Country singer and American Idol judge Luke Bryan tested positive for the coronavirus and will not be a part of the show’s broadcast.
“I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live American Idol show,” the singer said Monday on social media. “I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”
Former judge Paula Abdul will take Bryan’s seat while he recovers, People reported.
“We’re so excited to announce Paula Abdul will be stepping in as a guest judge to join Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as we get closer to crowning a new winner,” the show said on social media.
Bryan, 44, has been a judge on the show for the last four seasons.
Bryan told people of some of the difficulties of producing the show during a pandemic.
“One tricky thing is a lot of times during the audition process, contestants will get very, very emotional and it will be an emotional situation for them,” Bryan told People in February. “The fact that me and Lionel and Katy can’t walk out there and do the human element — hug and show support and love, is very, very tough.”