This doesn’t sound like one of those “we’re just waiting before we announce who the judge is” kind of things either, this sounds like they’re actually having trouble filling the chairs.
There’s only one judge confirmed, and that’s Katy Perry with her $25M salary. They’ve talked to Lionel Richie, Charlie Puth, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, music producer Nile Rodgers too, and probably a few others that we can’t even remember. So far nobody has signed on, and we suspect it’s because Idol producers can’t meet salary desires of anyone they’ve spoken to.
Ryan Seacrest is back as host, that’s a given, but it sounds like they just don’t have enough cash left to hire more judges. They still don’t know if they want the classic 3-judge desk, or if they want to splurge on a 4th judge. I guess we’ll find out what happens soon though, they can’t go much longer with empty chairs.
If you’re curious when auditions are being held, well, they actually started yesterday in Portland and Orlando. The closest the auditions will be to Sac is Oakland, and that’s on the 20th – this Sunday.