HOLLYWOOD (WLS) -- Singers from Chicago are facing "callback auditions" for American Idol in Hollywood this week, which means judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie are hard at work.
"The vibe is fun," said Bryan. "The vibe is, 'find the dab-gum American Idol!'"
That American Idol might be in Hollywood, where potential contestants wait for their chance to sing for the judges or share their stories with staffers.
All three judges agree on one thing: the music comes first. But when it comes to the contestants they meet in Hollywood, the judges try to be kind to those who don't make the cut.
"We're artists, right?" Richie said. "So we only know how to be truthful. So we don't want to sit up here and kill you. We just want to tell you the truth."
"No one has to say, 'you suck,'" Perry said.
The judges are almost done choosing who will continue on to the competition, a task that has bonded them.
"We feel like a little bit of a weird family unit," Perry said. "It feels like Luke and I are the annoying, like, kids, and Lionel Richie is the adult."
"It's the absolute truth," Richie agreed.
"American Idol" judges discuss audition experience