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‘American Idol’ Contestant Nutsa Buzaladze Apologizes to Katy Perry After Judge Tells Her to Have ‘More Grace’ Amid Duet Drama

‘American Idol’ Contestant Nutsa Apologizes to Katy Perry
Nutsa and Katy Perry ABC/Eric McCandless; Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Opening up. American Idol contestant Nutsa Buzaladze apologized to Katy Perry after the judge told her to have “more grace” after drama with her duet partner, Carina DeAngelo.

Buzaladze and DeAngelo, both 25, made headlines last week when Buzaladze missed one of their duet rehearsals — and DeAngelo called her out in front of the judges.

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“We had a couple of issues last night … some people wanted to sleep instead of working,” the Hawaii native told Perry, Luke Bryan, 46, and Lionel Richie, 73, before the duo performed “I Put a Spell on You.” Though the judges moved Buzaladze forward in the competition — while axing DeAngelo — Perry cautioned the Georgia native to have “more grace.” It was a moment Buzaladze addressed with the Grammy nominee on the Sunday, April 9, episode of the ABC hit.

“I wanted to tell my side of the story and I felt so bad I was frozen. I didn’t want to bring negative energy so that’s why I didn’t say nothing,” Buzaladze explained to Perry after performing a powerful rendition of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.”

“I didn’t speak up because I didn’t want to cry on stage. After I left the stage I was just destroyed,” the singer, who hails from Tbilisi, Georgia, explained. “So I wanted to apologize for that.”

Perry, for her part, gave the emotional contestant a hug and gave context to her own words.

“That is great. That’s so wonderful. ​And Nutsa, what I meant by grace is that it’s OK to be determined and ambitious and edgy and strong but also with grace,” the “Dark Horse” singer explained. “I really relate to you because I know what’s like to be a strong woman … to want to be strong and to never break and feel like nothing can ever get to me but that’s not real.”

She added: “You’re a real person with a big heart and a big talent.”

Buzaladze previously cleared the air on Tuesday, April 4, with a lengthy Instagram post revealing why she missed the rehearsal with DeAngelo — and how she hopes to showcase more of her personality going forward.

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“This is the first time in my life when I am not celebrating my win, instead I feel it’s right to explain myself. To begin with it is the rule of the contest to be present at each and every rehearsal on time — no participant has the right to skip it, not mentioning the fact that I am never lazy to perform, even if it means rehearsing many times – cause performing is my life, my biggest passion in life!” she penned, revealing that she was “mentally destroyed” after the duet.

“I want y’all to know that I took a 17-hour flight to get to LA, just 1.5 days before the shooting. As scheduled, every day our shooting started at 7 am and lasted till 3-4 am sometimes. After the official rehearsals I did not know that we had additional vocal rehearsals, probably I missed this information, my bad,” Buzaladze continued. “However, once Carina called me, I prepared myself and came back, as soon as I could, to rehearse even more, I realized Carina was not feeling comfortable by that time and I did my best to rehearse as much as she wanted, I really wanted to make this experience unforgettable for both of us. After all, we both had to enjoy this performance and the fact that Carina was not content, really upset me a lot. Because she is a very talented girl, with strong vocals and I am sure she will achieve a lot in her career life and I wish her all the best ♥️.”

Now that she has made it into the top 24, Buzaladze told her followers that she “sincerely hope[s] that you will get to know me and my personality better.”

“I love you all very much! And thanks a lot for the support ♥️,” she concluded.

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Buzaladze and DeAngelo’s duet drama — and the aftermath — is just the latest controversy to hit season 21 of American Idol. Sara Beth Liebe and Kaya Stewart both quit the show last week, with Liebe, 25, citing her desire to spend more time with her three children as the reason for her departure and Stewart, 23, leaving after getting sick before a performance.

Liebe, for her part, left the show weeks after many accused Perry — who shares 2-year-old daughter Daisy with Orlando Bloom — of “mom-shaming” the young mom by joking that Liebe “had been laying on the table too much.”

“I think women supporting and uplifting other women is so cool, and I think that mom-shaming is super lame, and I think that it’s hard enough to be a mom and it’s hard enough to be a woman,” Liebe said via TikTok in reaction to Perry’s comment. “If you’re a good mama and you love your babies, that’s all that really matters, and other comments just don’t feel necessary.”

Though Perry didn’t address Liebe’s statement, she tried to convince her to stay in the competition.

“Hey girl. You’ve opened a door you never thought you would open,” the “I Kissed a Girl” singer told Liebe. “And you got a yes. And you may get another yes in the future. Do not give up.”

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