American Idol returns to ABC on Sunday, February 16, and Ryan Seacrest and Lionel Richie have a season 3 premiere drinking game for you — and it’s created out of the cutest thought.
The “Hello” singer phoned into On Air With Ryan Seacrest on Thursday, February 13, and admitted he’s the “Papa” of the competition show, not only judging contestants but offering support and reassurance.
“They’ve never had anyone to care about them,” Richie reflected on some of the contestants with upsetting background stories. “… In the middle of the lights and camera and you realize they need a hug,” he continued of why he often gets up to hug contestants after they audition. “They need some kind of reassuring moment … I realized I’m Papa! I know that I’m supposed to be this judge, … but for a brief moment they just need a hug.”
So what’s the drinking game?
“When he gets up from the table,” Seacrest said, if you’re of drinking age, “take a shot!”
The iconic performer also shared his tentpoles to living like Lionel in a happy state of peaceful bliss. Listen back to the audio above to hear them and catch the season 3 premiere of American Idol on Sunday, February 16, at 8/7c.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)