Katy Perry Encourages Mom She "Shamed" on American Idol Not to Quit

On the April 2 episode of American Idol, judge Katy Perry attempted to convince Sara Beth Liebe—whom previously called out for Katy "mom shaming" her—to stay in the competition.

By Daniel Trainor Apr 03, 2023 9:18 PMTags
Watch: Katy Perry Accused of "Mom Shaming" on American Idol

Katy Perry traded in her alleged "shaming" for a show of support. 

On the April 2 episode of American Idol, contestant Sara Beth Liebe—who recently called out Katy for mom shaming after her audition round performance—struggled with being separated from her three children during the singing competition's Hollywood Week.

"I don't think I realized quite how hard it would be to be away from my kids," the 25-year-old said after a session with mentor Clay Aiken. "They're all still really young. I feel like I'm gonna try my best because I'm here and so that's what I should do. There's a lot of guilt that comes when you leave your kids to do something completely selfish. I'm just gonna try to keep my head on straight."

Sara Beth was able to power through an impressive version of The Police's "Roxanne," but before the judges could offer their critiques, Sara Beth had an announcement to make.

Katy Perry Through the Years

"This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually going to be my last performance," she said, "because my heart's at home. So I'm going to get home to my babies. They kind of need me."

Sara Beth then scurried offstage, leaving a very confused judges' panel in her wake.

After judge Luke Bryan called Sara Beth's decision "a mistake," Katy agreed, saying, "The thing I see in her is her fighting spirit."

So, the "Firework" singer asked Sara Beth to return to the stage.

"Sara Beth, life is scary," Katy told her. "I also know that it's easier to walk away than to be rejected. But then I also know that you lose out on your fullest potential. I know that you love your family [and] your kids. I know that as a mother. But remember self-love is just as big as motherly love. Don't leave the competition."

Despite being asked to advance to the next round, Sara Beth's mind had already been made up.

"It would be nice if my kids were a little older. I understand how big of an opportunity this is," she said after leaving the stage. "I still kind of want to go home. I'm sure that when I get home, I'll regret it. I'll probably go, 'Damn it, Sara. You should have stayed. You should have done it.'"

Katy was similarly regretful about Sara Beth's exit, saying, "Man, that sucks."

ABC/Eric McCandless

While Sara Beth's Idol journey ended on a more sympathetic note, things started out a bit more rocky between the aspiring singer and Katy. Once Sara Beth revealed that she was a 25-year-old mother of three during her audition, Katy responded by slowly spreading her body across the judges' table in shock. 

"If Katy lays on the table," Sara said excitedly, "I think I'm going to pass out." Katy responded by saying, "Honey, you've been laying on the table too much."

After the episode aired in March, Sara Beth took to TikTok to share how she felt about the comment. 

"It was embarrassing to have that on TV," Sara Beth said of Katy. "It was 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."

Katy has not responded to Sara Beth's video.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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