Why Lionel Richie Is Missing From ‘American Idol’ Judge Panel

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Lionel Richie / Instagram

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On Sunday, American Idol’s 64 remaining contestants progressed to their first performance in front of a live band and three celebrity judges. Only, the judging chairs looked a little uneven during the episode. 

Fans immediately noticed that only Katy Perry and Luke Bryan were physically present during Sunday night’s episode. While Lionel Richie was mysteriously missing from the panel, he still judged the talent from a virtual setup. 

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A post shared by Lionel Richie (@lionelrichie)

Unfortunately, Richie had to quarantine as a precaution following exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Thus far, the “Hello” singer has tested negative for the virus, but Richie decided to take necessary action to ensure the Idol judges, contestants, and crew’s safety. Richie will return to the show in person once his quarantine period has ended, but the star has yet to specify the expected date. 

 

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A post shared by Lionel Richie (@lionelrichie)

The next installment of the hit show is scheduled to air Monday, March 29th, and it is expected that Richie will likely continue to judge from home. Catch the latest episode on ABC at 7 p.m. CST.

For more on the American Idol judges, check out the video below.