Deadline Hollywood claims that the "Light It Up" singer is closing a deal to sit alongside Katy Perry in the relaunched singing competition, which is scheduled to debut at an unspecified time either late this year or early next. Perry was confirmed as the first new "Idol" judge this summer but ABC has struggled to find her colleagues until now, when Bryan will succeed Keith Urban as the country representative at the table.
It's a good move for Bryan, who just released his new single and has long been a very telegenic performer. He's co-hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards since 2013, and has appeared on numerous other TV shows including "CMT Crossroads," "America's Got Talent" and "The Dude Perfect Show."
Bryan's new "American Idol" gig will create an interesting storyline for music fans, though, because his longtime friend Blake Shelton is a coach on the "Idol" rival "The Voice", which returns for its 13th season Monday. Bryan was a musical guest in "The Voice" season 8 finale and was the mentor for Shelton's Team Blake this spring. His name has also been brought up when fans have speculated who could eventually replace Shelton on the show, but that's obviously off the table with Bryan headed to ABC.
That makes Bryan's casting a coup for "Idol" in a number of ways. Not only does the show get an incredibly charismatic artist who will do well on the show both as a judge and as a TV personality, but after much was made of NBC hiring "Idol" alums Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson, now ABC can boast it has hired someone who would have been a perfect fit for "The Voice."
The real winners, of course, are music fans who will get a chance to see what Luke Bryan can do in his first full-time TV gig. He should be a phenomenal judge, his star power will certainly attract country music audiences (who, as Shelton's success on "The Voice" has shown, are a sizeable chunk of singing competition viewers), and while he's not touring at the moment, the release of his recent single means we can only look forward to an album dropping in the future - potentially while he's making his "Idol" debut.
Those who are Luke Bryan fans, or country music fans, or even just fans of TV singing competitions have a lot to look forward to with Luke Bryan's latest news. Now who will join Bryan and Perry to fill out the "American Idol" panel?
For more on Luke Bryan, visit his artist page at AXS.