This article has been updated since its initial publish date.
While some fans have been clear about their love for the “California Gurls” hitmaker, 38, as a judge on the show, others frequently compared her to Simon Cowell, who garnered a reputation as a sarcastic, often rude figure (and who judged on the show from 2002 to 2010, before ABC re-booted it).
Perry was interviewed by Extra on the Idol finale red carpet this week, and was asked if she’d ever return as a judge for future seasons.
Katy Perry Answers Whether Or Not She’ll Return To American Idol
After Perry was asked by the interviewer if she’d ever consider coming back to the show, she replied, “I think we have to talk about it tonight. I think we’re all going to talk about it tonight.”
She then acknowledged that while she is fond of being a judge, her job is time-consuming and often makes her want to participate in other activities. “I love my job, I know that I miss going out into the world and doing what those kids get to do.” She went on, “I’m getting a little FOMO after all these years, it’s been quite a minute.”
She stressed that even despite that, she ultimately does want to come back to the show in the future. “I hope so, we’ll see,” she said. She continued, “I’m just so proud of everything we’ve been able to do, thus far.”
Katy Perry Booed After Making Fun Of American Idol Contestant’s Style
One particular Perry moment from the current season is still striking a chord with fans: a scene in which she made fun of one contestant’s outfit last month.
After this, Perry was audibly booed by the American Idol live audience. Nutsa, 25, a singer from Tbilisi, Georgia, gave an impassioned performance of “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals while competing in the show’s Top 26 in Hawaii.
Nutsa sang her heart out during the April 17th episode of the show. After that, Perry said to her, “Nutsa, every time you take the stage, it’s like you glitter bomb the stage.” She went on, “Listen, I think one thing I personally would like to see from you is not one piece of glitter the next time. I know that’s gonna be hard.”
Perry then faced a first for her time on the show: an obvious collective ‘boo’ sound from the audience. Fellow judge Lionel Richie chimed in, adding, “Whoa, hostility!” as Luke Bryan acknowledged, “Yes Katy got booed. Katy got booed.”
Perry brushed off the crowd’s reaction, and explained her comment: “OK, first time in six seasons, woo hoo!” she quipped. She continued, “But what I’m saying is that, I’d like you to flip the script. I think we want to be pulled in by our hearts too. I’d love to see that, and I think America might too.”
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Perry Deemed A ‘Bully’ And Compared To Simon Cowell By Fans
Another scene went viral last month, one in which Perry was accused of “mom-shaming” a contestant. One other clip from season 19 also recently went viral in which Perry adamantly disapproves of a contestant’s song choice. He recently revealed that her harsh critique “traumatized” him in a viral TikTok video.
Perry Compared To Simon Cowell After ‘Mom-Shaming’ Contestant On Season 21
During the March 5th episode, 25-year-old contestant Sara Beth Liebe appeared before the panel and revealed that she would sing “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse. Perry, Richie and Bryan marveled over “how young” she looked and she shocked them by saying that she is a mom of three.
Perry then asked Liebe if singing was her true dream after the hopeful singer explained that being a mother hadn’t left her much time for herself. Liebe added that she was giving music a go for the first time outside of karaoke and church choir. Perry got up at one point and Liebe joked, “If Katy lays on the table I think I’m going to pass out.” Perry then replied, “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much,” which some fans found “inappropriate.”
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“If it’s not your dream, you might need to leave because there’s a lot of dreams behind you,” Perry told Liebe, referring to other contestants waiting to sing. Some fans on Twitter found Perry’s “tone and words” to be “harsh” as one fan wrote, with others accusing her of “mom-shaming” Liebe. One tweeted, stressing that Perry is a mother herself, “A young mother following a dream while raising her children should be raised up not put down.”
Ultimately, Bryan said ‘yes’ for Liebe to pass through the next round after she also sang “Bennie And The Jets” while Richie said ‘no,’ noting that he did not feel she was ready. This left Perry as the deciding vote for Liebe’s future on the show, and the “Teenage Dream” singer ended up saying ‘yes,’ adding, “yeah, I guess. Why not?” After Liebe’s audition, Perry also jokingly called her the “accidental American Idol.”
Katy Perry is so mean on this season of American idol and it’s icky. It wasn’t okay when Simon did it, and it’s not okay now.
— Mack (@MREllyson) March 20, 2023
I haven’t watched American Idol in some time but…is Katy Perry supposed to be Simon Cowell?
— Nickole (I stand with Ukraine ) (@itsanickolewrld) March 28, 2022
“I love you,” fellow judge Bryan, 46, said when Liebe was finished singing. “I love it because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, but you’re a great singer,” but Perry warned that “if it’s not your dream, it’s not going to go far.” She went on, “I also respect everyone who’s walking through that door who will lay down their life for this golden ticket,” seemingly implying that Liebe didn’t care enough about the competition.
“Insinuating that she has been ‘laying on the table too much’ to have 3 kids by age 25.” Fans are accusing Katy Perry of “bullying” #AmericanIdol contestant Sara Beth Liebe: https://t.co/Hh1NPuswes pic.twitter.com/lsipqWr0iI
— Decider (@decider) March 8, 2023
“Boo to Katy Perry for mom shaming Sara Beth,” another viewer tweeted. “Insinuating that she has been ‘laying on the table too much’ to have 3 kids by age 25.” Someone else chimed in, “I really do not like how Katy Perry just treated Sara Beth on #AmericanIdol I don’t watch this show at all and my tv was already on the channel but what I witnessed was not right.” The user added, “They let Katy Perry bully this woman on live national tv before she even started singing. So ugly.”
Others compared Perry to Cowell, as one commented, “is Katy Perry supposed to be Simon Cowell?” Another added, “Can we all agree Katy Perry is the new Simon Cowell on American Idol?” Some, however, disagreed, as one tweeted regarding her interaction with Liebe that the Grammy winner was “just doing her job” as a judge and giving the contestant the “advice that she needs.”
@adriel_carrion SHE IS IN MY NIGHTMARES NOW!! #watermelonsugar #americanidol #nightmare #katyperry #harrystyles #traumatized ♬ original sound – Adriel
Perry ‘Traumatized’ Season 19 Contestant After Disapproving Song Choice
A clip from American Idol‘s nineteenth season also recently went viral after former contestant Adriel Carrion uploaded a video of himself about to perform a song that Perry clearly disliked.
On TikTok, Carrion posted a scene from three years ago in which he and fellow contestant Anthony Guzman prepared for a “sweet” duet together before Perry, Richie and Bryan. “We’re going to do something sweet for you,” Guzman said. Perry’s eyes then appeared wide as the song was announced, and she said “not ‘Watermelon Sugar.’”
@adriel_carrion Replying to @pedrobear2525 Here’s a singing portion of the vid to see how we did! #watermelon #watermelonsugar #americanidol #traumatized #harrystyles ♬ original sound – Adriel
The video then showed Carrion’s reaction to Perry’s disapproval of the song choice. His beaming smile instantly turned to a worried frown. “I can’t take another ‘Watermelon Sugar,’” Perry stressed. The camera turned to Carrion, as Fox News writes, who had an earnest reaction on his face.
“Is this ‘Watermelon Sugar’? Oh f—k!” Perry shouted. Present-day Carrion then appeared in the selfie video and detailed how this moment became his “nightmare.” He explained, “It’s the way that it’s been three years, and I’m still traumatized by this moment.” The singer added, “I can be getting my beauty rest and all I hear in my nightmares ‘Not ‘Watermelon Sugar.'” He concluded the video by jokingly singing the hit Harry Styles track out of tune.