12 Pop Stars Who Could Replace Katy Perry on ‘American Idol’

Katy Perry officially exited “American Idol” after last month’s Season 22 finale, leaving fans wondering who will fill the “Never Really Over” pop star’s seat.

The “Teenage Dream” singer joined the show as a judge alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie in 2018 for the reboot on ABC, following its original 15-season run on Fox. After seven seasons leading the judging trio, viewers are in store for a shakeup when Season 23 returns in 2025.

While there are a few stars gunning for a seat on the panel, TheWrap has put together a list of who we trust to be able to judge a singing competition.

Read below to see who could potentially replace Katy Perry on “American Idol”:

Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor

Meghan Trainor

The “All About That Bass” singer has not been shy about vying for a chance at the judging seat. In fact, she said she’s begging for the opportunity to work on her “favorite show” and have “her dream job.” Plus, the pop star has some judging experience, getting her start on “The Four: Battle for Stardom” in 2018 and later on “The Voice UK” in 2020. She also mentored the most recent season’s Top 12 as they tackled Billboard No. 1 hits and was a guest judge on Season 8 of “Australian Idol” in 2023.

Fantasia Barrino
Fantasia Barrino (CREDIT: Getty Images)


The “Idol” Season 3 winner could be an ideal choice for the judging slot. One of the more successful names to come out of the franchise, Fantasia is back in the public eye following her Oscar-nominated performance in the 2023 musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” as well as her 2024 Grammy Awards performance. The star even returned to the “Idol” stage this past season to speak to the Season 22 finalists on the 20th anniversary of her win.

carrie underwood acm awards 2020
Carrie Underwood (Getty Images)

Carrie Underwood

Another “Idol” success could potentially take a seat on the other side of the judging table. The Season 4 winner released her last album “Denim and Rhinestones” in 2022, leading up to her Stagecoach headlining performance.

Maren Morris
Maren Morris (Getty Images)

Maren Morris

The Grammy Award winner was rejected from “American Idol” after her audition as a teenager, but has since said she sees it as “poetic justice” when people audition with her songs on the show. “I just get the check in the mail,” she said. The star, who recently announced her split from country music, has guest judged on an episode of “Rupaul’s Drag Race,” but never on a singing competition show.

P!nk (Photo credit: Getty Images)
P!nk (Photo credit: Getty Images)


The “Raise Your Glass” singer is admittedly hesitant about joining the judging table. “I don’t like hurting people’s feelings,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I like my day job.” Either way, Pink is set to continue her international tour this fall.

Miley Cyrus performs at the 2024 Grammys (Getty Images)
Miley Cyrus performs at the 2024 Grammys (Getty Images)

Miley Cyrus

The recent first-time Grammy winner has said that tour life is not for her. So why not the judging panel? The star known for her covers could easily help mentor the next big thing in music. Plus, the “Flowers” singer was a guest judge on the show back in 2010.

Jennifer Hudson (Getty Images)
Jennifer Hudson (Getty Images)

Jennifer Hudson

Though not an “Idol” winner, the “Dreamgirls” star is one of the biggest names to come out of the competition show. Hudson placed 7th on Fantasia’s season in 2004, but credits the show for her success 20 years later. The EGOT recipient even hosts her own talk show nowadays, so she’d be a natural.

Jennifer Lopez attends "The Mother" Los Angeles Premiere
Jennifer Lopez attends “The Mother” Los Angeles Premiere (Credit: Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez

JLo has been everywhere recently, but could her canceled tour dates bring her back to the “Idol” judging table? The “On the Floor” singer was a judge on Seasons 10, 11, 13, 14 and 15, discovering artists like Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips. She said in a May interview with Jimmy Kimmel that she “feels like she did it” already, but this was before her schedule opened up. For now, her answer remains, “Not this year, but maybe next year.”

Jordin Sparks enjoys the shoes at the 2022 Footwear News Achievement Awards at Cipriani South Street in New York City.
Jordin Sparks enjoys the shoes at the 2022 Footwear News Achievement Awards at Cipriani South Street in New York City.

Jordin Sparks

The youngest winner in “Idol” history is “putting her name in the hat” to fill Perry’s seat. The “No Air” singer, who won the sixth season of the reality show at 17, wants to help the next generation find their voice. Sparks released a Christmas EP last December, but does not have any upcoming projects announced.


Bishop Briggs

The “River” artist sang with season 22 winner Abi Carter on the grand finale. While Briggs has never fully judged a reality competition show before, she can relate to the contestants. The frequent “Idol” guest competed in Season 9 of “The Masked Singer,” beating out competitors like Dick Van Dyke, Howie Mandel, Pentatonix and even “Idol” runner-up, David Archuleta.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 04: Bebe Rexha performs onstage during the 2023 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards at Microsoft Theater on March 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

Bebe Rexha

The “Meant to Be” singer came back to the “Idol” stage as a mentor after being rejected years prior. Rexha finally made it to the competition show as a mentor on Seasons 16 and 20.

“It was always my dream to be on American Idol,” she said to host Ryan Seacrest and former judge Randy Jackson on “Live with Kelly.” “I auditioned one time and I didn’t get through.”

Alicia Keys performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII
Alicia Keys performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII. (CREDIT: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Alicia Keys

After producing a Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical inspired by her life story, Keys might be ready to get back in the judging seat. The Grammy Award winner was a coach on “The Voice” for Seasons 11, 12 and 14.

Who do you want to see take Katy Perry’s seat?

“American Idol” returns for Season 23 in early 2025 on ABC.

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