Here's Why Katy Perry Is Leaving American Idol

By Jennifer McDonough Posted:
Katy Perry American Idol production still

Kate Perry is making her exit from the hit singing competition American Idol, leaving fans to wonder why that decision was made.

Katy Perry first rose to fame in 2008 with her album One of the Boys and its attention-grabbing single “I Kissed a Girl”. Since then, the pop artist has kept plenty busy releasing several more smash hit songs. 

Beginning with American Idol’s 16th season in 2018, Perry became a judge on the star-making singing competition series alongside Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. This all-new team was brought on when ABC took over Idol that same year.

Why Won’t Katy Perry Appear on American Idol Next Season?

Katy Perry in American Idol Season 22 final on stage
Katy Perry

May 19’s American Idol Season 22 finale marked Katy Perry’s exit from the show’s panel of judges. Her final episode ended with the musician in tears, embracing her co-judges.

 But why exactly has Perry decided to call it quits?

Hitting the rewind button and backing up a few months, to February 12, 2024- Katy Perry appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. During her conversation with Kimmel, Perry announced that she would be leaving American Idol (via People):

“I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for 'Idol.' I mean I love ‘Idol’ so much."

She continued by dropping strong hints that she’d like to work on her own, more personal projects going forward instead of being tied to Idol. This is most likely the biggest reason behind Perry’s Idol departure:

"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?”

Her closing message to American Idol fans came across as nothing less than heartfelt, indicating that, in all likelihood, no bad blood exists between Perry and anyone else involved with the program (via ABC):

"It's been an amazing journey, all seven seasons, thank you for inviting me into your homes, letting your kids watch even though you were probably a little nervous with it being me. I love America and I'm so excited to go back out to all of America to tour one of these days soon."

A New Katy Perry Album Incoming?

Katy Perry has not released a new album in almost four years (Her most recent record, Smile, was made available in August 2020). 

So, especially considering her comments to Jimmy Kimmel, it would make sense that the artist would be eager to spread her creative wings once again and get to work on brand-new songs.

This appears to be exactly what Perry has on her mind as well. 

At a gala held for the Breakthrough Prize in April, she had her photo taken on the event’s red carpet. She also held a conspicuously translucent purse with a rolled-up piece of paper inside, coming via ViralThingz on X (formerly Twitter).

Printed on that paper was “KP6: Top Secret.” Perry has thus far put out five albums and this appears to be her way of coyly hinting at the development of album #6.

In addition to music releases, Katy Perry hasn’t done a world tour in several years, with her most recent one running from 2017-2018 which coincided with her early American Idol judging tenure.

Katy Perry’s final episode of American Idol can be streamed on Hulu.

- About The Author: Jennifer McDonough
Jennifer McDonough has been a writer at The Direct since its 2020 launch. She is responsible for the creation of news articles and features. She also has a particular affinity for action figures and merchandise, which she revels in discussing in the articles she writes, when the situation calls for it.