Luke Bryan Defends Fellow ‘American Idol’ Judge Katy Perry Amid Fan Criticism

Katy Perry and Luke Bryan

Getty Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Country music star Luke Bryan is backing his fellow “American Idol” judge, Katy Perry, amid fan criticism.

The international superstar, who has served as a judge alongside Bryan since ABC revived “American Idol” in 2018, has been accused by some fans of mistreating contestants with harsh remarks while in the role. However, Bryan said he fully supports Perry.

A few weeks after season 21 wrapped and Iam Tongi was crowned the winner, Bryan attended CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee. And in an interview posted by Fox News on June 12, Bryan said being a judge will inevitably land someone in hot water with fans — it’s the nature of the job.

“Katy Perry’s been dealing with stuff like that her whole career,” Bryan said. “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.”

“I think we get set up,” the “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” 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.”

Whether it be Perry, Lionel Richie or himself, Bryan said they’re “doing the best” they can as faces of “American Idol.”

‘American Idol’ Contestant Sara Beth Liebe Said Katy Perry Made an Unkind Joke During Her Audition

Sara Beth Liebe, who made it to Hollywood Week during last season’s “American Idol,” took issue with a comment Perry made during her audition. Liebe entered the competition as a 25-year-old mother of three. Before she performed, all three judges agreed she looked 16, not 25. Then, when Liebe revealed that she had three children, Perry stood up and leaned against the desk in shock.

“If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m going to pass out,” Liebe said. Then, Perry replied: “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much.” The audition went on as normal and Liebe made it through to the next round by receiving a “Yes” from Bryan, a “No” from Richie and a “Yeah, I guess,” from Perry.

In a now-deleted TikTok video, Liebe addressed Perry’s table comment, saying that “mom-shaming is super lame.”

“At the start of my audition before I sang, I mentioned that I had three children and was a young mother, and Katy Perry made a joke that wasn’t super kind,” she said.

“I mean, it was embarrassing to have that on TV, and it was hurtful and that’s that,” Liebe continued. “But I did want to take this opportunity to just say that I think that 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.”

Luke Bryan: ‘Sometimes You Just Gotta Say Stuff’

During the same interview at CMA Fest, Bryan went on to say that sometimes they had to take a risk to create a “fun moment.” “You can’t be so safe in the moment that you’re so homogenized, you can’t ever go for a joke,” Bryan said. “Or go for a fun moment.”

“Sometimes you just gotta say stuff,” Bryan continued. “It may be my year, next year.”

As of right now, it appears Perry, Bryan and Richie will all return to “American Idol” next year alongside longtime host Ryan Seacrest.

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