This is why Katy Perry is the “soul” of American Idol and the show must hold on to her at all costs

10 Reasons Why American Idol Needs Katy Perry

There are rumors that Katy Perry might leave American Idol, either by her own free will or because she’ll be replaced. Here’s why the show needs her.

Katy Perry montage from American Idol

There are rumors that American Idol judge Katy Perry might be leaving the reality singing competition series, but there are many reasons why the show needs her. Katy got her start as an American Idol judge alongside Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan when ABC rebooted the show in 2018. Together, they jump-started the careers of the six winners (Maddie Poppe, Laine Hardy, Just Sam, Chayce Beckham, Noah Thompson, and Iam Tongi). They also discovered many other successful singers, including Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, and HunterGirl.

Although Katy is loved by many American Idol fans, she faced some backlash during season 21. She was criticized for a joke that contestant Sara Beth Liebe perceived as mom-shaming during her audition. This happened even though Katy later tried to convince the singer to stay rather than quit Hollywood Week to go home to her children. Later in the season, Katy advised finalist Nutsa to tone down her performances, for which she was booed for the first time in her American Idol tenure. However, these were very minor things that don’t take away from why Katy is the heart of American Idol.

10. Katy Perry Is A Fashion Icon

Katy Perry American Idol Season 21 Finale Smiling

Although American Idol is a singing competition, it’s still fun to follow Katy’s fashion choices from season to season. On each episode, she has a new look. Whether she’s rocking a short blonde bob or long brunette locks, her hairstyles are always gorgeous. Katy brings a sense of style to American Idol, especially since she is the only woman among Lionel, Luke, and host Ryan Seacrest.

9. Katy Perry Brings The Magic To American Idol’s Disney Night

Katy Perry Snow White Disney

Each year, American Idol hosts Disney Night, during which the contestants sing beloved songs from the studio’s classic catalog. Much to the delight of her fans, Katy has dressed up as a different Disney character on every episode. Her costumes include Snow White (season 16), Ursula the Sea Witch (season 17), Mrs. Jumbo (season 18), Tinker Bell (season 19), Ariel (season 20), and Elastigirl (season 21). Katy has a magical quality that’s amplified during Disney Night, which would be missed if she left American Idol.

8. Katy Perry Is Hilarious On American Idol

Katy has a quirky and fun demeanor that has made for some hilarious moments on the show. From her pants ripping during Hollywood Week during American Idol season 20 to her impromptu Queso Song with Luke, she brings laughter to each episode. One of Katy’s funniest moments was when she fell off her chair while dressed in her Ariel costume on American Idol season 20’s Disney Night. The best part of Katy’s personality is her ability to laugh at herself.

7. Katy Perry Stands Up For What’s Right

Katy’s a strong advocate for the causes she believes in, and she’s not afraid to speak her mind about them on the show. As an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, Katy stood by gay American Idol season 17 contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, who had revealed that his family didn’t accept him because of his sexuality. Katy supported him throughout the competition, letting him know that he was seen and loved. She even sang a touching duet of her hit song “Unconditionally” with him on finale night, which reflected the unconditional love that she gave him.

During American Idol season 21, contestant Trey Louis revealed that when he was in high school, eight students and two teachers were killed in a shooting at his school, Santa Fe High School. Katy was overcome by her grief and anger, breaking down and crying about how the country has failed its citizens. She shouted that Trey shouldn’t have had to go through that experience. Katy bravely cried that the country needs change, and encouraged Trey to lead the charge. American Idol needs a judge like Katy, who transcends the competition when necessary to fight for what’s right.

6. Katy Perry Is Kind To The American Idol Contestants

Katy is one of the kindest American Idol judges. She’s always there with an encouraging cheer or a comforting hug. A great example of this was her interaction with American Idol season 21 contestant Fire Whitmore, who admitted at her New Orleans audition that she had resorted to stripping to support herself and her young daughter. When Lionel and Luke voted no, Katy invited her to the Nashville auditions to try again. This time, all three judges said yes, and Fire made it to Hollywood. Katy’s kindness and willingness to bend the rules for a contestant in whom she saw something special is another reason why the show needs her.

5. Katy Perry Is A Pop Music Legend

Katy Perry American Idol

Who better to find the next pop superstar on American Idol than a pop music legend like Katy? She skyrocketed to fame in 2008 with her hit album One of the Boys, which featured the single “I Kissed a Girl.” She has since become one of the top best-selling music artists of all time. She has won five American Music Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards, 14 People’s Choice Awards, and has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards. Katy understands what it takes to be a pop star and knows exactly what to look for in the contestants.

4. Katy Perry Gives Constructive Criticism

When ABC rebooted American Idol, Lionel, Katy, and Luke took a different approach to judging. Rather than give the contestants harsh critiques, along the lines of original judge Simon Cowell, they serve as mentors, gently guiding them through the competition. However, Katy does give constructive criticism when it’s warranted, helping the finalists reach new heights.

During American Idol season 21, Katy honestly told 16-year-old Paige Anne that she didn’t think she was ready yet during her audition. She said she needed to be motivated and grow at lightspeed. Lionel and Luke sent Paige to Hollywood, where she was eliminated but Paige was welcomed back to replace contestant Beckett Rex who dropped out. After Paige Anne’s Top 26 performance in Hawaii, Katy admitted that she was wrong about Paige and told her she belonged in the competition.

3. Katy Perry Really Gets To Know The American Idol Contestants

American Idol Season 21 Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry & Luke Bryan smiling

Katy takes the time to get to know the American Idol finalists throughout the competition. This is why she has won the Judges’ Song Contest for two years in a row, tying for first place with Luke during American Idol season 20 and winning in season 21. During the contest, the finalists are presented with three song choices without knowing which judge selected which song. After their performances, the contestants guess the judge who picked the song for them. Katy won both years because she knows the contestants and which songs would be best suited for them. She offers a level of care that brings out the best in them.

2. Katy Perry Lets The American Idol Finalists Shine

Although Katy is a superstar, she gives the American Idol finalists the spotlight. She doesn’t try to overshadow them or take away their moments. This is especially evident during her performances with the contestants at the finales. During American Idol season 16, Katy promised to sing with finalist Catie Turner in the future. That day came during the finale when they sang a stripped-down version of Katy’s “Part Of Me.” As mentioned earlier, Katy’s season 17 performance of “Unconditionally” with Jeremiah was touching.

In American Idol season 19, Katy teamed up with finalist Hunter Metts on an acoustic version of Katy’s “Thinking Of You,” where they both played guitar. American Idol season 20 brought Katy’s inspiring duet of her song “Firework” with finalist Leah Marlene, a song that Leah had sung in a talent show at age nine. It was a powerful full-circle moment. During American Idol season 21, Katy and Haven Madison sang a beautiful and moving combination of Haven’s original song “Still Need You” and Katy’s “By the Grace of God.” The way Katy smiles at the finalists shows her pride, admiration, and respect for them as artists.

1. Katy Perry Is A Guiding Light

Katy Perry American Idol

Katy’s not just an American Idol judge but a guiding light for the contestants. As she gets to know them, she’s able to offer specific advice to them about how they can succeed not only on the show but in their future careers as well. Katy is a very special person who is irreplaceable. This became clear when she missed an American Idol season 21 episode because she performed at King Charles III’s coronation. Hopefully, Katy will continue to inspire both the contestants and viewers on American Idol for many years.

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