Who Should Replace Katy Perry on American Idol? Here Are Our 10 Picks, Including One Polarizing Past Judge

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Who Should Replace Katy Perry on American Idol? Here Are Our 10 Picks, Including One Polarizing Past Judge
Who Should Replace Katy Perry on American Idol? Here Are Our 10 Picks, Including One Polarizing Past Judge

Another season of American Idol has come to an end, but before ABC can begin scouring the country for music’s next superstar, it needs to track down an even more elusive treasure — the perfect replacement for exiting judge Katy Perry.

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The “I Kissed a Girl” singer made her final appearance at the show’s May 19 finale, where she performed wearing a dress printed with the faces of the contestants she guided during her tenure on Idol.

And you have to admit, Perry is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. During her seven seasons on Idol, she was always down for anything, including several over-the-top Disney Night costumes we’ll never forget. (Remember when she almost missed her entrance because she was squeezing into that Elastigirl suit? We got second-hand chafing just watching her on that stage.)

To aid ABC in its search (or at least to keep on file in case a “we told you so” is in order), TVLine has compiled a list of 10 women we could see filling Perry’s empty seat next year. Our picks include some of the biggest names in music, featuring several former Idol contestants — and even one previous judge whom we’d like to bring back for a shot at redemption.

Read on for 10 TVLine-approved replacements, then drop a comment with your own picks below. Who belongs in between Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan when Season 23 premieres in 2025?

Pink

Pink
Pink

Just give us a reason, just a little one’s enough, why Pink doesn’t deserve a seat on the Idol judges’ panel. Pictured here as a guest mentor on The Voice, Pink is a frequent attendee of the Disney parks, which means she already has an in with the Mouse. Plus, just imagine what kind of stunt this queen of acrobatic trickery could pull off in a Tinkerbell costume on Disney Night.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

Mother Monster appears focused on nurturing her big-screen career at the moment, but she could feasibly balance her filming schedule with a gig on Idol. And if any of those pesky migraines threaten to derail her busy work days, there’s always Nurtec!

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland

Who better to shepherd the next generation of singers towards their musical destiny than a literal Child of Destiny? With experience judging both the U.S. and UK versions of The X Factor, Kelly Rowland could do this job in her sleep — assuming she doesn’t encounter any difficult security guards on her way inside the studio.

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens

Veering away from traditional recording artists hasn’t always gone well for Idol (Ellen DeGeneres, anyone?), but we have a feeling that Hudgens — fresh off her win as The Masked Singer‘s Goldfish — would get along swimmingly with Luke and Lionel. Come on, when have you ever not been glad to see her?

Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly
Tori Kelly

Doesn’t Tori Kelly already look totally at home sitting next to Lionel Richie here? The multiple Grammy Award winner nailed her gig as a guest mentor this season, and we’re sure she could be even more valuable at the table. Besides, isn’t it fun to think about Kelly — who was eliminated from Idol during Hollywood Week back in 2010 — returning as the show’s new queen bee? Justice!

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion

If it’s a wet ass panel ABC is looking for, consider the search over! Meghan the Stallion provided plenty of spice in her two-season stint as a judge on Max’s Legendary, and we’re sure she could be an even bigger asset to Idol — albeit on a slightly smaller throne.

Cardi B

Cardi B
Cardi B

Since we’re throwing Megan Thee Stallion’s name into the ring, why not also her partner in WAP? Assuming she can keep things relatively family friendly, Cardi B would be an absolute hoot to watch on Idol.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood

Assuming it wouldn’t be overkill to have two country music superstars on the panel, may we present Carrie Underwood? Not only is she an Idol winner, therefore capable of speaking to the contestants from a place of experience, but she also has lots of TV hosting practice under belt via multiple CMA Award ceremonies. Maybe we’ll let Jesus take the wheel on this one.

Meghan Trainor

Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor

Fox would probably rather we forget that The Four ever happened, given that one judge was fired over sexual harassment claims, while another judge… was Sean Diddy Combs. But TVLine remembers. More importantly, we remember enjoying Meghan Trainor’s turn as a judge, a gig we’d love to see her replicate on Idol.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj

We know what you’re thinking: Idol already tried putting Nicki Minaj on the panel back in Season 12, and it did not go well. But hear us out — that’s only because anything she did was eclipsed by her feud with fellow judge Mariah Carey. Nothing about that season went well. If you happened to catch Nicki as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2020, you know she has what it takes to effectively, insightfully guide contestants in the right direction. Just keep the haters out of her way.

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