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The Real Reason Lionel Richie Appeared Virtually On ‘American Idol’

During Sunday night’s episode of American Idol, the judges began announcing which contestants have made it to the Top 24. But there was one major thing that was a bit different about this episode. Lionel Richie joined the other judges virtually. What really happened to Lionel?

Why Wasn’t Lionel Richie On ‘American Idol’?

At the start of the show, Ryan Seacrest announced that Lionel was joining Katy Perry and Luke Bryan in real-time from quarantine back at home. “If I can have goosebumps from the house, the audience is just going to be blown away,” Lionel said appearing on the screen. He appeared to be in good spirits as he watched all of the performances.

American Idol has been filming in person since the start of the season with special safety precautions in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lionel was exposed to COVID-19 during Hollywood Week. He had to quarantine at home which led him to miss out on the Showstoppers Round in person. He did not test positive for COVID but quarantined out of caution. We are happy that he was still a part of the show and was able to help make some major decisions.


He was still involved in the judge’s decisions process about which contestants are in the Top 24. Katy and Luke stood together in a room with Lionel on a screen where they got to discuss and debate about the contestants. At one point, things got a bit heated between Katy and Luke so Lionel was called upon to settle the score.

Katy and Luke sat on the stage in the theater to deliver the news to some of the contestants. Lionel had a special room called Lionel’s Den where some contestants received their final judgment with Lionel up on the screen. Some contestants who joined Lionel virtually in this room included early standouts Amanda Mena and Anthony Guzman. They were both eliminated from the competition. Lionel was particularly impressed by Jason Warrior’s performance which landed him a spot in the Top 24.

The Full Top 24 Will Finally Be Revealed Tonight

Fans of American Idol are still fuming after standout contestant Murphy was eliminated from the competition last night. Lionel particularly took a liking to Murphy and wrote about the artist on Twitter. “Your spirit is so inspiring @blindboymusic! I have every faith that this isn’t the last time we’ll see you #AmericanIdol” he wrote.

Despite Lionel being in quarantine, the show must go on. Some members of the Top 24 have already been revealed. Tonight, the rest of the Top 24 will be named and it will lead to some exciting Live Shows. The contestants will be performing in the All-Stars Duets Round of the competition with some famous faces. Check out the teaser that American Idol posted on Twitter down below.


Some superstar singers that will be performing with the contestants include Jason Aldean, Jimmie Allen, Brandon Boyd, Josh Groban, Jewel, Tori Kelly, Brian McKnight, Katharine McPhee, PJ Morton, Ben Rector, Joss Stone and Ryan Tedder.


Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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