Luke Bryan Tests Positive for COVID But Says He's 'Doing Well' as He Misses First Live Idol Show

Tomás Mier
·2 min read

Luke Bryan has tested positive for COVID.

On Monday morning, the country star and American Idol judge, 44, announced on his Instagram that he tested positive for COVID-19 and will be missing the live taping of the ABC competition show, but assured fans that he's feeling okay.

"I'm sad to say I won't be a part of tonight's first live @americanidol show," he wrote. "I tested positive for COVID but I'm doing well and look forward to being back at it soon."

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His seat won't remain empty though — the show is bringing in Paula Abdul to fill in.

"We're so excited to announce Paula Abdul will be stepping in as a guest judge to join Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as we get closer to crowning a new winner!" the show announced via Instagram.

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In February, the star spoke to PEOPLE about the struggles of taping the show during a pandemic.

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"The interesting thing is just trying to navigate all of the new rules of COVID-19," said Bryan, who has served as a judge on the show alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie for four seasons. "One tricky thing is a lot of times during the audition process, contestants will get very, very emotional and it will be an emotional situation for them."

"The fact that me and Lionel and Katy can't walk out there and do the human element — hug and show support and love, is very, very tough," he added.

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It's an aspect that has become so personal for the judges on past seasons. "When someone is hurting and they're emotional, you want to console them and hug them and love on them to help them through. The fact that sometimes we can't go put our arms around them is pretty heartbreaking," he said.

As for the return of live concerts, Bryan spoke to the Los Angeles Times in August about not feeling comfortable returning to stage just yet.

"You don't want to be the sacrificial lamb," he said. "If I've made decisions on not doing shows, it's because let's see what we're truly dealing with."

The artist said then that "we're still learning what this virus is every day." "It's all out of whack," he admitted.