Why Is Bobby Bones Leaving ‘American Idol’ for Season 20?

'American Idol,' ABC, Bobby Bones
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American Idol mentor and radio personality Bobby Bones announced that he will not be returning for the singing competition’s upcoming 20th season in a now-expired Instagram story on New Year’s Eve.

The former winner of Dancing With the Stars‘ departure from the series comes as a result of scheduling conflicts on a new television project with a different network. “And some of you noticed, I’m not in the Idol promos this season,” he told fans during a Q&A. “My contract [with] my new network won’t let me do another show right now.”

Though keeping quiet about his unannounced project, he expressed his gratitude for the singing competition, writing, “Love Idol, BTW. Was a great 4 years.”

During his four-year-long stint as an Idol mentor, he helped advise dozens of musical hopefuls throughout their journey on the show. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan are set to return for the upcoming season along with host Ryan Seacrest.

In addition to his self-titled iHeart Radio show, Bones recently hosted CBSNew Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash alongside Entertainment Tonight’s Rachel Smith. He can also be seen as the host of National Geographic’s Breaking Bobby Bones, currently streaming on Disney+.

American Idol, Season 20 Premiere, Sunday, February 27, 8/7c, ABC