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Sara Beth left ‘American Idol’ following Katy Perry’s ’embarrassing’ and ‘hurtful’ ‘mom-shaming’ comment

Sara Beth left 'American Idol' following Katy Perry's 'embarrassing' and 'hurtful' 'mom-shaming' comment
Photo: Abc

Earlier this season on American Idol, a plucky and adorable redhead by the stage name of Sara Beth, whom Katy Perry described as “a comic strip character come to life,” tried out for the show.

The judges were so surprised by the singer’s baby-faced appearance — they literally thought she was a high school kid, not a 25-year-old mother of three — that Katy mock-fainted, to which an amused Sara Beth said, “If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m going to pass out!” Katy then quipped, without missing a beat: “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much!”

Viewers criticized Katy’s remark as slut-shaming or mom-shaming, and while Sara Beth initially seemed to shrug it off and happily received her Golden Ticket to Hollywood, she later took to TikTok to call out the center judge for the “hurtful” remark, saying: “Katy Perry made a joke that wasn’t super-kind. … It was embarrassing to have that on TV. … I think that mom-shaming is super-lame.”


When Sara Beth returned to Idol Season 21 for the first round of Hollywood Week on Sunday, she abruptly left the show despite conducting an “infectiously lovely” rendition of the Police’s “Roxanne” that Sara herself said “went a lot better than I thought it would,” and despite Katy pleading with her to stay.

However, Sara Beth didn’t cite Katy’s crude “table” comment as the reason for her early exit, instead just telling the judges, “This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually going to be my last performance because my heart’s at home. So, I’m going to get home to my babies. They kind of need me.”

To be honest, Sara Beth’s emotions had never seemed to be fully invested in winning Idol. She’d only been semi-seriously pursuing music for six months at the time of her audition, with her previous experience mostly confined to karaoke evenings with her gal pals.

Katy believed that Sara Beth’s true love was not singing and that she lacked the same hunger as other Idol competitors, calling Sara an “accidental American Idol” and a “hidden gem.

” During the New Orleans tryouts, Lionel Richie even turned down Sara Beth. Sara appeared more ambivalent than ever in Hollywood, admitting, “A big part of me feels like I’m not cut out for show business.” “I don’t even know what show business is,” Sara Beth said. “I’ve been a mom since I was 18. I’ve been married since I was 18.

I don’t think I realized quite how hard it would be to be away from my kids. They’re all still really young. … There is a lot of guilt when you leave your kids to do something completely selfish.” She also told a producer backstage, who seemed to be trying to talk her out of her decision, “I feel like I’m not gonna win the show anyway, so I might as well go home.”

“What just happened? She’s gonna leave? What just happened?” Lionel gasped incredulously after Sara Beth announced her resignation “That was a mistake,” said a disappointed Luke Bryan.

But the judges, especially Katy, were not about to let Sara Beth go so easily. They called Sara back to the stage and encouraged her to reconsider, with Katy supporting her: “I know life is scary. 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 you love your family, and your kids; I know that as a mother. But self-love is just as big as motherly love. Don’t leave the competition.”

The judges then disclosed that they planned to put Sara Beth in the second round of Hollywood Week based on the quality of her “Roxanne” performance. “You’ve opened a door you thought you’d never open, and you got a yes. And you may get another yes in the future. Do not give up,” Katy reiterated.

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