Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie talk return, COVID safety ahead of 'American Idol' new season

"American Idol" judge Luke Bryan is looking forward to the new season, saying "We're here for those special moments where we can potentially see a major star being born."
"American Idol" returns for a new season on Sunday, Feb. 14. Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan are eager to show us new talent, and they promise they've been doing it all safely. But even during a pandemic, the goal remains the same.

"We're here for those special moments where we can potentially see a major star being born," said Bryan.

"I'm a new mom, so I'm not here to risk anything!" said Perry. "But I am here to be able to continue to spread hope that we need, that provides fun, entertainment, because man, times are tough, you need a little bit of laughing, of singing, dancing, a little release."

"We've spent a lot of years in entertainment, like you George, working hard, so when we can't do our jobs, it's a void in our heart," Bryan told KABC. "So when we got back on set, we're very thankful to be back, energized and excited to make 'Idol' bigger and better than ever."

The judges said that, yes, they had several "OMG" moments during the course of the "Idol" auditions.

"We just had one of the best singers we've heard in four years," said Bryan.

"When you've been in the business this long, to find someone that makes you go OMG is called the greatest feeling in the world," said Richie. "And today, yesterday, we had some OMG moments. It's so wonderful to know there's a kid that's coming up, brand new, never seen or heard, and you can't compare to anyone. That's the key "

"American Idol" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. PT/ET on ABC.
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