Luke Bryan Rushes to Katy Perry’s Defense Against Critical ‘American Idol’ Viewers

“I think we get set up,” the country singer shared


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

June 14, 2023


3:48 pm

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Luke Bryan, Katy Perry; Photos via ABC, American Idol

Luke Bryan is coming to the defense of his fellow American Idol judge, Katy Perry, who has recently received complaints from viewers who claimed her to be a harsh critic towards the contestants. 

At the start of the latest season of the singing competition show, Perry was accused of “mom-shaming” and “bullying” aspiring artists such as Sara Beth Liebe. As Liebe stood before Bryan, Perry and Lionel Richie in her audition, the judges were surprised to hear that the 25-year-old was a mom of three. 

“Bless, you guys are my favorite,” Liebe said. “I have three kids.”

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She then added, “If Katy lays on the table I think I’m going to pass out.” 

“Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much,” Perry said in response, which sparked anger among the viewers who claimed the pop star was “mom shaming.” 

Throughout season 21 of Idol, Perry had been called out on several occasions for her tough feedback. However, during a recent interview with Fox News at CMA Fest, Bryan stood up for her character as he said, “Katy Perry’s been dealing with stuff like that her whole career. We all get it.… I mean we’re judging kids that people at home fall in love with.… We’re not gonna bat 1,000 as judges,” he added, explaining the stress and challenges that come with having such a large audience. 

“I think we get set up,” the country singer continued. “As judges, you know, we kinda fall on the sword a lot of times. And get set up to where people can get very vocal on socials and stuff.”

Bryan went on to express how much the show and the contestants mean to him and his fellow judges but also acknowledged that they may not always be perfect in what they say or do. 

“My thing is, I think when me and Lionel [Richie] and Katy sit down at the desk, in our hearts, we’re doing the best we can,” he said honestly. “Katy gets picked on for going out and trying to have fun making a TV show.”

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest, Luke Bryan; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest, Luke Bryan; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

“You can’t be so safe in the moment that you’re so homogenized, you can’t ever go for a joke. Or go for a fun moment,” he continued. “Sometimes, you just gotta say stuff.”

“It may be my year, next year,” he said, referring to how susceptible those in the limelight are to receiving backlash from the public. “It makes me appreciate her even more, just how big of a scale she’s had to deal with that her whole career.”

The current set of judges were welcomed to Idol upon its revival in 2018 on ABC. Since then, Perry, Bryan and Richie have become very comfortable in their position to help hopeful singer/songwriters achieve their dreams. 

Luke Bryan, Ryan Seacrest, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie; Photo by American Idol, ABC
Luke Bryan, Ryan Seacrest, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie; Photo by American Idol, ABC

When asked about his future with the show, Bryan explained that it would be hard to walk away from it. 

“It’s a show that kids can sit down and parents can cry and laugh together, and have fun.… It’s gonna be a tough show for me and Lionel and Katy to walk away from. Obviously, Ryan’s been there 21 years.… Ryan Seacrest could go do whatever he wants to,” he said of the longtime host.

“We feel like we’re doing beautiful work as a show, and we felt like this year was what we had all worked together to get to,” he shared, before adding that he hopes to remain a part of the Idol family as long as “the vibe feels like we’re onward and upward.”

The judges most recently guided Iam Tongi to the end of the show, where he was named the most recent winner of American Idol. Tongi ultimately took home the win after facing off against finalists Megan Danielle and Colin Stough during the star-studded finale, which aired Sunday (May 21).

The next round of contestants will get the chance to vie for this coveted title in 2024. It was recently confirmed that Season 22 of American Idol is getting renewed by ABC, but the exact air date has yet to be announced. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.