'American Idol' Judges Luke Bryan and Katy Perry Playfully Shade Simon Cowell: 'We're All Artists' (Exclusive)

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New American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie are definitely planning to put their own spin on the hit singing competition's reboot.

ET sat down with the trio in New York City on Wednesday, when they talked about what their judging styles will be -- but not without throwing a little friendly shade at former Idol judge Simon Cowell. When asked which one of the three will be the tough judge -- much like the notoriously blunt Cowell -- Bryan didn't hesitate.

"Well, Lionel put it best. We are all artists," Bryan tells ET's Cameron Mathison. "We’re not some sit behind the desk record label guy."

"That literally doesn’t have a job here anymore. Bye," Perry jokes.

But on a more serious note, the country superstar notes how the group is able to empathize with future contestants. The reboot kicked off auditions in New York City on Tuesday.

"We're artists so we know what it’s like to be in that scenario where we're laying our ... we're pouring our heart out on the line," he says. "And you know, we revert back to how people handled us in our path to get here. So, I think we ran long on our first day because we were really, really careful."

"We were sensitive to people's dreams," Perry agrees. "Like, these are people's little dream."

Meanwhile, Richie echoes that the judges will be taking a kinder approach.

"Think about it for a moment. Barbra Streisand walks out on stage and you say that performance sucked. She's never gonna see you again," Richie muses. "You have to understand we're artists. We can encourage -- in other words, we won't let you go through right now but come back in two years. Do you follow me? Or, maybe singing may not be your skill. You can say it that was as opposed to saying, 'I hate it. You'll never work again in this business,' where you just killed a kid."

ET recently spoke with Bryan's close friend,  Blake Shelton, who told us the two actually had a lot of conversations about Bryan joining Idolprior to the official announcement. Shelton is a coach on rival singing competition, The Voice.

"I don’t know that he asked for my advice, but we had a lot of conversations about him joining Idol and, I guess in a way, I gave him my thoughts on it and about how I felt about it on behalf of him," Shelton shared.

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