'American Idol': Lionel Richie, Charlie Puth and Luke Bryan Are Eyed as New Judges

'American Idol' vet Keith Urban is also thrown into the mix as the judge frontrunners for the upcoming reboot, while Lionel is reportedly internal favorite among others

AceShowbiz - "American Idol" is starting to assemble its judge squad. After courting %cKaty Perry% as the new judge for the reboot with a whooping $25 million contract, the revived singing competition is reportedly eyeing other three stars to fill the remaining judges' slots. Among the judge frontrunners are %cLionel Richie%, %cCharlie Puth% and country singer %cLuke Bryan%.

According to TMZ, Lionel is internal favorite among the three. This is not the first time for the "All Night Long" singer to be in talks for a judge gig on ABC's singing competition show. He was set to sit in judge panel on "Duets" before dropping out and then being replaced by %cJohn Legend%.

Charlie is also among stars who are considered to fill the remaining two judges' seats. Luke, meanwhile, is in the mix because he impressed producers in early discussion. It makes sense should ABC decide to go with Luke, considering the network's relationship with country music. %cKeith Urban% reportedly comes as an alternative if things don't work with the aforementioned names.

As ABC is deliberating whether to have three or four judges on its panel, formal negotiations haven't begun yet. "American Idol" executive producers are expected to meet ABC sometime this week to finalize their choices and later begin making offers. The decision surely has to be made fast since the auditions are set to start on August 17 in Florida.

Just a week ago, %cRyan Seacrest% was confirmed to return to the show as the host. The radio personality along with %cKelly Ripa% announced the big news in Thursday, July 20 episode of "Live with Kelly and Ryan". "To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney/ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal," he said in a statement.

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