Katy Perry says goodbye to ‘American Idol’ as reality show crowns another winner

Katy Perry in a ponytail with bangs, a pearl necklace and a red strapless gown
Katy Perry ended her seven-season stint as an “American Idol” judge on Sunday.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP)

As one of the “California Gurls” is crowned the winner of “American Idol” Season 22, another is closing her chapter on ABC’s reality singing competition.

Abi Carter, a 21-year-old musician from Indio, was declared the victor on Sunday night finale, the final episode of Katy Perry’s seven-season judging stint alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. The pop star announced in February that she was leaving her post as a judge to focus on other artistic endeavors.

During the finale, Perry was sent off with a performance of her classics — “Teenage Dream,” “California Gurls” and “Dark Horse” — by “Idol” contestants.


Donning a dress decorated with more than 100 face cutouts of “Idol” competitors, Perry also took to the stage one last time to sing “What Makes a Woman” with third-place finisher Jack Blocker. She told the crowd, “143, I love you,” as butterfly confetti floated in the air. The phrase refers to the number of letters in each word of the phrase “I love you.”

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Perry shared a short message after the show: “There it is… 7 years.”

Katy Perry revealed to Jimmy Kimmel on Monday that her time on ‘American Idol’ will end soon. ‘I need to feel that pulse of my own beat,’ she said.

Feb. 13, 2024

Richie called Perry’s departure “bittersweet” because the show would lose “one of the originators” of its ABC run, which began in 2018.

When announcing her departure to late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in February, the “Firework” singer said she appreciated her time on the reality competition show.

“I love ‘Idol’ so much,” Perry said. “It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I need to go out and feel that pulse of my own beat.”

While on the show, Perry mentored up-and-coming talent such as “Idol” winners Noah Thompson and Chayce Beckham of Seasons 20 and 19, respectively. She was criticized for allegedly “mom-shaming” contestant Sara Beth Liebe, who later quit the show to spend time with her children despite Perry’s plea to have her stay.


Last year, Perry made waves for condemning gun violence in America after “Idol” contestant Trey Louis shared during his audition that he survived the 2018 mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, which killed eight students and two teachers.

As she looks toward a new era in her life, Perry hinted at big plans that will make 2024 “a very, very exciting year for all the pop star girlies.”

“I love the show so much, but I want to go and see the world and bring new music,” she said. “Maybe I’ll come back if they’ll have me one day.”