By Gerrad Hall
March 01, 2019 at 08:39 PM EST

This (weekend)… is American Idol.

Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie are back for season 17 of the ABC singing competition — the second for the judging panel.

“Having a year behind me makes me feel more educated on what’s to come,” country star Bryan says in the exclusive preview above, “and I’m excited about the talent we have for our second season.”

“It took last year for us all to get our feet in the water, if you will,” Richie admits. “Now we’re taking the dive.”

In Sunday’s premiere, the nationwide search for contestants hoping to secure a ticket to Hollywood journeys to Louisville, Ky.; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Los Angeles, Calif.; New York, N.Y.; and Denver, Colo.

Perry is looking for “talent, personality, and story,” and we’ll get lots of all three, judging by several of her bright-eyed reactions — and tears, thanks to, well, Richie’s tears.

“Lionel, you look like you’re walking a daughter down the aisle,” Bryan says to Richie, who’s wiping streaming tears from his face while a legally blind contestant sings Andra Day’s “I’ll Rise Up.”

Watch the exclusive video above for more. Season 17 of American Idol premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Related content: 

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
  • TV Show
  • 16
  • 574
run date
  • 06/11/02
  • Simon Fuller
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