'American Idol' judge wants Taylor Swift to replace Katy Perry after exit

With Katy Perry’s “American Idol” exit drawing closer and closer, her fellow judges are weighing in on what they’ll miss most about the “Roar” singer and who they think should take her seat on the judges’ panel.

Speaking to Fox News Digital at the “American Idol” Top 10 Tastemaker event in Los Angeles on Monday, Lionel Richie recalled the moment he knew the dynamic between him, Perry and fellow judge Luke Bryan was something special.

“Katy’s great,” said Richie. “The first season, she made me turn into my mom and dad and grandma so fast, ‘Like what are you doing? You can’t do that in public.’ Everything that was adult came out of me. I realized this lady was out of control. Then Luke would come in and say some stuff. Then I started thinking about my reputation. But then we got to the point where it settled in, I became papa bear and I have the children.”

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In February, Katy Perry announced this would be her last season as a judge on “American Idol.” (Disney/Eric McCandless/Getty Images)

“I’m going to miss her. Finding someone who has that sense of humor, it’s going to be tough,” he added.

While there’s no replacing Perry, Richie does have one person he’d like to see step into her role: Taylor Swift.

“Taylor Swift, if you’re listening out there, this is a wonderful place to stay,” he said. “Luke and I would love to have you join us.”

Lionel Richie would like to see Taylor Swift step in as a judge on “American Idol.” (Getty Images)

In February, Perry — who began serving as a judge on “American Idol” during its sixteenth season in 2018 — announced her plans to leave the singing competition once the current season concludes.

“I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for ‘Idol,’” Perry announced on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

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“I mean, I love ‘Idol’ so much… It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat,” she added as she winked at the host.

While Bryan admitted he had a certain perception of who Perry was before starting the show, he’s grown to know the real her and loves the friendship they’ve built over the past seven years.

Luke Bryan said he’s going to miss Katy Perry ahead of the singer’s “American Idol” exit. (Eric McCandless/Disney via Getty Images)

“I’m going to miss just how mine and her personalities really gel,” he told Fox News Digital. “There’s no stress in mine and her delivery on the show. Last night, me and her combatively went at each other, and then we don’t even worry about it. Some people take that stuff and go, ‘Well you upstaged me on TV.’ Not in seven years have we ever had those moments where we were trying to outshine each other’s stardom or step on each other’s toes. We just really had fun and tried to rebrand the show into something that a lot of people want to huddle up and watch.”

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“Going into this show I had a perception of Katy Perry,” he added. “Leaving this show, the beauty of Katy is, she is who she is. We’ve had so many amazing talks through the years. All of our differences and everything, it’s always been how great conversations should go. I would tell her stuff that would enlighten her, and she would enlighten me on something that I didn’t know about.”

“We’ve grown as friends. Me and Lionel have been there throughout her motherhood,” he said. “I’m looking forward to her going out and her doing what she wants to do, but I’m also looking forward to reuniting somewhere [down the line] where we can visit and catch up.”

Longtime host Ryan Seacrest shared Bryan’s sentiment.

“She’s brought an amazing generosity, love, big heart and that kind of spirit to the show,” he said. “Whoever comes in we hope they’ll have that same kind of impact.”

Katy Perry became a judge on “American Idol” in 2018.  (Disney/Eric McCandless)

As for Perry, besides missing her fellow judges, she said she’s going to miss the inspiring stories and the resilience she sees in the contestants every season.

“I’m going to miss the storytelling, the inspiring backgrounds of all these kids, the struggle that they go through, the hope they find,” Perry told Fox News Digital. “I’m going to miss watching them bloom and blossom. I’m going to miss them finding their conference. I’m going to miss how they inspire me. Hearing them and seeing their resilience is incredible.”

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With the “Idol” season finale around the corner, the question of who will be stepping in for Perry comes up more often than not.

During an interview with E! News last week, Perry said that she enjoyed having country music sensation Jelly Roll on the show and would love to see him sit alongside Richie and Bryan.

“American Idol” judge Katy Perry would love to have Jelly Roll replace her when she leaves the show. (Getty Images)

“I gotta say, Jelly Roll was crazy when he came on the show,” she told the outlet. “I was convinced at anything he said. He could run for president. He could be my pastor. I might go back to church for him. He could sell me anything.”

“To have any of these guys plus Jelly on the show would be amazing. I love you, Jelly!” she said.

Christina Dugan Ramirez is a freelance entertainment writer for Fox News Digital. 

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