Country icon Jelly Roll set to replace Luke Bryan on 'American Idol' following Katy Perry's exit after seven seasons

Country icon Jelly Roll set to replace Luke Bryan on 'American Idol' following Katy Perry's exit after seven seasons
Country music icon Jelly Roll is reportedly being sought to replace Luke Bryan on 'American Idol' after Katy Perry's exit announcement (@jellyroll615/Instagram, Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: 'American Idol' viewers will be introduced to country music sensation Jelly Roll this season as the 'Save Me' singer has been chosen as a mentor, reportedly leading to replace his friend Luke Bryan on the judges' panel.

In light of Katy Perry's unexpected departure from the show earlier this month after seven seasons, the producers have begun searching for a famous star to take Bryan's position should he choose not to come back.

Although Perry's replacement has not yet been decided upon, rapper and country music artist Jelly Roll, 39, seems to be the obvious choice to stand in for Bryan.

Jelly Roll's sweetness worries producers

Jelly Roll, who put out three number-one country songs in 2023 and recently received the Country Music Association Award for Best New Artist, currently serves as a guest mentor in the 22nd season of 'American Idol'.

"It's doubtful Luke will continue on Idol after this season, so they're bringing Jelly on to test the waters and see how viewers react," a source told the National Enquirer, per Daily Mail.

Despite Roll's recent meteoric rise to stardom, insiders say producers are not entirely convinced about appointing him as a permanent judge.

The producers are worried that Roll, who is described as "such a sweet guy," might not be the ideal judge, sources said.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by American Idol (@americanidol)


"Their only worry is that Jelly is such a sweet guy, he won't have the heart to be brutally honest in critiquing a contestant — but he would instantly make the show hotter and more relevant!" opined a source.

The source even continued by saying that Roll received Bryan's personal approval to succeed him. Bryan has been a judge on the show since 2018 with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie at his side.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 09: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Luke Bryan performs on stage for day 4 of the 2
'American Idol' producers intend to replace Luke Bryan for country music star Jelly Roll (Getty Images)

Luke Bryan previously expressed his desire to slow down a 'little bit'

To spend more time with his teenage sons and wife Caroline Boyer, Bryan, who earns an incredible $12 million a season as a judge on the 'Idol'—has made no secret of his desire to slow down "a little bit" throughout the years.

"It's a tremendous challenge navigating this career and everything that goes with it," Bryan told E! News in 2022.

"You just have to make personal goals to get home and move and there are a lot of nights that I travel through the night just to try to be there one day to hang with the boys," stated Bryan.

He also noted he has an "amazing life" full of "blessings," but admitted that balancing his profession and personal life might be challenging.

"I'll probably slow it down a little bit as the boys get into high school and want to play even more sports," he expressed at the time.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 19: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan attend ABC's
(L-R): Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan (Getty Images)

Luke Bryan praises Jelly Roll's 'intriguing and interesting' persona

Bryan has long professed his respect for the 39-year-old Jelly Roll, citing his background as a drug dealer who served 40 jail sentences before finding redemption.

Bryan remarked, "Every time I'm around the guy, he's just so intriguing and interesting. You know, life's journey is not all squeaky clean and beautiful, with no bumps in the road. I think he lets a lot of people not feel alone," per Radar Online.

Meanwhile, his longtime co-star and fellow judge, Katy Perry, revealed her departure from 'American Idol' earlier this month during an appearance on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'.

The multihyphenate allegedly began preparing for her exit from the program in 2023 when she felt constantly "thrown under the bus by producers," who she thought were deliberately editing her to make her appear like the "nasty judge."

Share this article:  Country icon Jelly Roll set to replace Luke Bryan on 'American Idol' following Katy Perry's exit after seven seasons