AceShowbiz - Now that "American Idol" has locked down on Luke Bryan, ABC and Freemantle reportedly are trying to find the third judge. And again, things don't go smoothly as sources say that they have their own favorite to fill the spot.
TMZ reports that Freemantle, which co-owns the show, thinks that Charlie Puth is a better choice for the gig, joining Luke and Katy Perry. However, the Alphabet believes there must be racial diversity on the panel.
ABC reportedly is eyeing Lionel Richie. But it remains to be seen whether Lionel will take the job since previous reports suggested that Lionel was no longer in the running.
The outlet further suggests that Freemantle has approached Troy Carter, a super manager for the likes of John Legend, Meghan Trainor, Miguel and Lady GaGa. As Troy is one of the initial, big investors in Spotify, it makes him the most possible candidate to sit on the judge panel alongside Luke and Katy.
Hiring Troy will also solve the problem with ABC, who wants a racial diversity on the judge panel. In addition, Troy reportedly will not come with as big a price tag as Lionel, and the budget is almost blown.
"American Idol" is set to return in March 2018 on ABC, premiering shortly after the Oscars. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the show is said to be airing on Sunday and Monday nights, though it remains to be seen whether it will be on the network's primetime schedule.