Ryan Seacrest Teases Katy Perry’s American Idol Replacement

Ryan Seacrest is keeping tight-lipped about the future of American Idol following Katy Perry’s upcoming departure.

When asked if he knows who will replace the pop star for season 23, Ryan, 49, teased, “Maybe, maybe not,” in an interview with E! News published on Monday, May 13. However, he agreed with Katy’s previous declaration that season 22 mentor Jelly Roll would be a great choice.

“You cannot take your eyes off Jelly Roll,” the host admitted. “You cannot take your ears off of that voice. He is so charming, he’s a force in music, and he really brought the best out of the contestants.”

In February, Katy, 39, announced that she would be leaving the show after seven seasons as a judge. “I love Idol so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America. But I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat.”

She expanded on her decision in April, telling Entertainment Tonight, “I’m just trying to make space for other things. It’s not like me ending this show means I’m going to go retire on an island, even though that would be fabulous. I’m gonna go work.” The “Firework” singer hasn’t released an album since 2020 and fans are anxiously waiting for new music.

Fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have not revealed their plans for the future of American Idol. Katy previously made it clear that she thinks Jelly Roll, 39, would be the perfect addition to the panel once she exits.

“I was convinced at anything he said,” she gushed in a previous interview with E! News. “He could run for president. He could be my pastor. I might go back to church for him. He could sell me anything.”

The country singer is all for the job. “Consider [it]? I’ve accepted the job and they haven’t even offered it,” he said in an interview with Audacy. “How cool is Katy, though? When we were talking backstage the other day, she tells me this – just me and her, and my wife, of course. She says, ‘I’m telling you, you need to replace me.’ I always love people that are the same way publicly as they are privately.’ [Because] some people will tell you how great you are privately, but then won’t post your album. But for her …. then immediately, first interview she gets asked, brings me up? I’m like, ‘I love you, Katy!’”

The American Idol season 22 finale airs on May 19 at 8 p.m. ET.

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