By Kayla Keegan
Days before the 2019 American Idol finale, ABC announced the show’s renewal for a third season (18th season overall).
Since first premiering in 2002, the competition show has discovered hidden talent all across the country, and fans will soon have a new round of singers to vote for.
From what we’ve gathered so far, here’s the full scoop on American Idol season 3:
When is American Idol coming back for season 3?
It’s official: American Idol is returning in February 2020. Although an exact premiere date hasn’t been announced yet, this season will be returning earlier than the past two (season 1 aired on March 11 and season 2 returned on March 3).
American Idol shared the exciting news in early November with a fun video showing everyone’s favorite judges on the search for “one SHELL of a voice!”
Are judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie returning?
Yes, and so is in-house mentor Bobby Bones. Even though Variety reported in May that Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie had not yet inked new deals with ABC, it looks like over the summer they all ultimately decided to come back to the competition series once again.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 6, 2018
“We are delighted to have our judges Katy, Luke and Lionel as well as in-house mentor Bobby back on American Idol,” executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane said in a statement. “They are all credible, hugely successful artists and will bring their expertise, passion, and energy to the search for America’s next superstar.”
According to Variety, ABC and series producer FreemantleMedia North America were looking into possible new talent deals with the judges in an effort to cut the show’s costs (Katy reportedly had a $25 million a year salary from the show).
Okay, but is Ryan Seacrest going to host?
Yes, you can count on Ryan’s return. Ryan signed a new deal to continue on the show in September, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ryan has been on American Idol since the series first started back in 2002.