Luke Bryan tests positive for COVID, sidelined from ‘Idol’

Entertainment

FILE – In this June 5, 2019 file photo, Luke Bryan arrives at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Paula Abdul is set to return as a guest judge on Monday night’s first live episode of American Idol replacing Luke Bryan, who announced he tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Sanford Myers, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Luke Bryan says he’s tested positive for COVID-19, which sidelined him from the season’s first live “American Idol” episode on ABC.

Paula Abdul, an original judge on the talent show when it aired on Fox, was announced as Bryan’s replacement for Monday’s show, joining Lionel Richie and Katy Perry on the panel.

“I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show,” Bryan tweeted earlier Monday. “I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”

A post on the “American Idol” Twitter account said that Bryan was in quarantine and resting at home, adding, “we’re wishing him a speedy recovery.”

He was scheduled to be a remote part of Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS, but that pre-taped appearance has also been scuttled.

“American Idol,” in the process of winnowing its field of 16 performers down to the top 12, is following “strict, rigorous, COVID guidelines” on the production, with frequent testing for the virus, ABC and producer Fremantle said.

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