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Katy Perry announces shock decision to leave American Idol after seven seasons

Katy Perry announces shock decision to leave American Idol after seven seasons

Katy Perry has stunned fans by announcing her departure from the hit US reality series American Idol.

The singer-songwriter has served as a judge on the popular TV show since 2018, having joined when the Fox series relaunched on ABC.

Perry, 39, made the revelation during an appearance on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Speaking to host Jimmy Kimmel, Perry was asked how long she intended to remain as a judge on the televised singing competition.

“I love Idol so much, it’s connected me with the heart of America,” she responded. “But I feel like I need to go out to feel that pulse of my own beat.”

Perry was on the judging panel alongside fellow musicians Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, both of whom also joined when the show relaunched in 2018.

Asked whether her co-stars were aware of Perry’s intention to step down, the musician replied: “They’ll find out tonight.”

“I love the show so much but I want to see the world,” she added. “Maybe I’ll come back if they have me one day.”

Perry will, however, be seen during Idol’s forthcoming 22nd season, which begins airing in the US on 18 February.

Perry alongside her fellow judges on ‘Idol' (ABC)
Perry alongside her fellow judges on ‘Idol' (ABC)

Last June, Bryan defended Perry from criticism over her verdicts in the show, claiming that the “I Kissed a Girl” hitmaker had been “picked on”.

“We all get it,” Bryan said. “I mean, we’re judging kids that people at home fall in love with. We’re not going to bat a thousand as judges. I think we get set up. As judges, you know, we kind of fall on the sword a lot of times. And get set up to where people can get very vocal on socials and stuff.”

He went on to say that he and his fellow two judges are “doing the best we can”.

“Katy gets picked on for going out and trying to have fun making a TV show,” he continued. “You can’t be so safe in the moment that you’re so homogenised you can’t ever go for a joke, or go for a fun moment.

“It makes me appreciate [Perry] even more, just how big of a scale she’s had to deal with that her whole career.”

Sarah Beth Liebe and Katy Perry (American Idol)
Sarah Beth Liebe and Katy Perry (American Idol)

In March last year, a contestant named Sara Beth Liebe quit the show after speaking out about “mum-shaming” comments Perry made about her.

After the aspiring singer told the judges that she was a 25-year-old mother to three children, Perry got up from her chair and pretended to faint, as Liebe said: “If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m going to pass out.”

The “California Gurls” singer joked in response: “Honey, you been laying on the table too much.”

Last year, Perry and Richie were both absent from the show for an episode due to their involvement with King Charles III’s coronation concert. Alanis Morissette and Ed Sheeran stepped in as guest judges.