeted.
I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show. I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) April 12, 2021
Abdul will join hosts Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on Monday night’s episode, airing on ABC from 8-10 p.m. ET.
Sunday night’s episode of “American Idol” marked the end of the road for eight performers, leaving behind the top 16 in the running for the grand prize. After the overnight vote, 10 contestants will be chosen to advance to the top 12. The six remaining singers will perform for the final two spots in the group of 12.
The top 16 singers include Alanis Sophia, Alyssa Wray, Ava August, Beane, Caleb Kennedy, Casey Bishop, Cassandra Coleman, Chayce Beckham, Colin Jamieson, Deshawn Goncalves, Grace Kinstler, Graham DeFranco, Hunter Metts, Madison Watkins, Willie Spence and Wyatt Pike.
Production on the show has followed COVID-19 guidelines, and the singers, hosts and crew are tested for the virus often. “Shooting a show during a pandemic constantly presents new challenges,” ABC said in a release, “But we are blessed to have the best crew in the business.”