AceShowbiz - Katy Perry isn't exiting "American Idol" just yet. On Tuesday, ABC announced that the "Fireworks" hitmaker will return to the judging table for season 22 of the long-running singing competition series.
Katy will be joined by fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie who all resume their roles as judges in the next season, which will premiere in spring 2024. Ryan Seacrest, meanwhile, will also reprise his hosting duty.
"American Idol" is set to kick off the audition for the reality competition series on August 2 with the return of "Idol Across America", the live virtual nationwide search for the next singing superstar. The new season, meanwhile, is scheduled to premiere in spring 2024.
Katy's return to the show comes as a surprise considering rumors that she planned to exit the show following criticism from fans on multiple occasions. Back in May, Daily Mail reported that the 38-year-old pop star felt that she had been repeatedly "thrown under the bus by the producers." She additionally believed that the show's edit made her appear to be a "nasty judge" and she's concerned that it would affect her career.
The "Teenage Dream" hitmaker landed in hot water after allegedly mom-shaming contestant Sara Beth Liebe by joking that the mother of three had been "laying on the table too much." In a TikTok video, Sara claimed that she found the remarks "hurtful."
"I think that women supporting and uplifting other women is so cool and I think that mom shaming is super lame. I think that it's hard enough to be a mom and it's hard enough to be a woman," Sara shared.
Katy also caught heat for her "condescending" comments on contestant Nutsa Buzaladze, who slept through a rehearsal with her duet partner, Carina DeAngelo. Viewers thought that the mom of one was "so rude and condescending to the contestants unless it's a male cutie then she acts like a teenage fool."
Despite the backlash, Katy was reportedly unfazed. "This has been a roller-coaster season with a lot of great talent, so she is just doing her job," a source said earlier this month, noting that Katy "has a unique sense of humor that may not always translate well on camera, but she never has any ill intent" while judging the singing competition. The informant stressed, "She's a mentor and a friend to the contestants."