The “Dark Horse” singer — who has been a judge on the ABC reality series since 2018 — got called out for mom-shaming season 21 contestant Sarah Beth Liebe in March 2023.
During Liebe’s televised audition for the singing competition, she surprised the judges when she shared that she was a mother of three at just 25 years old. Perry reacted by leaning against fellow judge Luke Bryan in shock, prompting Liebe to say, “If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m gonna pass out.”
The “Roar” songstress then quipped, “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much,” referring to the auditionee’s motherhood journey.
After the moment aired on television, Liebe took to social media to share her thoughts on Perry’s comments.
“I don’t really have too much to say on my feelings about it because I feel like it’s probably pretty self-explanatory. I mean, it was embarrassing to have that on TV and it was hurtful and, you know, that’s that,” she said in a TikTok video.
The music hopeful continued: “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.”
Despite condemning the Grammy nominee’s remarks, Liebe had a sweet moment with Perry before she decided to leave the competition early to be with her children in April 2023.
“I know that life is scary,” the “Teenage Dream” musician told Liebe after she announced that she was leaving the competition. “But, then, I also know that you lose out on your fullest potential. And I know that you love your family, for your kids. I know that as a mother, but remember self-love is just as big as motherly love. Don’t leave the competition.”
Although Liebe elected to go home, she told cameras during her final episode that she was “really humbled and grateful” and that “Katy had some really nice things to say.”
Despite offending the season 21 alum, Perry has also moved participants with her words during her time as a judge. In April 2021, the California native shared some sage wisdom with season 19 contestant Hunter Metts after he tried to fight back tears following a performance.
“Perfection is an illusion. It’s an illusion, it does not matter. That shows that you are human and vulnerable and everybody relates to that,” the “Part of Me” singer told Metts. “It’s amazing, it’s emotion and that’s what music is. I know this is a lot of pressure but it’s not about perfection — it’s about resonating with people and you just did.”
Perry went on to perform an acoustic version of her song “Thinking of You” with Metts at the season 19 American Idol finale.
“Last time on the Idol stage with Katy Perry. It’s been an honor,” Metts captioned a May 2021 Facebook post of himself and the judge backstage on finale night.
Keep scrolling to see Perry’s ups and downs on American Idol over the years: