Katy Perry Announces She’s Leaving ‘American Idol’ After Season 22; Says Fellow Judges Luke Bryan & Lionel Richie Didn’t Know

“Peace out, guys! I’m blowin’ this joint!”

Katy Perry‘s days as a judge on American Idol are numbered.

The singer appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night and dropped a bombshell on the show’s fans, announcing that Season 22 will probably be her last season on the show. Katy also told Jimmy Kimmel that she had not yet officially told her co-judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie that she planned to leave, so they would find out when they watched the interview.

“I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for ‘Idol,’” Katy said. “I mean I love ‘Idol’ so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat, you what I’m saying Jimmy?”

When Jimmy asked how Luke and Lionel felt about Katy’s decision to leave the show, she revealed that she hadn’t told them yet.

“Well…they’ll find out tonight!” she said.

“So…um, yeah….surprise, guys!”

Katy said that her co-stars knew that she “had some things planned” for this year, but that they weren’t aware that she was leaving ‘American Idol.’ 

“It’s going to be a very, very exciting year, Jimmy,” Katy told a very surprised Jimmy. “Let’s just say that I’m creating space for my new wingspan.”

Later, Katy admitted that Luke and Lionel did know that she was considering leaving.

“They know I’ve been in the studio for a while so they figured something was coming,” she said, later adding, “I love the show so much but I want to go see the world and maybe bring new music.”

She also added that she’s not entirely closing the door on her ‘Idol’ career.

“Maybe I’ll come back, if they’ll have me, one day!” Katy said. 


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A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry)

Katy, Luke and Lionel have sat at the ‘American Idol’ judges’ table together for seven seasons, with all of the singers joining the show when it was picked up by ABC for the 2018 season. (During her interview, Katy pointed out that the original ‘Idol’ judges— Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson— also judged the show for seven seasons together when ‘Idol’ was airing on FOX.)

During her years on ‘Idol,’ Katy has caused her share of controversy. In May 2023, Katy was booed and later called a “bully” all over social media after she criticized a contestant. That same season, Katy also came under fire after she was accused of “mom-shaming” a contestant who chose to leave the show to be with her kids. 

Katy will appear on the upcoming 22nd season of ‘American Idol,’ which premieres February 18 on ABC. 


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A post shared by American Idol (@americanidol)

You can watch Katy’s full interview with Jimmy Kimmel below!

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(Photos: (Disney/Eric McCandless; Instagram; Disney/Randy Holmes)


  1. I also don’t know if pop music will have a place for Katy Perry. Pop music is dominated by Taylor Swift and the much younger Tate Mccrae, Billie Eilish, and Olivia Rodrigo.

    Not unless they have her going the JLo route of a woman in her 50s still singing songs written for 12 year olds.

    Best of luck

  2. Um. Ok.

    Idol hasn’t been relevant in 20 years. The hosts choose who they are told to choose.
    Show went completely downhill once Paula and Simon, then Randy, left.

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