Katy Perry defended by former American Idol hopeful over bullying accusations

Former American Idol hopeful Oliver Steele has praised Katy Perry for challenging him as an artist and remembering his potential, amid ongoing bullying accusations.

This season of the ABC show saw the ‘Firework’ singer booed by audiences when she criticized a female singer’s outfit, and she also was called out by another hopeful for ‘mom-shaming’.

“Here is what I know about @katyperry,” Oliver wrote alongside a series of selfies he had taken during his time on the show. “Katy is not a bully, nor does she shame people. I remember being nervous at my audition, nervous during Hollywood week, hell even nervous throughout various points in the competition. Katy has an incredible ability to not just tell what emotional state you’re in, but to be able to tell what’s holding you back.”


He continued: “I love all the judges, but Katy always seemed to be able to look into my soul and tell exactly what was troubling me, or what it was I was struggling with. It’s one thing to teach someone to believe in their ability, which the judges are fabulous at. Katy reminded me to believe in who I am as an artist. She challenged me to push myself, to take on challenges that made me uncomfortable. I’m a better musician and artist after Katy Perry pushed me to believe in my potential, and to exceed my limitations.” 

“@katyperry I dunno if you’ll see this, but I hope you stay on American idol. You’re a guiding light, an incredible teacher. And you made me believe that I am my own hero. Thank you for everything,” he concluded. 


Ahead of the recent season 21 finale, Katy admitted she did not know if she would return as judge alongsid e Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie for another season.

“I love my job, I know that I miss going out into the world and doing what those kids get to do,” she said, adding: “I am getting a little FOMO after all these years, it’s been quite a minute.”

Ryan, Katy, 2023 winner Iam Tongi, Lionel and Luke

This season saw the 38-year-old judge receive audible boos while offering her critique of contestant Nutsa’s performance. Nutsa, a talented 25-year-old singer hailing from Tbilisi, Georgia, delivered a lively rendition of P’aris (Ooh La La)’ by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals during the Top 26 competition in Hawaii. Praising Nutsa’s stage presence, Katy remarked: “Every time you take the stage, it’s like you glitter bomb the stage.” 

She continued: “I think one thing I personally would like to see from you is not one piece of glitter the next time. I know that’s gonna be hard.” 

Katy starring on her first season of American Idol in 2018

Her suggestion was met with loud boos from the audience, prompting fellow judge Lionel to exclaim: “Whoa, hostility!”

Luke reveled in the situation, declaring: “Yes! Katy got booed. Katy got booed.”

Unfazed by the crowd’s response, Katy elaborated on her critique. “OK, first time in six seasons, woo hoo!” she joked before adding: “What I’m saying is that I’d like you to flip the script.”

The American Idol judges couldn’t believe Sara Beth’s real age

It came after 25-year-old contestant Sara Beth Liebe decided to leave the competition to be with her three young children, following a previous incident where Katy’s “mom-shaming” comment during Sara’s audition sparked controversy.

Sara easily passed her first audition, but later expressed her frustration in a TikTok video, reacting to Katy’s joke that she had been “laying on the table too much.” Sara Beth tried out for the singing competition, and as she stood in front of the three judges, they were shocked she was not a teenager.

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